KB Category Archives: Semiconductor Manufacture

Isolated Alarm System Interfacing

If an alarm or monitoring system is to be installed adjacent to another, (for Isolated Alarm System Interfacingexample: a municipal hurricane or tornado warning system) it is desirable to tie in to it. This can be achieved by the utilization of an NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switch (The split-core version is ideal for this). The switch simply detects current flowing in a conductor to say the audible or visual alarm providing a fully isolated ‘repeater’ signal. Switches are available for both AC and DC applications.

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Power Transformer Monitoring

Installing an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer over the conductors on the Power Transfomer Monitoringsecondary of a transformer can be used to alarm if the current draw reaches a critical level. Action can then be taken to reduce the load before the transformer overheats.

Most large power transformers utilize auxiliary cooling fans, drawing cooler air from a distance away from the transformer. NK Technologies’ Current Transducers or Current Operated Switches are used to monitor these fans for overload from bearing failure, under loads from drive component breakage or slippage, and to just be sure that the fan is energized and doing its required job.

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Generator Installations

The need for back-up power for critical loads is becoming more and more Generator Installationsapparent to operating and maintenance personnel. Many existing factories and facilities are also adding generators to assist the grid connection supply during times of excessive consumption, or to help the plant ride through periods of peak usage when the utility charges a premium for power. Monitoring the current demand provided from a generator allows for load shedding of non-critical loads when the generator is nearing its capacity. NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switches close when the demand, measured by current, is too high, and by connecting to a controller (like a PLC), less critical loads can be disconnected from the system.

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Insulation Breakdown

Industrial electrical heaters are prone to ground leakage due to the breakdown orInsulation Breakdown contamination of insulators. The use of NK Technologies’ Ground Fault Sensors enables early detection of leakage Currents as small as 5mA. The on/off output of the sensor can be used to trigger a circuit interruption device (for example a shunt-trip breaker) or a monitoring device like a PLC to determine the required action. Latching and auto-reset models are available in both normally energized and normally de-energized configurations suitable for most applications.

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Heater Failure Detection

The detection of a single phase heater failure by measuring the temperature is like Heater Failure Detectionmeasuring the effect rather than the cause. By installing an NK Technologies’ Current Operated Switch heater failure can be detected before cooling has had time to occur. The signal from the current sensor can be used to switch on a back-up heater, stop the equipment, alarm the equipment operator or trigger the appropriate action.

For 3-phase heaters installing an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer on each leg of a delta connected heating array is the best way to detect loss of one element. Unlike a typical induction motor, there will not be a substantial change in the current draw of the two adjacent phases when a heating element open circuits. The load has disappeared, and the work of heating will not be shared by the other elements. There will be a reduction in thermal output, which can take quite some time to detect with temperature sensors like thermocouples. A current transducer will identify the problem in milliseconds! Poor product quality can be prevented and large quantities of raw material can be saved by quick action.

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Heater Life Prediction

As an electric heating element ages, its resistance also changes. Many high Heater Life Predictiontechnology and extreme temperature applications employ exotic and expensive elements. Where the value of the products or materials being heated is high, the failure of a heater or heating element has a financial impact resulting from either reduced quality or scrapped materials. By measuring the current drawn by the element using an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer the resistance of the element can be determined and compared against a known ageing characteristic. When the element reaches a predetermined state it can be replaced prior to failure i.e. predictive maintenance. NK Technologies’ Current Transducers are used in conjunction with intelligent PLC systems when high power SCRs (also known as thyristors) or triacs are installed.

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Vacuum Pump Monitor

Vacuum pumps are used in a variety of applications in the semiconductor industry, Vacuum Pump Monitorheat treatment, plastics and packaging industries. By adding an NK Technologies’ Current Transducer over the lead feeding a vacuum pump, it can easily be determined when all the air has been removed from a vessel or envelope. The analog output can signal the vacuum or equipment controller that it is time for the next step in the process. In the case of an automated packaging machine, a drop in current will signal that the package is ready for sealing.

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