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Printed Ink Fuel-Level Sensors

CHALLENGE

Methode was tasked with creating a new and innovative sensor to measure levels within a vehicle's fuel tank accurately and reliably.

SOLUTION

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Our team applied CERMET ink and its precision-printing technologies to develop a sensor element resistant to harsh environments.

STORY

The automotive industry was searching for an alternative method to measure fuel levels, replacing the previous standard of wire-wound resistor technology. The wire-wound system no longer met the industry's requirements due to the deteriorating effects of an all fuel environment and resulting measurement accuracy issues. Methode designed a level sensor to meet specific OEM fuel pump and tank requirements that utilized conductive inks printed on a ceramic substrate. Our precision printing methods for fine conductor lines and spacing, followed by laser trimming the resistors, provided the necessary accuracy to produce a sensor to measure the fuel levels reliably. CERMET sensor elements were designed to make modifications to resistor values or conductor traces throughout the design phase to match system requirements exactly. Additionally, the sensors were designed to easily integrate with a variety of fuel-pump designs and address the major challenges of functioning in an environment of direct fuel exposure.





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