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Detect and Convert Low Frequency Vibrations in IIoT Applications with KEMET VS Vibration Sensors

September 23, 2019 by Sam Holland

KEMET’s VS Vibration Sensors have a 10Hz to 1,5000Hz frequency range, and the ability to detect even the most feeble levels of vibration throughout a large sensing bandwidth—making them ideal for industrial applications.

KEMET’s VS vibration sensors make use of original vibration-amplifying design and proprietary piezoceramic material to convert vibrations to electrical signals. They have 2 types: the B type sensor, which has an integrated cable profile; and the J type sensor, which has a unique detachable design that makes it easy to install.


KEMET VS Vibration Sensors: Features

A key feature of the VS vibration sensors is its use of its proprietary piezoceramic material: piezoelectric ceramics change size under an electrical field or generate an electrical charge whenever pressure (i.e. mechanical stress) is applied—for example, twisting, bending, or squeezing.

Whenever these materials are placed under such stress, the piezoelectric crystal produces a polarisation that is proportional to the level of pressure in question. Their primary purpose is to transform mechanical energy into electric energy or vice versa: if an electric field is applied, deformation occurs, leading to the inverse piezoelectric effect.

Piezoelectric ceramics have high elasticity and can adapt to several shapes without losing the traits that make them useful. In fact, they don’t even show much deflection when they’re subjected to compression, which helps maintain their high natural frequency and ruggedness.

These materials are also resistant to radiation and electromagnetism, which enables them to provide accurate readings in different environments.

The main component of the piezoceramic material is lead titanium zirconium oxide (PZT). PZT is an industry favourite because it has a higher operating temperature and an even greater sensitivity compared to other piezoceramics.


The below lists further features of the VS vibration sensors:

  • A large sensing bandwidth

  • The ability to detect vibrations in a wide frequency range (10Hz to 15,000Hz)—with more than 30kHz resonant frequency

  • A built-in amplifier that makes them easy to embed, as no additional amplifier is required

  • A high sensitivity: up to 20 times as much as conventional sensors (indeed, they are high-sensitivity—namely 0.001 to 100m/s—vibration sensors that would distinctly qualify for security detection. In fact, the high sensitivity and fast response time could render it ideal for security applications like the anti-theft system in vehicles)

  • The compliance to both RoHS and REACH standards


Again, there are 2 types of VS vibration sensors—below are the distinguishing features of each:


An entry in KEMET’s family of J Type VS Vibration Sensors: the VS-JV10A. Image obtained from Mouser.


J Type Vibration Sensor

  • Current noise resistance

  • An operating temperature range from −25°C to 85°C 

  • A detachable cable design for easy installation

  • Oil-resistant and waterproof protection

  • A compact and low-profile build

  • A measuring range that is +/−100 metres per second squared (m/s2), and a sensitivity measurement of 10 millivolts (mV) per m/s2

  • An insulating case


B Type Vibration Sensor

An entry in KEMET’s family of B Type VS Vibration Sensors: the 80-VS-BV203-B. Image obtained from Mouser.


B Type Vibration Sensor

  • An easy-to-embed setup

  • An operating temperature range of −25°C to 75°C

  • A measuring range that is +/−50 m/s2, and a sensitivity measurement of 20mV per m/s2

  • An integrated cable

  • An ultra-low-profile and ultra-compact build


KEMET VS Vibration Sensors: Applications

Alongside the KEMET VS vibration sensors’ suitability for correction and data analysis flow (to microcomputers and programmable logic controllers), again, the sensors can detect even the weakest levels of vibration throughout a large sensing bandwidth. This feature makes them ideal for process control operations and predictive maintenance in the IIoT.  

In fact, they can typically be used to monitor the health of production facilities and/or to detect abnormal vibration (whether it’s in the pumps, bearings, or motors). Overall, they help to facilitate improved productivity, reduce industrial defects, and extended tool life.

More specific aspects of its industrial applications include the following:


  • Factory manufacturing and automation

  • General robotics

  • Motor maintenance

  • Wind power generation  


All in all, Mouser has leveraged piezoceramic material to build highly-sensitive wide frequency range sensors that can identify a huge range of vibration levels throughout a large sensing bandwidth. The vibration sensors are altogether life-savers for machine tool manufacturers and machine tool users alike.

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