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Case Study

KSR Reduces Inductance Sensor Design from Three Months to Two Weeks


“Simulation has enabled KSR engineers to optimize inductance sensor designs prior to building a prototype. The new approach substantially reduces the time required to engineer its products to fit customer applications. The net result is a substantial decrease in engineering costs and a reduction in time to market.”

--Lingmin Shao, Technical Specialist / KSR International
--Ryan Elliot, Sensor Team Leader / KSR International


Introduction

An electronic throttle control works behind the scenes to remove the mechanical link between the automobile accelerator and throttle, and instead controls the throttle with an electric motor. An electronic control unit (ECU) determines the correct throttle position based on data collected from two automotive sensors that track the position of the gas pedal. The motor that controls the throttle is then driven to the required position via closed-loop control from the ECU. 

Challenges

Most inductance sensor applications can be addressed by a common design; however, as KSR expands the technology to different applications with different sensing ranges and packages, a custom design is required. Trial and error takes approximately three months to develop custom inductance sensor designs. The company needed to reduce development time, and therefore, costs and time to market. 

Engineering Solution

  • Use Ansys HFSS to compute the full electromagnetic field pattern inside the sensor, then reduce the full 3D electromagnetic behavior of the structure to a set of high-frequency circuit parameters.
  • Employ Ansys Nexxim to simulate sensitivity of analog and wireless frontend circuits as well as robustness and capacity needed.
  • Perform a parametric study of the air gap between the rotor and transmitter and receiver coils to ensure that inevitable manufacturing variations will not affect the sensor accuracy.

Benefits

  • Simulation helps KSR engineers to address the issues that inevitably arise in real-world applications and to correct these issues before manufacturing.
  • KSR has reduced the time required to engineer a custom inductance sensor application from three months to only two weeks.

 

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