Analog vs Digital Sensor Technology

Benefit from Memosens based sensors

Understand the differences between both technologies and the advantages of digital sensors

Different pH measuring principles


Analog

Typical sensor raw signals: mV, nA, Ω

The ‘raw’ signal from an analytical sensor is seldom useful, as it must be converted into a readable measured value. The signal is converted in the transmitter through calculation algorithms, which also consider sensor adjustments.

Digital

Converts measured values into a digital signal

Sensor signals are digitally converted by a processor in the sensor head. Measured values and sensor information are digitally stored in the processor’s memory.

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Analog pH sensors: risk of measurement inconsistency

Analog technology can cause a lot of complications. If the cable is affected by corrosion or humidity, or if the signal is not stable (e.g. vibration causes the cable to rattle) the measurement may be inaccurate and inconsistent. 

Possible problems with Analog:

  • Transmitter:Use of different compensation algorithms, temperature compensation, sensor user-handling, incorrect buffer management.
  • Cable: environmental effects (galvanic isolation, static electricity build-up), or even just bad electrical grounding
  • Sensor: Signal drop due to cable resistance, contact resistance, remaining moisture, oxidation, dirt

Ensure the highest reliability with digital sensor technology

The features of digital sensor technology increase the effectiveness of your processes and make them more cost-efficient and reliable. Digital sensors provide a longer lifetime, which saves you money in the long run. If you perform the cleaning in the lab, you can adjust the sensor to achieve better accuracy. When you do this, its lifespan is prolonged. You will also have the chance to save time and costs during the maintenance process. In fact, with analog sensors you usually have a higher risk of encountering various errors in measurement – therefore you spend more time troubleshooting.

  • The measuring unit is the same, but as you take away a lot of the errors due to signal integrity, the likelihood of measuring an accurate value increases.
  • Thanks to the inbuilt memory, each sensor has an identity. Knowing how many hours each of them has been operating, as well as to which temperature it’s been exposed and for how long, will help you understand the process conditions and prevent downtime.
  • Transmission of sensor signals without interference.
  • Multiple sensor signals and sensor information (sensor ID, values for diagnosis) can be transferred in a single cable.
  • Sensor management with PC software.

Why Memosens?

It is reliable. 

Memosens is a “smart sensor” – it transforms measurement/analog readings into digital signal, right into the sensor head. From a practical point of view, this means that the reading on your transmitter won’t be affected by cable issues, signal drops, static electricity or the like. 100% signal integrity. To compare this with a more common example, it is like listening to music on a LP (vinyl disc) as opposed to through MP3 – no noise in your signal/sound due to dust, oscillating of the head, scratches, etc. In case of issues or unusual readings, troubleshooting will be much faster, for you can already rule out environmental variables such as defective cable or electrical/magnetic interference (Memosens does not have metal parts).