Pressure Measurement for Ventilators and Respirators

Merit Sensor has a long history of supplying products to the medical-device industry. We are owned by Merit Medical, a leading manufacturer and marketer of disposable medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures.

A couple of the products we supply for medical applications are the BP Series for monitoring blood pressure, where accuracy and reliability are extremely important, and the AP Series for angioplasty, where knowing the precise pressure of the catheter balloon is essential.

The current demand for mechanical ventilators and respirators due to the COVID-19 pandemic presents us with another opportunity to fill a need in the medical field. The use of pressure sensors in ventilators and respirators is similar to their use in CPAP and BiPAP. Essentially, when the lungs need assistance taking in air, a machine blows the required amount of air into the lungs. But how does the medical professional monitor and control the required amount of air, or positive airway pressure? This is where pressure sensors play a critical role.

LP Series pressure sensor for mechanical ventilators

Merit Sensor’s LP Series is the ideal pressure sensor for these applications. The LP Series can measure pressure as low as 1 inH₂O (250 Pa) with resolution better than 0.001 inH₂O (<0.1 Pa). It was designed to measure differential or gauge pressure, depending on the application. It contains two pressure ports to which tubing can be connected, one tube directing pressure to the topside of the MEMS sensing element and the other tube directing pressure to the backside of the MEMS sensing element. It comes in several calibrated pressure ranges, functions with a 3.3- or 5-volt supply, and offers I²C or analog output.

Cross-section image 2 of LP Series pressure sensor

The LP Series, along with all of Merit Sensor’s other products, is made in our on-site wafer fab and assembly areas in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Manufacturing our products in our own facility ensures that we have control over product quality and supply chain. It also allows us to customize products to meet the unique demands of our various customers and markets.

We are proud to be a reliable supplier for life-enhancing and life-saving devices, and we hope that our products can play an important role in helping humanity, especially at this time.

Merit Sensor is taking precautionary steps to minimize the effect of COVID-19 on its operations

Merit Sensor, a subsidiary of Merit Medical, has been closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 and the effects on our operations, supply chain, and personnel.  We want to assure you that we are taking every precautionary step to ensure that you receive uninterrupted support from our company. Merit has formed a COVID-19 operations task force that meets daily to stay on top of local, national, and international news and related changes in order to direct the organization appropriately. Below we have listed the most important factors related to our business continuity.

Personnel

Merit Sensor has instituted several steps to ensure the health and safety of its employees. Non-essential employees have been asked to work from home. Additionally, the temperature of every employee who enters the manufacturing site is being taken while the employee remains in his/her car. We have also asked that all meetings be conducted via video conferencing and that social distancing be implemented during breaks and lunches. The cleaning of the premises has also been stepped up to prevent the spread of the virus among the essential employees required to be onsite. Merit does employ a Chief Medical Officer and has a clinic onsite to assist any employee who may feel unwell.

Supply Chain & Logistics

Merit is not currently suffering from any shortage of materials as a result of COVID-19. We always try to mitigate our risk by having more than one supplier or requiring suppliers to produce at multiple sites. We also maintain several months of raw materials to aid with such occurrences. Presently, COVID-19 has not caused any disruptions to our supply, operations, or delivery of products. We are taking every precaution to ensure that manufacturing operations and delivery remain uninterrupted, and that ample product supply is available to continue to meet our customers’ needs.

You can be assured that Merit is doing everything in its power to ensure that our customers are supported in every way possible. We will continue to provide you with ongoing updates as the situation changes.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us directly.

Sincerely yours,

Rick Russell, President

Trade Show Updates

We would like to inform you of our latest trade show updates. They are as follows:

The MEORGA MSR-Spezialmesse that was scheduled for March 25th in Frankfurt, Germany, has been cancelled. Our distributor in Germany, Delta Regeltechnik, plans to represent Merit Sensor at the next MEORGA MSR-Spezialmesse that is scheduled for May 27th in Leverkusen, Germany.

The Mostra Convegno Expocomfort (MCE) that was scheduled for March 17th through 20th in Milan, Italy, has been postponed until September 8th through 11th. Many thanks to GVZ Components, one of our distributors in Italy, for their hard work and patience to make this event a success for their company and for Merit Sensor.

That being said, we fully understand that trade shows in general are on standby. We are thankful to these organizations that are acting responsibly and proactively to curb the spread of the coronavirus. We look forward to when the time is right for people to attend these trade shows.

