Blog

Comprehensive Quality Control Drives High Product Reliability

VPT proudly manufactures power conversion solutions for critical power systems in avionics, military, and space applications. Client feedback lauds VPT for having the industry’s best control processes, product reliability, and overall satisfaction. This is a result of many factors that are all bound together with VPT’s proactive quality control program. Strict adherence to this program, which involves every stage of product development, enables continuous improvement and superior reliability.

VPT holds a variety of certifications including: MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K certification, QML; MIL-STD-883 Lab Suitability; MIL-STD-750 Lab Suitability; IPC-A-610 Class 3 and J-STD-001 compliance; ISO-9001:2008 Certification; various MIL-PRF-38534 Class H and Class K Standard Military Drawings (SMDs). The company’s long-term and repeat customer list is most telling, however, as it includes NASA, ESA, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Thales, Raytheon, Harris, Northrop Grumman, and many more internationally renowned organizations.

For a centralized view, VPT utilizes its configuration control program that creates awareness throughout product design, material selection and conformance, and manufacturing processes. In combination with advanced technologies and equipment, personnel across VPT’s departments and facilities have visibility to every product requirement, standard, and process document for each crucial stage of design, manufacturing, screening, and shipping.

Starting with vigilant oversight of the source material selection process, VPT uses components and materials from proven and reliable suppliers. Materials are verified by screening, Design of Experiments (DOE), qualification, and periodic audits. Robust product designs are based on VPT’s proven heritage, followed by streamlined and tightly controlled manufacturing processes in certified facilities. Once manufacturing is complete, VPT utilizes its own internally-designed automated test system for product inspection and screening. Products intended for space environments are also tested in the VPT Rad lab which has DLA lab suitability for MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD 750.

A thorough quality control process provides assurances for product quality as well as insights into process improvement opportunities. As a result, customers benefit through faster delivery as well as high performance reliability in the finished products. Furthermore, the documented product sourcing, design, manufacturing, and testing history allows successful processes to be easily repeated.

In addition to their advanced QC processes and systems, VPT conducts extensive training and hires expert staff at all levels. All of these elements, in conjunction with a company culture that fosters innovation, is how VPT ensures the design and production of the highest quality power conversion solutions in the industry.

Click here to learn more about our products for avionics, military, and space applications.

Exploring VPT’s Role in Ground-breaking Space Programs

JUNE, 2017 – We are amid a time of monumental importance for space technology and exploration. In the past few years alone, we’ve seen remarkable first-time accomplishments by both commercial and government space organizations, witnessing the first successful launch and landing of reusable rockets, the very first up-close images of Pluto, and the first launch of an asteroid mining mission. Additionally, vital human health and environmental issues are explored and improved regularly, thanks to the work aboard the International Space Station. At VPT, these developments are especially exciting as our high-reliability products are part of the critical power systems on many of these astounding space programs.

Mission #1: Decrease space mission cost with system reusability

In an effort to significantly lower the cost of space missions, reusable rockets and capsules are making  a tremendous impact. Both Blue Origin and SpaceX have made developments in greatly diminishing  the overall cost of space missions with their successful launches and landings of reusable space systems. In 2015, Blue Origin’s reusable rocket, New Shepard, became the first rocket to launch just short of low Earth orbit and land fully intact.

Soon after, SpaceX accomplished a similar feat with its Falcon 9 rocket, successfully completing the first-ever orbital launch and landing. Prior to this, no orbital class booster had ever landed intact. Additionally, both vertical take-off/vertical-launch (VTVL) vehicles continued to make additional launches and landings.

Most recently, SpaceX launched its Dragon capsule from its Falcon 9 rocket for a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Not only did the rocket land safely after launch, the Dragon capsule arrived at the International Space Station two days later. This marks the Dragon spacecraft’s second delivery to the space station, making it the first reusable and commercially built spacecraft to make repeat deliveries to the ISS. Both the launch vehicle and the cargo capsule had VPT parts onboard for this mission.

Mission #2: Uncover the origins of the solar system

Humans have made impressive discoveries in space over the years, including one of the most significant events in modern history. On July 14, 2015 NASA’s interplanetary probe, New Horizons, made a flyby above the surface of Pluto, capturing the first high-resolution photos of the dwarf planet and its moon Charon. The mission has brought to light many facts about Pluto and its system that were simply unknown before; from evidence of water on Pluto to the color of its atmosphere. Launched in 2006, New Horizons made the nearly decade-long and 3.6-billion-mile journey to Pluto, with VPT power conversion parts on board. This mission provided a first-time up-close look at Pluto and Charon, as well as Jupiter and the farther regions of our solar system. New Horizons is still in orbit, with an expected flyby of the Kuiper belt in January 2019, and a projected mission end-date in 2026.

