OEM Custom Sensors

The 2020’s are an exciting time to be in Product Engineering. ‘Smart’ products are not just technically feasible and economically viable: they also transform the value of a product for the end-user by providing more than just the core functionality.


By embedding sensors into a product, engineers can monitor and measure the force, pressure, or load on a component. Design engineers use the information resulting from collected sensor signals to build ‘intelligence’ into products: systems monitoring, automatic control, performance optimization, autonomous operation, and other ‘smart’ behaviours.


When standard sensors don’t fit the job, HBK will create custom OEM sensor solutions to deliver the data that is essential for real-time feedback and control. Innovative OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) choose HBK as their partner because we provide a full-service solution for sensors based on strain gauges:


  • Custom sensor design,
  • Rapid prototype development,
  • Scalable manufacturing of quality components.

How We Solve OEMs Sensor Problems

Engineers are constantly working on ways to create innovative products. Building sensors into products often creates technical challenges because off-the-shelf sensors rarely meet the technical requirements.


At HBK, we solve customers' sensor problems by approaching them from the design engineer's perspective.


HBK experts can guide you safely through all the stages of your project, from custom sensor design to rapid development of prototypes, to lean manufacturing of scalable volumes.


We manufacture best-in-class sensor assemblies that meet quality regulatory and corporate standards.


Discover how in this short video!

A Custom-made Sensor in 3 Phases

Once an Engineer has identified an opportunity to create a ‘smart’ product, the OEM manufacturer typically wants the development of custom sensors to proceed very rapidly. New market segments can emerge very quickly – but so can competitors – so it’s important to seize the moment. That’s why we respond to every enquiry as swiftly as we can.

1. Custom Sensor Design

New custom sensor designs typically begin with an engineering conference. HBK experts work with the OEM’s engineering team to clarify the goals and function of the sensor; and identify which components can be converted to active measurement. Precise analysis is the foundation for all development work. We propose a test concept, produce control drawings to show how the requirements will be met, deliver costings for prototypes, and discuss the target production price at various volume levels.

2. Rapid Prototyping

Twenty years of experience with special sensor systems have provided HBK with the experience and deep practical insights into developing customer-specific strain gauges. Rapid prototyping techniques enable our team to build and deliver functional test samples within a few weeks. Before we ship them, it’s imperative to talk about how to mount the samples and test them. After this discussion, we can provide test protocols, fixtures, and test amplifiers to ensure the best test results. 

3. Quality Manufacturing

With testing successfully concluded, the prototype sensor transitions seamlessly into series production – often, within six months of the initial Engineer-to-Engineer discussion. In HBK factories, lean manufacturing techniques and automation combine to ensure smooth production processes with high-quality standards. Our focus on our own manufacturing facilities and processes ensures that OEMs receive quality manufacturing plus scalability to match the growth in demand for your product.

Innovative Sensor Solutions for Global Markets and Applications

From sensors that survive hundreds of autoclave cycles to hospital beds, and infusion pump pressure sensor, nearly every medical device with a plug has a pressure, force, strain gauge, load or torque sensor monitoring mechanical influences. As an example, we engineer sensors that are designed to give force feedback and can be built to withstand the rigors of multiple autoclave cycling.

Down force, load pins, and torque measurements in tractors, planting and harvesting machines to allow closed looped feedback on all types of critical mechanical movements. For example, downforce sensors can ensure seeds are planted at a predetermined depth across multiple rows and varied farm terrain. By measuring these forces accurately, depth of seeding becomes consistent across rows and terrain for best possible yield. The application of fertilizer or the spreading of seeds can be optimally adapted to soil conditions in the field.

Joint twist torque sensors and load sensors are designed to measure the torque in the wrist or load in the foot in robots (grippers and actuators).

From the on-board vehicle pay load, to overload conditions and commercial vehicle scales, our rugged load and torque sensors are manufactured using robust and corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel and aluminum. We design sensors that provide the highest level of environmental protection and durability as well as to meet ANSI requirements. One example includes load sensing systems for boom lifts that are designed to ensure accuracy and efficiency, saving time, money, and resources.

Customized OEM force and torque sensors provide accurate measurements on the drive and control systems that determines a proportional amount on the assisted motor power. The better the motor control, the better and more intuititive the experience will be for the rider. We design customized force sensors which can be designed to fit on the pedal, or torque sensors on other rotating parts to measure the feedback. 

Our Development Capabilities for Custom Sensor Assemblies

Our dedicated development engineers help OEMs to collect data via strain gauge-based pressureforcetorque, or load measurement sensors. When off-the-shelf, catalog sensors do not fit your needs, our engineers can develop a custom sensor solution for you. The final assembly will typically include the sensor, electronics that turn signals into data, cabling to deliver the data to control systems, and sealing to meet environmental conditions.


The final assembly is designed, tested and manufactured to integrate smoothly into your product assembly processes. Our solutions conform to required international or national standards, and to government certifications. As leaders in the field, we will collaborate closely with you and advise on all aspects of development: from custom design, through rapid prototyping, to scalable manufacture of high-quality assemblies.

Which type of Sensor is right for your project?

You could begin by looking at our strain gauge knowledge base or by downloading the free 88-page pdf shown on this page. Both contain valuable technical knowledge. But they only scratch the surface of this deeply fascinating subject.


Alternatively, you can contact us directly:

  • avoid the risks of building a sensor assembly yourself;
  • combine component quality with manufacturing flexibility;
  • get immediate access to deep experience in sensor technology;
  • network with professionals who can help you achieve your goals.

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