MEMS感測器瞄準工業4.0應用市場

作者 : Anthea Chuang

隨著智慧型手機、平板裝置等消費性電子產品的出貨率略為下滑,MEMS相關業者開始將目光轉向工業4.0(Industry 4.0)...

微機電系統(MEMS)感測器在消費性電子市場,如平板裝置、智慧型手機、筆記型電腦、消費型無人機…等,已擁有相當高的導入率。隨著包括智慧型手機、平板裝置等消費性電子產品的出貨率略為下滑,MEMS相關業者開始將目光轉向工業4.0(Industry 4.0)。

台灣羅姆(ROHM)設計中心產品經理李正寧表示,包括加速度計、陀螺儀、磁力計…等MEMS應用的大宗一直以來都是消費性電子領域,即使目前消費性電子市場出貨量仍有一定的規模,但相關MEMS元件供應商,也開始尋找新的市場機會。其中,會產生高G值的應用,即成為業者鎖定的新目標市場。

會產生高重力加速度(G)值的裝置包括洗衣機、工業馬達、無人機與運動用品等。李正寧指出,這些容易產生高G值的裝置,一旦損壞,無論是對消費者或是工廠業主來說,都將是極大的損失。舉例來說,工業馬達往往是某些工業機械設備或是機器手臂重要的零件之一,若馬達損壞以至於得停工進行維修,工廠將面臨停工損失。

不過,隨著工業4.0議題開始發酵,工廠經營者開始慢慢接受在現有的機器上安裝感測器,隨時監控設備的安全性與穩定性,如此一來即可預先得知機器即將損壞的訊息,預做準備,避免更大的停工損失。此外,洗衣機洗衣槽若是因為衣物放的不夠平均,在脫水時洗衣槽會有旋轉不平均的現象發生,容易導致G值過高,將造成洗衣槽損壞。

有鑑於此,羅姆推出可檢測±32g小型加速度感測器,以搶攻上述應用市場。過去的加速度計產品大約可檢測到低於±20g,如智慧型手機的傾斜或是筆記型電腦受外力而掉落時,進一步保護硬碟資料。李正寧認為,隨著一些工業或是專業用器材走向高功能與多樣化的發展後,對於可感測大G值的加速度計需求也隨之而起,尤其是工業4.0帶來的新革新,更是為加速度計、陀螺儀等MEMS感測器帶來新的市場商機。

事實上,現階段MEMS感測器在台灣工業應用市場的應用前景實尚未相當明顯。李正寧表示,工業4.0的概念在歐美較為盛行,對於機器加入新的MEMS感測器接受度較高,但台灣業者仍需要再持續教育,MEMS元件在台灣的工業市場才能有更大開展。

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