To stay up to date on our company news and events, please watch our website and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

All the best from Merit Sensor.

Slides

a:7:{s:8:”location”;a:1:{i:0;a:1:{i:0;a:3:{s:5:”param”;s:9:”post_type”;s:8:”operator”;s:2:”==”;s:5:”value”;s:12:”merit_slider”;}}}s:8:”position”;s:15:”acf_after_title”;s:5:”style”;s:7:”default”;s:15:”label_placement”;s:3:”top”;s:21:”instruction_placement”;s:5:”label”;s:14:”hide_on_screen”;s:0:””;s:11:”description”;s:0:””;}

Merit Sensor Demonstrates Pressure Measurement in a Diesel-Particulate Filter

We take pride in our pressure sensors and like to show what they can do. Recently at the Sensor+Test trade show in Nuremberg, Germany, we used a diesel-particulate filter (DPF) to demonstrate how our sensors can be used to indicate when a DPF is clogged with particulate and needs to be regenerated.

DPF demo Sensor+Test

Visitors at our Sensor+Test booth viewing our DPF demo

A couple of our senior engineers integrated one of our pressure sensors into a modern-day DPF. This engineering work included designing and 3D printing a coupler to connect a fan to the input end of the DPF, simulating the flow of exhaust; 3D printing a custom fan guard and generic housing for the pressure sensor; and programming a microprocessor to vary the fan speed automatically.

Our TR Series is an ideal choice for the DPF because it is impervious to harsh media, such as exhaust, and contains a MEMS die that ranges from 0 to 500 psi. For this application the MEMS die in the TR Series would be produced in a gage configuration, enabling it to measure pressure from the backside as well as the top side. The TR Series would then be calibrated for a differential output.

DPF diagram TR Series

Diagram of the TR Series measuring differential pressure, or ΔP, in a DPF

The main purpose of this demonstration was to show another one of our solutions to a real-world application. The DPF is just one of many applications for which our products are designed. We thrive on understanding our customers’ applications and providing the best solution for each one.

Merit Sensor Partners with Global Electronics Corporation

 

To our valued customers:

We are pleased to announce a distribution-sales partnership with Global Electronics Corporation based in Tokyo, Japan.

Global Electronics is a diversified electronics corporation serving high-tech companies with electronic-components distribution services, analog and sensing-technology expertise, in-house design and engineering, manufacturing, and technical-support capabilities. The company, founded in 1978, has been built upon the solid foundation of long-term partnerships with best of breed manufacturers and with a broad portfolio of unique products and superior technologies from around the world. Their distribution business has evolved into a reliable link in the mission-critical supply chain of world-renowned technology companies.

Since 1991 Merit Sensor (Sentir Semiconductor until 1999) has designed and manufactured pressure sensors for various applications, such as medical, automotive, and industrial. Merit Sensor’s proprietary Sentium technology was developed to provide a best-in-class operating temperature range of -40 to 150 degrees Celsius and a pressure range of 0 to 15,000 psi in absolute, differential, gage, and vacuum configurations.

This partnership between Merit Sensor and Global Electronics will expand the product offerings of Global Electronics and will allow Merit Sensor to provide optimal support to the regions of Japan.

To learn more about the Merit Sensor products sold by Global Electronics, you can view the portfolio online at www.gec-tokyo.co.jp/merit-sensor. To contact the sensor group at Global Electronics by phone, dial +81 03 3260 1412.

We look forward to a prosperous partnership with Global Electronics.

Sincerely,

The Merit Sensor Management Team

 

P.S.: The official press release from Global Electronics Corporation can be accessed here.

Merit Sensor Employees Serve Breakfast

A group of Merit Sensor employees and their families recently cooked and served breakfast to parents staying at Salt Lake City’s Ronald McDonald House. Guests at the facility live outside the Salt Lake area and have children who require medical attention in Salt Lake City. The Ronald McDonald House provides these parents a place to stay, allowing them to be near their hospitalized children. The meals are provided exclusively by volunteers.

Merit Sensor Ronald McDonald House

This service opportunity allowed the families of Merit Sensor employees to become acquainted with one another. The kids were happy working together; even the youngest of them flipped and served pancakes. The older kids scrubbed dishes and made cookies, while the adults cooked sausage, eggs, and bacon.

The event was organized by Wayne Rowley, manager of purchasing and procurement at Merit Sensor, who, in this case, procured the food. Many of Merit Sensor’s employees work hard not only to produce and provide pressure sensors, but also to make their community a happier place.

