Current Sensing and Industrial Automation

Industrial automation is a great way for businesses to cut down their operations costs. By allowing machines to complete menial tasks on their own, without supervision, and with a high degree of reliability, automation eliminates the various costs associated with retaining a worker to do the same thing—including labor, human resources, and damages for unintended errors.

To pull off industrial automation, however, a business must invest in sensing technologies that will allow machines to know if they are doing their work correctly. For many such applications, current sensing can be used to this effect.

For example, current sensors can be used to monitor the current flowing into a pump motor. The information gathered by these sensors can then be used to identify if the pump has jammed or if suction is suddenly lost. If a jam or suction is signaled by an overload or underload of the current flow, a logic processor can then kick in to stop the motor before damage occurs.

In applications where pumps work with variable loads, current sensors can be used to detect the amount of load on the pumps, allowing the system to raise or lower the voltage, increase or decrease the input current to allow the pump to speed up or down, or increase or decrease the amount of torque it produces.

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