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Standard or Custom Temperature Sensors: Which are Best?

By Darrell Hyde

As with most difficult questions, it depends. Fortunately, Minco has you covered in either case with a wide range of sensor options including RTDs, thermocouples, thermistors, and digital IC sensors.

We have a variety of standard temperature sensors that are specifically designed for demanding applications in industrial or medical equipment, semiconductor fabrication and testing or high-flying aerospace applications. Many of these standard sensors were created for specific applications, such as surface sensing or embedment in bearings and stator windings, so they perform as well as any custom product could. Standard sensors also have the advantage of quicker delivery than custom sensors as design and sourcing time is not a consideration. Standard sensors may already have hazardous area certification ratings that could take many months, and dollars, to obtain for custom sensors. For all these reasons, standard sensors are frequently used for both prototyping and long-term production needs.

Conversely, custom temperature sensors are used when a particular aspect(s) of an application requires special attention to ensure best sensor performance. These unique needs could be an ultra-fast time response, a unique mounting thread or flange, unusual sensor dimensions, specific case materials, special lead wire or cables, or non-standard sensor output. When quantities are large (typically in the thousands), custom sensors can actually be less costly than standard sensors since a standard sensor may be over-designed for a particular application.

A further reason Minco creates custom temperature sensors is when they are part of a multi-function product with flexible heaters and/or flex circuits. In addition to improving system performance and reliability, these products also simplify procurement and installation.

Minco has built sensors, heaters, flex circuits, and instruments for more than 60 years. We have established working relationships with thousands of customer engineering teams. Our approach has always been one of freely sharing our design and manufacturing knowledge and experience. We specialize in Engineer to Engineer (E2E) collaboration with customers, allowing for the best possible solution.

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