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Advanced Microwave Heating Technology

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Custom Design and Manufacturing

GAE utilizes an array of resources to assist customers with special equipment needs. Unique applications often require waveguide component configurations that cannot be met using standard off-the-shelf products. Whether for single item or OEM quantities, we pride ourselves on our ability to produce quality, high performance custom components within the shortest lead times in the industry.
Complete specifications with CAD drawings are always delivered for customer approval prior to fabrication. Recent custom designs include:
  • Multi-stub tuners
  • Directional couplers
  • Loads
  • Tapered and step transitions
  • Magnetron launch sections
  • Complex bends and twists
  • Combinations of the above

Commercial Product Development

For several years GAE has been involved in the development of revolutionary microwave appliances. Major appliance manufacturers utilize our expertise to design, manufacture and test prototypes of consumer and commercial products to reduce the strain on their in-house development resources.
Specific areas of development expertise include:
  • Magnetron power supplies
  • Microwave feed and cavity design
  • Door chokes
  • Cooling and ventilation
  • Microprocessor controls
  • Safety and regulatory compliance

Industrial System Engineering

GAE’s expertise in industrial systems includes batch systems (pictured), conveyors, fluid heaters and others for a variety of applications. Most systems are designed for specific processes, but in many cases standard configurations can be easily adapted. New equipment is typically developed in a multi-phased project, interacting closely with customers to accurately and comprehensively define the system specifications and ensure they are met during construction.

Waveguide Component Repair and Calibration

3-Port Circulators

A unique and cost effective service performed exclusively by GAE is the repair and refurbishment of 3-port circulators. Most failures are due to arcing or water leaks and can be repaired at roughly half the cost of a new circulator. Most WR284 models manufactured by Genesys Systems, Gerling Moore, ASTeX/Gerling Laboratories (AGL), Merrimac and Waveline, as well as all models manufactured by GAE, can be repaired and returned to original factory specifications.

Dual Directional Couplers

In addition to circulator repair, GAE offers directional waveguide coupler calibration services using equipment calibrated to and methods consistent with NIST standards. This service applies to almost all couplers in WR284, WR340 and WR430 waveguide. Couplers manufactured by Genesys Systems, Gerling Moore, Gerling Laboratories (AGL) and GAE are also repairable.

OEM Equipment Repair and Refurbishment
Since our inception in 1997, GAE has been a key supplier of products and services relating to microwave heating equipment to high technology industries such as semiconductor manufacturing. Our expertise in microwave generators and waveguide components is well recognized by major OEMs through the services we provide for microwave equipment manufacturing, refurbishment, testing and calibration.

All repairs and refurbishments performed by GAE include a complete functional performance verification to original factory specifications, with comprehensive test data provided to the customer.  GAE maintains an inventory of magnetrons and other components used in magnetron heads to ensure the fastest possible delivery. And GAE provides the same warrantee on all repairs and refurbishments as provided to you by the original manufacturer. You can be assured of no change in your process, and the savings in maintenance costs you will realize are indeed significant!

OEM Generators and HV Power Supplies

Many of the microwave generators and power supplies used in GaSonics (now part of Novellus) etchers and ashers are among the "GL139" family of products made by ASTeX and it's former subsidiary AGL (ASTeX/Gerling Labs). GAE's background with these products allows us to provide ongoing service and support at a level that far exceeds the capabilities of ANY other company today. Services range from simple calibration and alignment to complete repair and refurbishment, with guaranteed performance and reliability.

GAE also offers users of these products the capability to perform their own diagnostics to help determine the cause of failure and disposition the unit for repair. Once the failure cause is found, GAE can provide new and/or refurbished replacements for any part in any of the GL139 style units. See the section on Test Equipment under Instrumentation in the Products listing.

Magnetron Heads

A recent addition to our list of services is the repair and refurbishment of magnetron heads manufactured by ASTeX and its former subsidiary, ASTeX/Gerling Laboratories (AGL). These magnetron heads are used in wafer fab tools manufactured by Applied Materials, Lam Research and others. The photographs below illustrate the two most commonly used models.

3.5 kW Magnetron Head
(ASTeX p/n D13449)

6 kW Magnetron Head
(ASTeX p/n D13614)


Magnetron Failure Analysis

The single most important factor influencing equipment reliability and operating costs is the life expectancy of magnetrons. Industrial magnetrons operating under ideal conditions can achieve as many as 20,000 hours of reliable operation before normal end-of-life failure. When failures do eventually occur, the cause of failure can be identified by detailed examination of the magnetron and its operating environment.

GAE offers services to perform a failure analysis of any magnetron used in industrial heating equipment. In most cases the analysis involves a close internal  examination of the anode and filament structures as well as the surrounding waveguide. If possible, the microwave generator in which the magnetron was used is also examined as it is essential to the magnetron's operating environment. A detailed analytical report with conclusions and recommendations for preventive action is provided to the customer.

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