Main Menu

See All Acoustic End-of-Line Test Systems See All DAQ and instruments See All Electroacoustics See All Software See All Transducers See All Vibration Testing Equipment See All Academy See All Resource Center See All Applications See All Industries See All Insights See All Services See All Support See All Our Business See All Our History See All Our Sustainability Commitment See All Global Presence

Main Menu

See All Actuators See All Combustion Engines See All Durability See All eDrive See All Production Testing Sensors See All Transmission & Gearboxes See All Turbo Charger See All Industrial electronics See All S&V Signal conditioner See All DAQ Systems See All Power Analyser See All S&V Hand-held devices See All High Precision and Calibration Systems See All Test Solutions See All nCode - Durability and Fatigue Analysis See All ReliaSoft - Reliability Analysis and Management See All Test Data Management See All DAQ Software See All Drivers & API See All Utility See All Vibration Control See All Acoustic See All Current / voltage See All Displacement See All Load Cells See All Pressure See All Strain Gauges See All Vibration See All Torque See All LDS Shaker Systems See All Vibration Controllers See All Power Amplifiers See All Accessories for Vibration Testing Equipment See All Training Courses See All Acoustics See All Asset & Process Monitoring See All Custom Sensors See All Data Acquisition & Analysis See All Durability & Fatigue See All Electric Power Testing See All NVH See All Reliability See All Smart Sensors See All Vibration See All Weighing See All Automotive & Ground Transportation See All Calibration See All Installation, Maintenance & Repair See All Support Brüel & Kjær See All Release Notes See All Compliance See All Our People

Main Menu

See All QuantumX See All LAN-XI See All SomatXR See All MGCplus See All CANHEAD See All Optical Interrogators See All GenHS See All API See All Microphone Cartridges See All Microphone Sets See All Microphone Pre-amplifiers See All Sound Sources See All Acoustic Calibrators See All Special Microphones See All Accessories for acoustic transducers See All Experimental testing See All Transducer Manufacturing (OEM) See All CCLD (IEPE) accelerometers See All Charge Accelerometers See All Rotating See All Non-rotating (calibration) See All Electroacoustics See All Noise Source Identification See All Environmental Noise See All Sound Power and Sound Pressure See All Noise Certification See All Industrial Process Control See All Structural Health Monitoring See All Electrical Devices Testing See All Electrical Systems Testing See All Grid Testing See All High-Voltage Testing See All Vibration Testing with Electrodynamic Shakers See All Structural Dynamics See All Machine Analysis and Diagnostics See All Dynamic Weighing See All Calibration Services for Transducers See All Calibration Services for Handheld Instruments See All Calibration Services for Instruments & DAQ See All On-Site Calibration See All Resources See All Software License Management

What is a Signal Conditioner?

Signal conditioning is a process of data acquisition, and an instrument called a signal conditioner is used to perform this process. This instrument converts one type of electrical or mechanical signal (input-signal) into another (output-signal).  

The purpose is to amplify and convert this signal into an easy to read and compatible form for data-acquisition or machine-control.

A signal conditioner helps to provide precise measurements, which are essential for accurate data acquisition and machine-control. These instruments can perform an additional number of different functions.

Functions of a Signal Conditioner

Signal Conversion

The main function of a signal conditioner is to pick up the signal and convert it into a higher level of electrical signal. Signal conversion is often used by industrial applications that use a wide range of sensors to perform measurements. Due to the different sensors being employed, the signals generated may need to be converted to be usable for the instruments they are connected too. Any sensor signal is capable of being converted to any standard process signal.


Certain signal conditioners can perform linearization when the signals produced by a sensor do not have a straight-line relationship with the physical measurement. This is the process of interpreting the signal from the software and it is common for thermocouple signals. This method is used to reach higher accuracy because every sensor is not completely linear. The parameters for the linearization are evaluated during the sensor-calibration and mentioned in the calibration protocol of the sensor.


The next step is signal amplification and the process of increasing the signal for processing or digitization. There are two ways that signal amplification can be performed; by increasing the resolution of the input signal, or by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio. Signal conditioning uses a range of different amplifiers for different purposes, including instrumentation amplifiers, which are optimised for use with DC signals, and are characterized by high input impedance, high common mode rejection ratio (CMRR), and high gain. Another example of a signal conditioner used for amplification would be an isolation amplifier, which is designed to isolate high DC levels from the device while passing small AC or differential signal.


Another important function of a signal conditioner is filtering, and this is where the signal frequency spectrum is filtered to only include the valid data and block any noise. The filters can be made from either passive and active components or digital algorithms. A passive filter only uses capacitors, resistors, and inductors with a maximum gain of one. An active filter uses passive components in addition to active components such as operational amplifiers and transistors. State-of-the-art signal conditioners use digital filters because they are easy to adjust and no hardware is required.  A digital filter is a mathematical filter used to manipulate a signal, such as blocking or passing a particular frequency range. They use logic components such as ASICs, FPGAs or in the form of a sequential program with a signal processor.

Evaluation and Smart-functions

To provide additional benefits for the user and the process, modern signal conditioners have extra functions for signal evaluation and measurement data preprocessing. This helps to monitor and evaluate warning and alarms directly via an electrical switching output rapidly. Additional Smart-functions like an internal calculated channel can handle mathematical functions, like adding of sensor-signals, up to technological operations like a PID-controller. These functions help to get a fast reacting system and reduce the load from the machine control.  


Signal converters have to transmit the sensor signals via standard interfaces and protocols to the machine control. These interfaces can be analog or digital. Common analog interfaces are voltage (+/-10V) or current signals (+/-20mA) which are easy to handle but every signal needs separate wiring. Modern digital interfaces are designed as Ethernet-based bus interfaces (Profinet, EtherCAT, Ethernet/IP) and allow the connection of several components with only one wire. This reduces the wiring and also allows additional information to be transmitted, such as diagnostic information of the components, which is very important for reducing downtimes and speed up maintenance.

Signal Conditioners from HBK

HBK are suppliers of a range of signal conditioners that can perform a variety of functions, including those mentioned in this blog post. Our signal conditioners are a solution for the complete measuring chain in production control and manufacturing. If you would like any more information about our range of signal conditioners please, contact us.

Support Content

No more result to load