Bernex has prepared and validated designs that will enable customers to upgrade their existing machines. Bernex Sales and Marketing Director Philippe Ricklin outlines how this is more than just an upgrade, but rather a “global upscaling of old machines to an up-to-date configuration that will serve customers for years to come.”
Bernex machines have always been built to last. “Even back in the 1990s, everything was upgradable,” Philippe points out. “It is our engineers’ philosophy to design for upwards compatibility. This is why these latest upgrades are also suitable for older machines. So, all our customers can increase the versatility of what they’re able to offer. In fact, we’re able to upgrade machines going back as far as 1985.”
“As technology develops and the day-to-day demands from the industry increase, we offer various hardware and software upgrades,” Philippe explains. “These include safety-related improvements like railings and innovative cooling traps. Now, we have prepared and validated designs to upgrade the programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in our installed systems. In addition, we are encouraging our customers to improve their data and IT security by updating their operating system to Windows 10.”
“Our customers are continuously looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition,” says Philippe. “For this, they need the latest technology so they can implement what their R&D people come up with at a production level. It’s a race, and we provide the upgrades to ensure you can run faster.”
“Speed has to do with technical innovation, but also with processing speed,” Philippe explains. “That’s why we’re upgrading PLCs with ten times more inputs and outputs (I/Os) than the original system. Because the more I/Os available in the system, the greater the versatility you can offer: for example, to use different gases.”
By changing the PLC, you can also increase the communication and reaction speed. Why is this important? Philippe: “We make recipes and chemical reactions, but we don’t control the chemistry. By being able to take more accurate measurements (of flow, pressure etc.), more often, it becomes easier to reproduce the desired results every time.”
In the 1990s, you had only a few measurements on which to base the necessary calculations. Philippe: “Faster processing speeds and more I/Os also means customers can add more or better sensors. We can then make more calculations, and so increase the accuracy of the entire process by controlling the critical interfaces between the layers much better.”
A recipe can now involve 100s of steps, compared to 30 in the past. With 10 to 15 parameters in each step, plus all the safety components to consider, the need for increased computational capability and speed is evident. Philippe: “The coating principles are still the same, but now we talk more about controlling the texture orientation, for example. For this, we need to work in microns and then control the entire process accurately at the nano level. If you’re currently 20-30% away from the benchmark, upgrading your system can bring you to 10% or less.”
“We can upgrade a 20-year-old furnace to the operational level of a brand-new machine in just 4 to 5 weeks,” Philippe points out proudly. “You couldn’t do that with your mobile phone! And with a complete upgrade possible at around one third of the cost of a new machine, it makes financial sense too.” For more information about which upgrades will help you get the most from your Bernex equipment, please contact Philippe directly at Philippe.Ricklin@ihi-bernex.com.
Duration: 4-5 weeks
If required, we will be happy to provide coating services to
cover your production during the upgrade.
Key benefits of upgrading
This article is part of the Hauzer For You issue 36. Click here to read the full magazine.