Alps Alpine Develops Force Sensor with High Impact Resistance

Alps Alpine Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of high-quality electronic products, has added the HSFPAR004A Force Sensor to its lineup. The sensor enhances impact resistance while maintaining the industry’s smallest size*1) and offers high linearity and high resolution, which makes it ideal for use in stylus pens and other input devices.

These days, electronic blackboards and tablets are being used on several occasions, such as school sessions and company meetings. Therefore, demand for pen-shaped devices (stylus pen), which are mostly used for the purpose of working creatively – including digital drawing and painting – has been growing. Stylus pens, or styli, contain force sensors that trace the trajectory of the pen tip and then reproduce different thicknesses in the artwork corresponding to the pressure applied. Styli require a sensor with high resolution and linearity, but also need to be sturdy enough to not break when the pen is unintentionally dropped.

The HSFPAR004A lives up to these requirements because it maintains the features of already existing products for high linearity (<2%FS), high resolution (detects micro force with less than 0.01 N), and small size of 2.00 mm × 1.60 mm × 0.66 mm (W×D×H), while at the same time realizing an improvement in impact resistance of up to 55 N. The sensor offers an operating life of 1,000,000 cycles and is resistant to external magnetic and electric fields. Besides its use in input devices, the sensor is suitable for industrial machines handling precision equipment and a range of diverse applications, especially on the grip parts of robot arms for precision grip force adjustments.

Key Features

  • High impact resistance proved by a breaking load of 55 N
  • Detects micro force of less than 0.01 N
  • Long operating life of more than 1 million cycles
  • Resistant to external magnetic fields and electric fields

The improved impact resistance of the sensor is achieved with the extension of the actuator diameter of the sensing zone*2) from the existing 0.20 mm to the new 0.40 mm, while at the same time keeping the rounded peripheral edge to disperse impacts. Therefore, the breakage risk of the sensor in stylus pens is reduced in case the pen is unintentionally dropped, while still guaranteeing smooth pen pressure expression without spoiling the easy integration into end products. Mass production has been underway since March.

*1 According to Alps Alpine Research, March 2019
*2 Tip of a sensor receiving stress (also called knob)

Additional Resources

  • Find more detailed technical data about the HSFPAR series on our product page
  • Find a product movie on YouTube

Alps Alpine Co., Ltd.  On January 1, 2019, Alps Electric Co., Ltd. and Alpine Electronics, Inc. integrated their businesses and started out afresh as Alps Alpine Co., Ltd with 42,289 employees. Alps Alpine will steadily bring about synergies by drawing on the two companies’ advantages in core devices, system design and software development.
The new company will endeavour to create its own unique value for not only the automotive market, but also mobile devices and consumer electronics, as well as new sectors such as energy, healthcare and industry. For more information please visit  www.alpsalpine.com

Alps Electric Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of Alps AlpineCo., Ltd., was established in 1979. Since 2013 the European Head Office has been located in Munich and as such co-ordinates the Sales, Marketing and Product Engineering activities of our offices in Dusseldorf, Paris, Milton Keynes, Gothenburg and Milan, as well as the production activities of our manufacturing site in Dortmund.