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Environment in a box

February 2013

Simulation of environmental variables for quality assurance purposes

Einbau des Feuchte- und Temperatursensors als zentrale Komponente eines Klimaschranks.
Installation of the humidity and temperature sensor as the central component of a climate cabinet.

The development of a high quality product needs to include from the design stage onward all possible stresses encountered during the life of the product. Without such a design strategy the product is most likely to fail to meet the market’s expectations.

Don’t wait, accelerate!

In order to investigate the long-term behaviour of a product in “real time”, it needs to be allowed to age in its natural environment, something that is not generally practical in the light of ever shorter innovation cycles. One way around this is the use of accelerated artificial aging through targeted environmental simulation. The typical failure probability of a technical system over time (bathtub curve) is thereby compressed, enabling the cause-effect relationships between environmental stresses and product quality to be studied in a shorter time.

Climate chambers offer precisely definable environmental conditions that quickly reveal their effects on product quality. Environment simulations encompass temperature, humidity, pressure, precipitation, corrosive gases, vibrations, radiation etc.

Core parameters - humidity and temperature

Among the most important product environment parameters are air humidity and temperature. Rotronic’s high precision industrial sensors supply reliable measurements for the atmospheric parameters “relative humidity” (%RH), “air temperature” (T in °C or K) and recently also “carbon dioxide” (CO2 in ppm) as well as many other characteristic values that can be derived from these as main criteria for the climate. In the conventional climate chamber, the prevailing temperature and humidity conditions are measured by means of sensors and maintained electronically at the nominal values prescribed by the user. Heat is generally supplied by means of electric heating, cooling by means of a compression refrigeration machine or Peltier element, moisture is generated by means of active humidification systems (vaporizers).

CTS Clima Temperatur Systeme GmbH from Hechingen in Swabia (Germany) can draw on decades of experience in the development, manufacture and sales of its extensive equipment program for environmental simulation and for refrigeration and air conditioning technology.

Uncompromising quality

In order to ensure the extremely high product quality, CTS is unwilling to accept any compromises when choosing components. It is therefore only logical that when it comes to climate sensors for humidity and temperature, CTS puts its faith in the industrial designs from the Swiss measurement technology specialist Rotronic. They guarantee maximum accuracy, long-term stability and low maintenance, thereby playing a vital role in the quality rating and competitiveness of CTS products.

Founded in 1996, the company is growing rapidly. It has already delivered more than 12,000 items of equipment and plant in the air conditioning and environment simulation field. DIN EN ISO 9001 certification and DIN EN/ISO 17025 accreditation for humidity and temperature calibration demonstrate that CTS is living up to its high aspirations.

Diversity and individuality

The CTS sales and service programme encompasses temperature and climate test cabinets, environmental stress chambers, shock test chambers with temperature fluctuation rates of up to 100 K per minute, test chambers with horizontal and vertical vibration and temperature and climate ranges from -70°C to 180°C as well as 10 to 98 % relative humidity. Customers take advantage of the company’s flexibility to come up with their own individual test installations through modifications to the basic program. The highly individual characteristics of the equipment must be matched by an electronic, computer based control system developed in-house. It permits an almost unlimited range of test programs to be specified and all-embracing communication with the system – locally and remotely via the Internet.

Die Klimaschranksteuerung aus eigener Entwicklung erlaubt die Vorgabe beliebiger Prüfprofile und die Verarbeitung und Präsentation der Ergebnisse.
The climate cabinet control system developed in-house provides for the input of any desired test profiles and the processing and presentation of the results.

CTS and Rotronic

Humidity and temperature sensors for industrial applications are required to fulfil stringent criteria with regard to accuracy, long-term stability and reliability. Manufacturers require enormous know-how, especially when it comes to fast-responding capacitative humidity sensors with hygroscopic polymer dielectric material. The Swabian climate chamber manufacturer CTS therefore puts its faith in the industrial climate sensors and products from the Swiss company Rotronic AG. The wide operating temperature range, exceptional resistance against aggressive atmospheres, minimal maintenance requirement, a calibration certificate from the Swiss Calibration Service (SCS) and low failure rate of all system components won over CTS.

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