Another significant mission for NASA is OSIRIS-REx, their first asteroid study and sample return mission. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will rendezvous with, and take samples from asteroid Bennu. This is the first mission designed to inform scientists about the solar system’s development by bringing actual samples from an asteroid back to Earth. In 2018 OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to make contact with the mountain-sized Bennu, studying it as it prepares for sample collection in 2020. The spacecraft will return to Earth in September 2023. Since its launch, OSIRIS-Rex has performed flawlessly and remains on schedule, having also completed a successful deep space maneuver in December 2016, as well as capturing an image of Jupiter and three of its moons during a search for Earth-Trojan asteroids. While the Earth-Trojan survey did not yield any discoveries, it provided the mission team practice with hazard maneuvers that will help the spacecraft avoid collision with satellites as it approaches asteroid Bennu. NASA has included VPT parts on the vehicles used in both above-mentioned historic missions.

It is not NASA alone that trusts VPT with systems facing extreme space environments; VPT parts are also aboard the European Space Agency and Roscosmos on the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). The ExoMars program is designed to search for signs of life on Mars — past or present, as well as to test and collect samples from the Martian environment. The TGO entered Mars’ orbit on October 16, 2016 and will begin gathering atmospheric data in late 2017.

Mission #3: Help Earth and humankind through science

While much of modern space news surrounds more recent space developments, we owe honorable mention to an impressive technological mainstay: The International Space Station (ISS), which is the largest man-made object in low Earth orbit. The ISS launched in 1998 and was largely assembled in orbit. It is currently the longest continuously-occupied space station, hosting astronauts onboard since November 2, 2000. With VPT parts vital to its space power operation, the ISS serves as a premier research facility for hundreds of important studies designed to help humankind and the environmental health of Earth. The U.S. segment of the space station is designated as a national laboratory, producing scientific research that has advanced several medical technologies including an eye-tracking device used in laser surgery, as well as a robotic arm based on space robot technology which can be used to perform delicate surgeries. Ongoing medical studies also include a look into loss of bone density, improvements in ultrasound technology, and vaccine development.

The ISS and its scientists have also played an essential role back on Earth with its water-purification technology, which has been adapted for Earth use and has helped save lives in regions that did not previously have safe drinking water. Additionally, the ISS onboard imaging system known as the ISS Servir Environmental Research and Visualization System (ISERV), captures images of Earth from space and has been used to help emergency and rescue workers respond to natural disasters. Since 2012, ISERV has collected data from 34 specific events which helped save countless lives.

———————————————————————————————————

Advancements in space technology and exploration is on a steep and thrilling trajectory. The repeated success of reusable equipment is a testament to the quality and longevity of the components of which they are made, as well as the many brilliant people that have contributed to space system reusability. All space endeavors, whether they are relatively brief resupply missions or two-decade long research missions, require an unfailing foundation. Considering the knowledge gained from each space mission, reliability is imperative whether the mission is manned or unmanned. VPT’s space heritage is built on our longstanding commitment to providing high reliability power conversion solutions for space applications of every kind, and we will continue to support these programs to ensure there are many more “firsts” in the future.

Advancements in Electronics Packaging: How V-SHIELD® Offers Superior Operation

April 07, 2017 – As a global leader in power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, space, and industrial applications, VPT, Inc. understands the severe environments our products are destined to encounter. Extreme salt, air, pressure, and temperature conditions are just a few of the scenarios our DC-DC converters, EMI filters, and accessory power products regularly experience. Some missions require these products to pass several screening levels to meet certain application needs. Because rugged conditions can pose a threat to the reliability and operability of power conversion devices, we’ve engineered durable, high-performing packaging that offers exceptional product protection and functionality.

At VPT we engineer power conversion solutions for use in avionics, military, space, and industrial applications. Our DC-DC converters, EMI filters, and accessory power products are destined to encounter severe environments and extreme salt, air, pressure, and temperature conditions. In order to provide superior operation even the harshest scenarios, our expert power supply innovators have engineered V-SHIELD® packaging technology.

V-SHIELD® packaging is an advanced epoxy encapsulation solution highly resistant to chemical, solvent and salt environments. It is fully compatible with high volume manufacturing processes including wave solder, cleaning solvents, high pressure sprays and aqueous wash processes. The packaging solution features a unique integral six-sided metalized shield to improve system EMI compatibility. It also simplifies system thermal design with dual sided conduction cooling, coupled with reduced power dissipation.

With V-SHIELD® packaging, the DC-DC converter combines the reduced radiated emissions advantage of the metal packaging and the water/chemical resistivity of the epoxy packaging. Merging these two options provides a design with superior performance at a reasonable cost. V-SHIELD® packaging allows the converter to be used for multiple rugged applications, from military ground vehicles to commercial and military aircrafts. It can withstand harsh environments including severe vibration, shock and temperature cycling.

Judges of the prestigious 2016 Military & Aerospace Electronics Innovators Awards program recognized V-SHIELD® packaging technology with its highest, platinum level award. The platinum level celebrates military and aerospace electronics featuring a superb innovation, characterized by a groundbreaking approach to meeting a need, a new level of performance, efficiency and/or ease-of-use.

V-SHIELD® packaging is designed to offer exceptional protection for effective product operability in rugged environments, at a cost comparable to other high-reliability COTS solutions.



Top