Nordic-powered smart digital indicator enables highly accurate measurements in space-constrained metrology applications


Sylvac’s S_Dial MINI Smart Indicator employs nRF52840 SoC-based module to record and transmit accurate metrology data

Swiss precision measurement company Sylvac has released a Bluetooth® Low Energy-powered (Bluetooth LE) miniature digital indicator that provides industrial companies with highly accurate wireless measurements suitable for metrology applications where space is restricted or visual readings are not possible. 

Ultra compact footprint

The ‘S_Dial MINI Smart Indicator’ uses Insight SiP’s ISP1807-LR module—which is based on Nordic Semiconductor’s nRF52840 advanced multiprotocol System-on-Chip (SoC)—and is, according to Sylvac, the smallest digital indicator to offer both Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity and an IP67 rating. The device’s compact (45 mm diameter) dimensions are in part due to the ultra-small footprint of the Insight SiP module (8 by 8 by 1 mm including the Nordic SoC). 

We are indebted to Nordic’s excellent documentation platform, including DevZone and Infocenter
Romain Pugin, Sylvac

The digital indicator is used in industrial applications to ensure parts are manufactured to within tolerances, and employs an inductive sensor to record the digital readings across a 12.5 mm range as the probe moves across the part being measured. For example, the indicator can be used in the automotive sector to measure the internal diameter of cylinders or control fixtures for car windscreens.

The indicator provides a built-in digital display but when used in hard-to-see positions the results can be wirelessly relayed to the ‘Sylvac Anywhere’ app on a smartphone or tablet. From the app a user can also monitor the indicator’s battery level, export data, send commands, and configure the HID keyboard. 

Seven month battery life

Powered by a single CR2032 Li-ion coin cell, the S_Dial MINI Smart Indicator has a battery life of up to seven months between replacement depending on the specific use case. Long battery life is aided by the ultra low energy operation of the Nordic nRF52840 SoC, which has been engineered to minimize power consumption and features a fully-automatic power management system.

Nordic’s nRF52840 advanced multiprotocol SoC combines a 64 MHz, 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M4 processor with floating point unit (FPU), 1 MB Flash and 256 KB RAM Arm processor, with a 2.4 GHz multiprotocol radio featuring 8 dBm output power -95 dBm RX sensitivity for a link budget of 103 dBm. The nRF Connect SDK [Software Development Kit] integrates the Zephyr RTOS, supports applications using Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth mesh and Thread, and is recommended for nRF52840 software development. 

“We were motivated by availability, module size, memory, and power consumption when we specified the Insight SiP module based on the nRF52840 SoC,” says Romain Pugin, Electronics Engineer at Sylvac. “The nRF Connect SDK was also very helpful during development, and we are indebted to Nordic’s excellent documentation platform, including DevZone and Infocenter.”