Vertical Power Electronic Circuit Breakers are designed and produced for experimental and light sport aircraft. The systems incorporate advanced solid-state electronics to reduce wiring complexity, simplify wiring installation, reduce pilot workload, and enhance a pilot’s ability to respond to in-flight emergencies.
Vertical Power Electronic Circuit Breakers are the first developed for the non-certified aircraft market. They are manufactured by Astronics Ballard Technology in Everett, WA. Ballard Technology is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries.
Vertical Power products are sold through select dealers.
MADE IN USA
This is a short description about the making of a VP-X Pro.
The metal case components are aluminum and are manufactured locally. The bottom of the case is anodized and the other components are powder coated. The internal EMI shield is aluminum as well.
The individual items are received, inspected, and prepped for final assembly.
A local company populates the printed circuit board (PCB) using an advanced pick and place machine, then the PCBs are run through a reflow oven which melts the solder and secures the parts to the PCBs.
After a cooling period and wash, the board goes through second assembly, which is a visual inspection of the components and solder joints.
The PCBs then go through an initial power on, software load, and preliminary test sequence which verifies the parts are installed correctly.
After we receive the PCB, we hook it up to a power supply for a 24 hour burn-in period.
After burn-in, the PCB is loaded with special software and connected to an automated tester which we designed and built. It verifies the correct function and calibration of each circuit. This tester is much more reliable than checking each circuit manually, and cuts the time down from about 90 minutes to about 5 minutes.
Here’s a sample screen output showing the tests being executed. The green check marks means the unit has passed that specific test. There are over 120 unique tests that each unit must pass.
Once the PCB passes 100% of the tests, we load the production software on the unit it and begins final assembly. First we attach the bus bar to the PCB, apply a special glue to secure the fragile components, then install the heat transfer pads. Once the PCB is prepped, it is installed into the case along with the EMI shield.
Finally, we connect it to another test rig and run it through a final set of checks before packing it up for shipment.