Over the last week we’ve continued to work on the production and now -almost- all individual modules are production ready, these must now be inserted into the housings and then it all goes into the final testing.
In addition, this week we had the TÜV test for certification on the US market. Several tests were done of worst case scenarios. One of these scenarios involved a hypothetical electronic defect that allowed the VPO’s 1000 W heater to run continuously even while water was leaking from the cooling circuit. We thought the VPO was doing well before, but even we were impressed at its ability to survive this test without safety concerns.
Unfortunately, we still have to do some reworking for some of the tests. The biggest issue is the dielectric strength of L/N in relation to the PE pipe. Because we use a tubular heating element, the heater is physically constructed as follows:
Given this construction, a breakdown takes place at 1350 V, but according to the US standard, this must only happen at 1500 V (in the EU, heaters would be disconnected during this test, since a breakdown is to be expected due to the operating principle of a heater).
What does this mean in concrete terms? Because we now have to increase the high-voltage resistance of the vapor phase soldering system by 150V, testing personnel will have to come to us again and repeat this individual test. So now we just have to be patient for a few more weeks before we can finally send out the VPO.
Annoyingly, after three certifications in the last few weeks, for a total of over 18 different tests, the failed high voltage resistance test was the very last. The good news at this point: We have fulfilled all requirements for the EU and we are absolutely focused completing the requirements for the US market in the next few days/weeks!
We will keep you posted as we know more. Unfortunately we can’t give a reliable date at the moment, because much depends on the schedules of the TÜV inspectors after the heater and some small issues have been reworked. Roughly speaking, we expect a delay of a few weeks.
We are very sorry things are delayed a bit more, but we are close to the finish line!
Thank you and best regards from Germany, Your PCB Arts Team