Archive for category methodology

high voltage testing of 208VAC phase controller used on semiconductor production equipment

This phase controller uses the tried and true back to back SCR technique. It’s and old unit but still in service, partly due to our repairs and system debug. About half the gear in the photo is our test jig. Watch out for ‘flux doubling’ when you turn on/off that big toroid transformer! We kept blowing the 20A breaker until we set up the variac on our bench set up.

Phase controller power supply under test on our bench. The light bulbs provide a test load, the toroid allows us to use 110VAC to supply the test unit with 208VAC.

No Comments

plausible, feasible, tangible

What we do always involves these three phases:

Is it plausible? Does your idea violate any known physical laws? Are you asking for a new light bulb that has 110% efficiency? If it passes the plausible test, we go to the next phase:

Is it feasible? Can your product be made, given a reasonable budget in a reasonable time frame? Often the ‘existence proof’ of a similar technology or device can help us answer this with minimal effort. Or we build a prototype to test the most tricky aspect – this becomes an object that can be tested, used, and evaluated, which brings us to the third phase:

Here it is. It’s tangible. A prototype, a ‘proof of principle’, a first example that shows what kind of performance and cost can be expected. Something you can use. This is a way to find the ‘slap on the forehead’ mistakes, and find them early in the project. Before you waste a lot of time, effort money on tooling, marketing, etc.

In the next weeks I’ll be writing about more specific examples of this process flow.

No Comments