Rick Russell Addresses the Micro Nano Technology Special Interest Group at the University of Utah

Merit Sensor’s president, Rick Russell, spoke recently as the keynote speaker for the Micro Nano Technology (MNT) Special Interest Group to a group of approximately 80 U.S. college educators gathered at the University of Utah. The event is “a venue to share ideas and learn from others who work to educate technicians, a place to stay on the forefront of industry and workforce needs, and a forum to network and share ideas on ways to strengthen and augment workforce development programs through educational partnerships with industry for tomorrow’s micro and nano technology workforce” (MNT 2017 Special Interest Group Program).

Rick Russell, Micro Nano Technology

Rick Russell, President of Merit Sensor, was presented with a 6-inch wafer as a token of appreciation for addressing the Micro Nano Technology Special Interest Group at the University of Utah on July 18, 2017.

With over 20 years of experience working with MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), Rick has valuable industry insight to offer educators and their students. In his speech he emphasized the importance of teachers stimulating students’ interest in science and experimentation and the importance of pulling some of the less-than-stellar students out of their shells because, he argued, they are sometimes the most valuable employees in the workplace. “I can’t say enough,” he said, “about getting the kids involved.” Organizations like the Micro Nano Technology (MNT) Special Interest Group are important to companies, like Merit Sensor, that value the way students are educated and encouraged. Some of the students could end up working in the field of MEMS pressure sensors and even for Merit Sensor.

The workforce at Merit Sensor by in large comprises electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineers; technicians; and operators. The company is highly dependent on technical knowledge and skills and, therefore, looks to today’s students to bring fresh knowledge and enthusiasm to help it stay at the forefront of the industry in the face of tomorrow’s challenges.

Congratulations to the winner of the Apple Watch drawing!

We want to send a big thank you to everyone who came by our booth at Sensors Expo and participated in our crossword puzzle contest. A special congratulations to Juergen Zach, of Pentair, who won the drawing for the Apple Watch prize.  We had a tremendous turnout with a lot of entries. All the entries […]

Custom Pressure Sensors for the Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry is known for having some of the harshest environments on the planet and finding a pressure sensor to withstand those harsh environments can be extremely difficult.  The TR Series pressure sensor and HM Series MEMS sensing element are built to withstand temperatures as low as -40°C and as high as 150°C, making them ideal candidates for the Aerospace industry.  The TR Series and HM series measure pressure via direct media pressure sensing to the backside of the die.  Direct media pressure sensing translates into excellent system design flexibility leading to lower cost and ease of manufacture.

TR Aerospace Image

TR Series – TR Series with Ferrule – HM Series Die

So whether your application is Flight control surface positioning, auto-pilot, jet engine throttle and thrust reverser controls, auto-pilot input, landing gear steering and thrust vector control, turbine guide vane, valve controls, turbine actuators, and engine controls or any other number of Aerospace applications Merit Sensor has the right sensor assembly or MEMS sensing element for you.

Merit Sensor Systems, Inc. has partnered with customers for more than 20 years to design, fabricate, assemble and package reliable, cost-effective piezoresistive pressure sensor solutions.

Merit Sensor offers full-service design capabilities, in-house wafer fabrication, flexible shipping, packaging and assembly, piezoresistive technology (PRT), expansive pressure ranges (0.15 psi to 15,000 psi), complete pressure measurement (absolute, gage, differential and vacuum). Additionally, Merit Sensor is able to provide unparalleled flexibility to customize pressure sensing solutions to fit into our customers’ applications. Most customers in the Aerospace industry require a high level of customization because of the demand of the applications.

Unlike other pressure sensor suppliers, Merit Sensor can provide customers with completely customized pressure sensor designs with large or smaller/limited production runs. Our customers range from pressure sensor transducer manufacturers who are already experts in pressure sensing technology and rely on Merit Sensor for highly stable and sensitive MEMS sensing elements (bare die), to customers who have little to no experience in the pressure sensing world and look to Merit Sensor to assist with a completely custom design and implementation of a pressure sensor that best fits their application.

At Merit Sensor our engineers are application experts. We are ready to help customers design your application to work with a pressure sensor, and/or design a customized pressure sensing solution that works for your application. If you are unsure whether a pressure sensor is right for your application, Merit Sensor can help you make that determination.

More questions? Request a quote for a pressure sensor to meet all your automotive engineering needs.