We started to develop our PLC-based generators - or perhaps better PLC-based microwave generator power control system - as a replacement for one of the longest lasting and most reliable microwave generator power control systems we came across so far: The Muegge MW-PPEOM77B-5K. Unfortunately, after being in service for more than 30 years, this system became obsolete to make place for the newest generation of switch-mode microwave generator power systems. And while switch-mode power systems certainly have their advantages, for example in the very dense installations of the solar cell industry, the old system had the advantages of being extremly reliable and, due to the extensive use of standard components, easily to maintain by the owners. These are the main reasons why a considerable number of our customers ask us to develop a new solution which does not only offers them the same advantages, but even more.
The system is based on a powerful real-time PLC in connection with extremly fast I/O modules. Due to this design, it is capable to sample more than 250,000 analog values, perform several million calculations and output more than a million control values, and this per generator and second! Furthermore, we added a number of additional plausibilty checks in order to detect any problems like faulty components and bring the generator into a safe state before expensive parts like Magnetrons or isolators suffer any serious damage. Another important feature is the highly secure, VPN-based remote access system. Thus we can connect to your system independent from its geographical location, not only permitting us to monitor and troubleshoot your system, but also enables us to modify the control software or HMI based on your requests or update to a newer software version. This not only increases the overall uptime of the system, but also significantly reduces the cost of ownership as expensive service trips to your factory can be avoided in most cases.
Are you thinking that modern switch-mode power supplies are outperforming any standard transformer? This is actually not the case, as a matter of fact standard transformers for high power Magnetrons can reach an efficiency of 97 % or above, while switch-mode power supplies create additional losses due to the high frequencies they are operated at. These losses include switching losses in the IGBTs, additional copper losses due to the skin effect, hysteresis losses in the transfomer core, and capacitive losses in the rectifier diodes. During the design of our system we also took great care to avoid any unnecessary losses, as an example by using a PWM-circuit for the control of the electromagnet current. The result is a highle energy efficient power supply which actually outperforms any switch-mode power supply in this field.
Another important point to us: Instead of scrapping working components, our system works as a plug-in replacement for the Muegge MW-PPEOM77B-5K power control, enabling you to keep on using existing components like high tension tranformers, rectifier units, Magnetron heads and so on. This point is even more important if you are keeping a stock for vital spare parts, as you will be able to use them in future. And because of the modular design of the system it is not required anymore to ship bulky and heavy units for repair back to the OEM, instead the small standard components of our system are available in almost every country around the world. This results in a considerable reduction of the carbon footprint during the lifetime of a plant, making your production even greener.
Not only the high voltages and currents used to operate Magnetrons are essentially a lethal danger, the microwave radiation emitted by them can pose a risk to human health, too. Functional safety therefore is of the highest priority when it comes to the design of machines and control systems for these devices. Our control systems therefore include the required hard- and software to fulfill safety levels of up to PL e and SIL 3 according to the standard IEC/EN 62061. This makes it easy to fulfill related standards like EN 60519-6 and therefore ensure that your production equipment is up to date with the latest requirements related to occupational safety. On request we also integrate complete production lines into our control systems, not only to ensure the functional safety of all other modules, but also to enable your operators to control complete production line via a single interface.
While initially the system was meant as a replacement for the Muegge MW-PPEOM77B-5K microwave generator power control system, right from the beginning we focussed on a highly flexible design. The modular hard- and software therefore not only enables the operation with 6 kW generators using the Toshiba E3327 or the National / Richardson YJ1600 Magnetrons, but also the use with other electromagnet controlled Magnetrons with an output power ranging from 2...100 kW. To cover this range only slight hardware changes are required, while the software is adapted via a simple update of the related parameter lists. Furthermore, we are in the process to adopet the system for the operation of Magnetrons without electromagnets.
If you need further information regarding the pricing or the availibility of systems tailormade for your application please contact us.