Thursday, June 21, 2018

Custom Electric Heating Elements Provide OEM Designers Freedom and Flexibility

Custom Electric Heating Element
Custom heater for vacuum
applications
with thermowell
and multiple RTD sensors.
Technology advances rapidly and new discoveries in material science, medicine, pharmacology, biology and semiconductors are being made every day. Along with these advancements in  technology comes new treatments, medicines, materials, and processes.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEM's) of analytical, semiconductor, biomedical, life-science, and aerospace equipment continually design new equipment to apply and leverage these discoveries. Pressure to produce new machines offering greater efficiencies, compactness, and greater production is always present. Each item in the precedent design undergoes scrutiny and very often has be modified to a new fit, form, or function.  New components are needed to meet the new design requirements.

The application of localized electric heating elements is one area that OEM design engineers find themselves navigating in unchartered waters. Very logically, they often attempt to use an off-the-shelf cartridge, silicone rubber, or mica heaters for their specialized heating requirement. Unfortunately this approach leads to compromises in layout, packaging, and performance. A much better alternative is considering a custom heating element, developed in consultation with an experienced custom heater manufacturer.

Custom Electric Heating Element
Custom semiconductor wafer
chuck heater
. Highly uniform heat
with no brazing or casting. 
Experienced custom electric heater designers provide many important benefits throughout the entire product development cycle. For instance:
  • Front-end, practical design review to optimize manufacturability.
  • Timely prototype development.
  • Partnerships and alliances with platers, brazers, casters and heating element manufacturers.
  • Single source responsibility.
  • Testing, calibration, and QC.
  • Inventory management.
  • Value-added assembly.
Custom Electric Heating Element
APCI Heater/Capillary Source Heater
400 deg. C, connector
plug, and internal RTD sensor.
The heater manufacturer partner provides critical guidance in areas such as material selection, power requirements under load, temperature vs. time data, watt density and packaging. With their help, high performance, precise fit, and long heater life are better ensured.

By choosing a custom electric heating element design, the OEM gets exactly what they need in terms of form, fit, and function plus scores of other benefits derived from the heater vendor's tacit knowledge and past experiences.