Friday, March 8, 2019

Twin Type-C Thermocouple, High Temperature, High Vacuum Feedthrough

Twin Type-C Thermocouple FeedthroughBACKGROUND

An application was presented to BCE in the semiconductor equipment industry for a high temperature, high vacuum thermocouple (TC). There was space limitation with a requirement for a multi-point TC to sense a very small insertion dimension. The TC probe area must be able to bend to allow the sensor tip to penetrate the temperature sensing zone. The BCE engineers and technicians were ready for the challenge with their experience in ceramic-to-metal sealing and high temp sensors.

  • Twin Type-C Thermocouple Vacuum Feedthrough needed to satisfy the following criteria:
  • <1425°C continuous operating temperature in probe area
  • Two independent type “C” thermocouple probes
  • KF16 Flange
  • Vacuum rating: 10 9̄ ATM-CC/Sec
  • Feedthrough Seal Temp: -25°C to 300°C
  • Probe section needs to be bendable and vacuum compatible with SEMI standard

BCE designed an effective High Temperature Vacuum TC that was delivered for prototyping and customer testing. The application requirement was met and the function was sound. All tests performed prior to shipping were completed at BCE. A standard operating procedure (SOP) was finished and the part is production ready.

More information on this BCE product can be found at this link. 


Thursday, February 28, 2019

High Temperature Vacuum Feedthroughs

Thermocouple FeedthroughThermocouple/Feedthrough Assemblies

Thermocouple Feedthroughs are used in many vacuum applications for temperature measurement. Thermocouples create a voltage signal from inside the vacuum system to external measuring instruments. BCE offers several standard thermocouple feedthrough designs as well as custom designs to meet your exact needs.

Nine pin circular feedthroughs

9 Pin Vacuum Feedthroughs

Nine pin circular feedthroughs (often called instrumentation feedthroughs) are commonly used for the transmission of low power electrical signals. They are designed for applications where typical Subminiature Type-D connections will not fit, or where there is little space. The circular geometry allows the installation of this feedthrough into very small vacuum flanges. They are often used in instrumentation applications such as semiconductor processing, electron microscopy, and a variety of analyzers.

BCE designs and builds high temperature vacuum feedthroughs for OEM and R&D. Contact them by calling (510) 274-1990, or visit

Monday, February 25, 2019

OEM Equipment Manufacturers: Look Toward the Experienced Sales Engineer for Project Success

OEM heater and feedthrough sales engineer
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who work closely with vendor sales engineers in the design of assembly components (such as electric heating elements and vacuum feedthroughs) gain a valuable competitive advantage. By understanding what these professionals have to offer, and taking advantage of their skills, OEM designers end up with better project outcomes.

Sales engineers are a readily available resource of application knowledge. Unlike information pulled from the Internet, sales engineers possess real-time product information. They are also exposed to many different product applications and are a wealth of tacit knowledge. All readily available for sharing with their customers.

OEM design engineers often find themselves sailing in uncharted waters. In the application of electric heaters or feedthroughs for instance, designers don't always have a full grasp of heater or feedthrough design constraints. When these situations occur, the heater sales person provides a real benefit in teaching and advising the designer what is possible.  Additionally, many sales engineers have access to unpublished product and application information, which can be hugely important when attempting to build a leading edge product.

Of course any solutions proposed are likely to be based upon the products sold by the representative, but the best sales people will share the virtues of their products openly and honestly. The best sales engineers will even admit when they lack the product or experience to solve the problem, but even in this situation, you can be sure their perspective will still be of value. The goal is to build a long-term, trusting relationship - one of value to both parties. Sales engineers are in the business of dealing with people and making the important connections between customers and manufacturers. They make it their business to know what’s going on with products, companies and industries.

As an engineer or purchasing professional responsible for the design and manufacture of OEM equipment, know that working closely with a vendor sales engineer will save you precious time and greatly improve the likelihood of successful project outcomes. Their success, and your success, go hand-in-hand.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Electric Heating Elements and Electrical Feedthroughs for OEM Applications

BCE offers OEM (original equipment manufacturers) custom electric heaters, feedthroughs and BCE OEM customers benefit from decades of thermal design and applications experience. With a reputation for fast prototyping, quick turnaround for pre-production runs, and an eye for cost-effective design, equipment manufacturers quickly discover that find BCE is a long-term, highly valued supplier/partner.

OEM Equipment Markets
  • Aerospace
  • Semiconductor
  • Analytical Instruments
  • Photovoltaic
  • Medical Equipment
  • Plastics Processing
  • Foodservice Equipment
  • Packaging

OEM Electric Heaters & Feedthroughs: Price, Delivery, Performance

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Scanning Probe Control Panel Feedthrough

Scanning Probe Control Panel FeedthroughAn application was presented to BCE in the high-resolution scanning industry for sealing a control
panel. The panel had over 10 inlet and outlet ports using various DB connectors that required hermetic sealing. The BCE engineers and technician were ready for the challenge since the experience with PCB boards was similar in scope using multiple components.

Scanning Probe Control Panel Feedthrough needed to satisfy the following criteria:

  • <50°C continuous operating temperature
  • Chamber is pressurized
  • Female to female connection panel mount with multiple outputs
  • Pressure rating: <15 psi
  • Hydro test at atmospheric pressure
  • Air test <15 psi


Scanning Probe Control Panel FeedthroughBCE designed an effective panel using BCE-Board Seal epoxy to seal without breaking the chamber or contaminating the outside. The customer saw a noticeable improvement with their resolution, particularly the imaging device. All DB connectors performed well without any residual moisture as seen in prior iterations.

BCE’s Board Seal epoxy’s adhesion was the strongest of any adhesive bond. The viscoelastic nature of the epoxy absorbs vibrations and allows for a better performance by reducing fatigue.

For more information, contact BCE. Phone 510-274-1990 or visit

Friday, January 18, 2019

Portable, Plug-and-Play Bench-top Electronic Temperature Controller

The BCE Controller Console works well with all custom heater assemblies such as the Mini Clean Flow Heater. Construction characteristics of the BCE Controller Console is a portable, quality-built, self-contained systems for monitoring and controlling process temperatures in a wide range of fixed or portable applications. This 1-zone unit uses reliable next generation 1/16 DIN, auto-tuning. fuzzy logic, PID temperature controllers with user-friendly programming.

For more information, visit this page on the BCE site or contact BCE by calling 510-274-1990.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

KF40 Flanged, 125 Volt, 15A Female-to-Female Socket Vacuum Feedthrough

KF40 Flanged FeedthroughBACKGROUND

A BCE customer needed to replace a bulky power system located within a chamber.  A custom KF40 three-slot single female receptacle feedthrough was the optimal solution to help reduce size and increase efficiency.


The KF40 Socket Feedthrough needed to satisfy the following criteria:
  • 80°C continuous operating temperature 
  • 125V and 15A
  • Female to female connection
  • Vacuum rating: 10-5
KF40 Flanged Feedthrough

BCE designed a simple yet effective unit using a custom elongated KF40 flange with two three-slot single female receptacles. The customer was able to relocate the power system to the outside chamber increasing the available space within the vacuum chamber while maintaining the desired vacuum rating.

BCE’s Epoxy chemical adhesion, the strongest mechanism of any adhesive bond, made the seal possible.  The viscoelastic nature of the epoxy absorbs vibrations and allows for a better performance by reducing fatigue.

Download the BCE Application Note here.