At Flux, we have many processes in manufacturing. Ranging from production to testing and quality assuring, each process has been perfected and is carefully monitored, to ensure the highest of qualities when delivering components to our customers.
Below we have described and visualized 6 selected processes, to give you an insight into our production. We always want to do our best to explain our technical processes, so if you need a little extra information, get in touch with Lars A. Gregersen, our COO of Defence and Space, at the bottom of this page.
1. Winding on coil formers
The art of manufacturing complex custom-made transformers for Space applications requires precision and skill, when winding on coil formers. The conductors must be placed with precision in terms of mechanics and turns ratio. The same applies to various insulations that are part of electrical function, safety and mechanical integrity. Each winding is marked by color tubes to ensure correct electrical testing and later in the process, mounting on pins. Each winding is inspected under a microscope and requires approval for the coil to pass on to the next process in the manufacturing flow.
2. Robotic tinning
Manufacturing inductive components for Space applications is delicate and time-consuming work. At Flux, we never waste time or money when processes can just as well be automated. An example is pre-tinning of coil former pins. A robot can perform the highest quality pre-tinning, therefore it makes no sense for our operators to manually tin each coil former pin. Imagine the unnecessary time consumption, if a batch of 1.000 coil formers with 10 pins each were pre-tinned manually. Regardless, each pin is inspected under a microscope and approved for further process in any case.
3. Chemical stripping of enamel
There are many ways to remove enamel from wires. Flux's preferred process for Space applications is the chemical process. This process removes the enamel with a laser like sharp cut into the enamel without any damage to the remaining material or copper conductor. Other methods may leave the enamel damaged, called a bubble zone, or mark the copper conductor, which is not desired in the perfect component. Flux has developed machinery that can strip multiple wires in the highest of quality and in the most exact dimensions.
4. Partial Discharge Test
When manufacturing high voltage components for Space applications, it is a strict requirement that partial discharge cannot occur during missions. A partial discharge is a spark of energy created by a high voltage differential between conductors, where an air or gas pocket is located. Space components in general are vacuum impregnated to eliminate any presence of atmospheric air in the construction. For high voltage inductors and transformers, it is required to test the integrity of the process on each component meant for flight mission. Flux's high voltage products are used mainly for electrical propulsion of satellites.
5. Advanced soldering
One of the most delicate processes in the manufacturing of inductors and transformers for Space application, is the hand soldering of component's internal connections. The requirements are very high and very detailed - only perfection is allowed. One of the most prominent quality criteria applicable for components is the quality of the joints. Where the criteria for consumer electronics accept a certain margin of error, HiRel a higher percentage, Space products are judged on the achievement of 100% perfection. All Flux operators are educated, examined and certified to ESA’s international hand solder standard.
6. Core material adaption
The electrical performance of inductors and transformers are roughly determined by the choice of core shape and material, in combination with windings and insulation. When more accurate designs are required, the specification can be further detailed by adaption of the core, which defines the energy storage capacity of a transformer. To achieve state of the art adaption of core material, Flux applies a process which involves plane grinding with a step capability down to a single micrometer. Each adaption process is tested using a test coil, and each core is tested several times throughout manufacturing and screening of the final product.
Each of these processes has been developed to ensure the best and most efficient production efforts for our customers. Get in touch with Lars A. Gregersen, our COO of Defence and Space, to get more information about how these processes can be implemented according to your needs.