dB Control Expands Potting Lab and Encapsulation Services for Production of High-Voltage Assemblies
Fremont, Calif. – April 30, 2009 – dB Control, an established manufacturer known for its reliable high-power amplifiers, transformers and power supplies, has completed the expansion of its full-service potting and encapsulation laboratory – the final phase of the company’s build-out of its new 40,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif. The 2,000-square-foot laboratory is three times larger than the previous lab.
“Without encapsulation, a 20 kV high-power assembly would be the size of a mailbox instead of a shoebox,” said Manufacturing and Facilities Manager Gary Spaulding. “Encapsulation decreases the size and weight of the assembly by enabling isolated power components to be located in close proximity to each other. Some of these assemblies are installed in the Predator and other high-altitude aircraft where it’s essential that systems be compact, lightweight and extremely reliable.”
Both encapsulation and conformal coating enhance the product’s reliability by protecting assemblies and components from exposure to dust, moisture and extreme temperatures. The processes also provide more design flexibility by enabling cured components to be incorporated on parts of the assembly which could be exposed to harsh environmental conditions. In addition to providing potting and encapsulation for its own products, dB Control offers these services to military and commercial customers.
“Over the last two decades we’ve perfected our potting processes to the point that we now produce quantities of high-voltage assemblies containing dozens of encapsulated components with a zero failure rate. Very few companies can match the reliability of our potted products,” said Spaulding.
dB Control’s potting lab technicians must undergo extensive training before working with high voltages and hazardous chemicals. To ensure a safe and comfortable working environment, the company designed a custom air curtain exhaust system similar to those used in pressurized clean rooms that removes chemical fumes and excess heat generated by the curing ovens. The lab also includes chemical mixing stations and vapor degreasers to clean products prior to encapsulation, cold traps to liquefy gas contaminants produced during the potting process, vacuum chambers to evacuate air from the potting material, and curing ovens to harden the epoxy or silicone RTV.