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Vacuum Furnace Preventive Maintenance: Weekly Checklist

Checklist

Extending the life of your vacuum furnace through preventive maintenance will result in decreased downtime and increased productivity.

In a previous post, we discussed some of the maintenance tasks that should be performed daily. Now, we continue with our weekly checklist.

Weekly Checklist

Furnace Interior & Exterior

⬜ Clean the chamber of all foreign matter. Depending on the rate of dirt accumulation, you may need to clean the furnace more often.

  • Brush or blow dirt out with clean, dry air or inert gas.
  • Wipe the inner chamber using a lint-free cloth dampened with a suitable solvent. On furnaces with an epoxy coating, we suggest denatured isopropyl or butyl alcohol – many other common solvents will damage this coating.

⬜ Remove dirt and dust from the front of the control cabinet and clean all glass.

EVERY TWO WEEKS (or whenever the shields and heating elements begin to show signs of discoloration) run a furnace cleanup cycle.

Water & Pneumatic Lines

⬜ Examine individual water drain lines. Ensure there is no blockage or sediment buildup in circuits, concentrating on smaller hoses (e.g., VRT, power feedthrough, diffusion pump and convection motor water lines).

⬜ Inspect the pneumatic lines for leaks.

⬜ Verify that the regulator/lubricator/filter near the pneumatic bank is working properly, if applicable.

Voltage & Amperage

⬜ Obtain the voltage and amperage readings of the diffusion pump’s heaters.

⬜ Take voltage and amperage readings of the gas blower motor at operating pressure to make sure amperage draw is not above motor rating.

⬜ Take voltage output readings of the PCU (Power Control Unit) as fed from the programmer at different output percentages. Adjust if necessary. Refer to the PCU manufacturer’s manual for further information.

Valves & Pressure Switches

⬜ Test all pressure switches for proper operation. Adjust if necessary. These switches are normally located in or near the main junction box on the chamber.

⬜ Lubricate any valves that have a grease or oil cup by filling the cup with grease/oil from the pump and turning it over until grease/oil comes out on the other side of the block. Always default to the proper lubricants listed in your pump operation manuals

  • Utilize diffusion pump oil to lubricate the diffusion pump shaft seal. Older diffusion pumps may require grease for lubrication.

If you need further assistance, please contact Ipsen at 1-844-GO-IPSEN.

In our next post, we will go over preventive maintenance steps to perform monthly.

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