Control Systems

Downtime is minimised; troubleshooting can be swiftly
escalated via our remote diagnostic system.


Specnow offers specialist solutions in the areas of control systems not only for vacuum furnaces but also for electron beam welders and oil degassing rigs, along with carrying out control system upgrades for furnaces from other manufacturers.

Our standard Microlink hardware combines an Allen Bradley PLC and an everyday PC with a Touch Screen. No special items are used; all parts are readily available from local stockists in the event of breakdown. System Information and Operating screens are compiled in the high integrity SCADA software package “Movicon”.

Consequently Specnow products have a degree of automation and flexibility that rival the most advanced machine tools. The furnaces are equally at home in development and production environments. Data handling and analysis are facilitated. Security and Management tools, and Supplier protocols, can be incorporated and reports generated.

Many customers take advantage of the networking capabilities. Specnow offers diagnostics/remote servicing and software updates by internet. Managers may access the furnace remotely from tablets etc via the appropriate app.

Additional features and benefits:
  • SCADA/HMI obviates the need for temperature controllers, chart recorders and many other components used in traditional design furnaces. Less hardware increases reliability and lowers cost while fewer instruments bring an elegant simplicity
  • Unrivalled user friendliness. Today’s workforce is increasingly computer literate; those familiar with standard software packages and devices rapidly achieve proficiency with the HMI screens
  • Easy process programming at the HMI. Storage for programs essentially unlimited
  • High visibility. Operators and managers appreciate the high visibility of the machine and process cycle. Great detail is available at the HMI workstation; even at a distance the screen usefully informs the operator of the situation
  • Help screens are provided
  • Intelligent management of thermocouple combinations, inert gas cycles and vacuum levels. Optional multiple gas feed and humidity controls
  • Hot zone uniformity routines
  • In-built vacuum leak detection and chamber “leak up” routines
  • Fast response allows manual interaction for process cycle development
  • Production engineers can optimise the process, minimising cycle times and reject rates
  • Alarm and warning reports, enhancing safety
  • Access to archived production runs at the furnace
  • Links for offline data handling and QA
  • The system can be reconfigured in future to accommodate new production processes

The active main screen provides a digital readout from all four job thermocouples. The same information can be viewed in bar chart or graph form. The furnace has been set to control the average temperature of all four thermocouples. Alternatively, control can be switched to the highest, lowest or any single thermocouple. Faulty sensors are deselected. Also shown is the temperature spread between the selected thermocouples.

Process recipes are generated and selected at the touch screen. The number of programmes is virtually unlimited. Pop-up edit boxes facilitate loading and editing of parameters: ramps, dwells, fast cooling etc.

The image above shows a chart generated after process

Charts may be viewed at any time with zoom to critical areas and print at any stage during or after the process. Charts can be filtered to display vacuum, temperature or both.

The above image shows the typical furnace status mimic screen, overlayed with the PLC information.