The novel pliance car seat measuring system is today a standard tool in the automotive industry. This system consists of a flexible and elastic measuring mat, multi-channel analyzer, calibration device and software package for PCs.
The measuring mats come in various sizes, sensor configurations and force ranges. The analyzers vary from small portable 16x16 sensor-matrix types to large 32 x 64 sensor matrix types with a wide range of options, such as master-slave synchronisation of several systems, dynamic amplification control and many other.
The calibration device can be used at any time to verify the quality of the measuring results. It uses homogeneous air pressure on all sensors through increasing steps of pressure. Thus an individual calibration curve for each sensor can be calculated. The software operates in a Windows environment and contains many useful methods of data collection and scientific analysis of dynamic pressure. It also allows continuous memory of data.
The system transmits the data wireless via Bluetooth technology to the notebook. For mobile tests even pocket PCs can be used. As in all physical measuring systems the most important part is the sensor technology. pliance works with capacitive transducers in a matrix configuration. Because of the elasticity of the sensor mats they adapt perfectly to 3-dimensional deformations. The force transducing elements contain high-tech elastomers manufactured by novel. Restoring force, range of force, threshold, hysteresis, temperature effect, frequency response and other characteristics are determined during the manufacturing process. This makes it possible to adapt the sensor characteristic to the measuring application.
Together with the mat, the quality of electronic circuitry is also important. Particularly, the stability of the analogue amplifiers, the type of signal conditioning and the processing algorithms can dramatically influence the accuracy of the system.
novel developed a new analyser technology that allows not only individual calibration curves for each sensor, but also individual dynamic amplification control and cross talk suppression, resulting in very accurate and reproducible pressure values. Physiological artefacts that always occur in seat measuring are no longer hidden by technical artefacts.