The Value of Robust Lab Capabilities in Sensor Development, Validation and Certification

Sensors, thermal cut-offs, temperature sensing controls, and other components play a critical role in ensuring safety and efficiency in industries that range from home appliances and HVAC systems to automotive and aerospace.

Each industry—and each application within an industry—has different requirements these components must be designed and manufactured to achieve. In addition, some industries require certification to ensure safety and performance. Engineering and test labs play a vital role in both processes.

While Sensience is a relatively new name in the industry, we are not a new company. Originally founded 75 years ago under the Therm-O-Disc name, Sensience produces over 700 million sensing, limiting and sealing components every year and has the lab capabilities you would expect of an industry leader.

Streamlining Certification

Waiting for critical certifications like UL and IEC can be one of the most frustrating phases of an OEM’s development process because the timeline becomes dependent on UL’s schedule. That’s why we invested in the lab capabilities required to validate component performance prior to UL and IEC testing and to certify components within our labs.

Sensience labs are UL-certified under the Data Acceptance Program (DAP), Client Test Data Program (CTDP), and Certified Testing Facility Program (CTF3). This enables our labs to conduct UL and IEC tests to IEC/UL/CSA 60691, 60730-1, 60730-2-9, and 60730-2-22 applicable standards to obtain UL, cUL, and IEC (CB-Scheme) certifications.

By performing UL testing in-house, we provide faster agency approval services to meet our customers’ needs. With greater control over the lab queue and testing timeline, we can expedite final agency approvals compared to having testing done at the UL labs.

Meeting Demanding Specifications

Beyond certification, our network of specialized lab facilities provides a range of capabilities that enable us to stay at the forefront of sensor development, ensure products perform to precise specifications, and deliver consistent quality.

Our U.S. lab focuses on product development support for bimetal temperature sensing controls, thermal links (thermal cutoffs), thermistors (temperature sensors), radiant sensors, A2L gas sensors, and sealed controls, among other products. It supports industry-standard testing for thermal response, durability and shock; thermostat calibration and verification; 2D and 3D imaging; 3D printing capability for prototype parts; electrostatic discharge and dielectric and insulation resistance; and force displacement. This facility also serves as the center of our software and firmware development capabilities that support our sensors and controls.

Labs in China and Mexico include many of these capabilities while also adding testing specific to automotive applications, such as saltwater immersion, vibration, mechanical shock, gravel bombardment, torque, and helium leakage. Another lab in our network provides support for advanced sensors and specialty products with testing capabilities that include an environmental chamber, low- and high-temperature fluid baths, cross-sectioning equipment, microscopic analysis, and force displacement.

Working together, these labs provide excellent capacity and capabilities, enabling us to drive innovation in our product portfolio and validate products to our customers’ specifications.

Anticipating Regulatory Change

Our robust lab capabilities are enhanced by our deep involvement in industry associations and standards organizations.

We are active participants in the ANSI Z21 Technical Advisory Groups covering the Z21.1, .20, .21, .23 and .78 standards, and the CSA Subcommittee on Automatic Controls for Household Use. We are also active in various Working Groups in the IEC/TC72, which focuses on developing functional and inherent safety requirements for the following standards:

IEC60730-1: Automatic Electrical Controls

IEC 60730-2-23: Electrical Sensors

IEC 60730-2-5: Burner Controls

IEC 60730-2-22: Thermal Motor Protectors

IEC 60730-2-9: Temperature Sensing Controls

In addition, we are a member of AHRI Gas Controls Working Group with committee-level responsibilities that help ensure we are prepared for regulatory changes that require new product development. One recent example is the transition to A2L refrigerants. Through our involvement with AHRI, we were able to anticipate this transition and move quickly to develop test equipment to validate exposure levels of A2 gases. As a result, we were the first in the industry to gain UL-approval on a high-precision A2L gas sensor.

A Partner in Product Development

Our lab capabilities are essential to our ability to support our customers, and they are made even more valuable by our commitment to customer service and success. Across our organization, we actively partner with customers throughout their product development process to validate that components meet application requirements and achieve the necessary certifications through testing in our labs or by using our relationships and expertise to streamline the approval process. To learn more or schedule a tour of our labs, contact us.

About Sensience
Sensience, formerly Therm-O-Disc, is a global manufacturer of reliable and innovative sensing, control and sealing components that ensure safety and enhance performance. The company’s products and solutions strengthen the connections between data, ideas and people to improve safety and sustainability across a range of applications, including consumer appliances; heating, air conditioning and refrigeration units; industrial process equipment; automotive and transportation; and aircraft.