Cold cathodes with optimized durability

Cold cathode gauges – due to their physical characteristics – show increased abrasion in a pressure range higher than 1×10-4 mbar, caused by their inherent sputter effect. The new generation of our Smartline® vacuum transducers VSI (cold cathode) and VSM (Pirani / cold cathode) systematically reduce the high voltage of their cold cathodes in high pressure ranges, ensuring a significant longer lifetime of the sensors.

Endurance tests with 1×10-3 mbar showed that durability of the new sensors is three times longer compared to those of other gauges. Besides, a read-out of the sensor’s degree of wear and an operating hours counter for predictive maintenance are now possible as well.

The Smartline® vacuum transducers VSI (cold cathode) and VSM (Pirani / cold cathode) measure in a range of 5×10-9 mbar. In addition to their standard digital RS485 interface, they are optionally available with an analog 0-10 V, EtherCAT or Profinet® interface. For the facile replacement of present transducers, the output signal is adapted to the required characteristic of competitor products. Corresponding mating plugs provide the physical compatibility of the transducers. Hence, switching from a different gauge to Smartline® is fast and easy for the user.

The transducers’ different operating modes ensure maximum flexibility. In automatic mode the transducer controls itself, starting its cold cathode when reaching a pressure of e.g., 2e-3 mbar and shutting it off when reaching a pressure of e.g., 3e-3 mbar. This comfortable feature reduces setup costs to a minimum. Alternatively for VSI, the user can switch cold cathode on an off manually per voltage signal or software command. Here as well, a high-pressure automatic safety switch-off secures a safe operation.

The specially designed ignition system and the design of the sensor ensure a reliable and fast ignition of the cold cathode. By that, the measured values are instantly available, also in high vacuum. An on-site read-out of the values is possible with an optionally available display.

Thanks to a plug-and-play solution with calibrated exchange sensors, defective sensor heads can easily be exchanged by the user. Time and costs for maintenance are thus reduced to a minimum.

The typical fields of application for the Smartline® vacuum transducers are coating, analytics, medical engineering, and vacuum furnaces.

The new generation of vacuum transducers will be available by the end of this year.

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