Sensit manufactures a line of handheld gas sensors for utility and industrial use. They are typically used by gas utility personnel to identify leaks, or by public safety to verify that an area is safe to enter. Sensit recognized an unmet need for a new product line: compact, wearable sensors to warn of a potential hazard. For example, a miner would be alerted that methane is accumulating in their vicinity.
Sensit management envisioned an exceptionally rugged personal gas monitor. Smaller than a playing card, it can withstand high temperatures, high-pressure spray (IP65), and extreme mechanical abuse. When a specified gas is detected, it alerts the wearer by vibrating, sounding an alarm, and flashing brightly. Gas measurements (PPM) are also displayed on the screen.
Finding the ideal balance of toughness, cost, size, and performance required an unusual mechanical architecture. The main housing is a transparent shell that is almost completely over-molded with a durable thermoplastic elastomer (TPE.)
This allowed us to integrate features into a single injection-molded part:
- No need to seal the two transparent lenses; it’s all one contiguous part. (should have a section-view or diagram here)
- The TPE overmold wraps around the edge of the housing, which provides the water-tight seal for the battery compartment.
- The TPE spans an opening over each push-button, making the buttons themselves watertight.
- That overmold is very tough. Dropping the P100 from six meters will not damage it.
Porticos went from a hand-written list of goals to a fully-functioning prototype in less than four months. The P100 has become Sensit’s biggest seller. It has been Made In America for more than ten years and is still going strong!
Additional features include a thoughtful “suspender-clip” that clamps the monitor to any piece of clothing or equipment. The buttons and display are slightly recessed to provide even more protection from accidents, abuse, or accidental press. And the buttons are big enough to actuate with a gloved hand.
Scott Kleppe, Sensit Technologies
"The P100 is the perfect addition to our gas-sensor family. It’s our first wearable product; the smallest and, by far, the most robust. Porticos engineers really did turn our ideas into a great product."
- System Engineering
- Concept Generation
- Injection Molding
- Insert Molding
- Electronics Packaging
- Wearable Electronics
- Appearance Design
- Haptic Interface
- Rugged Electronics