Thyracont Vacuum Instruments develops, produces, and supplies intelligent vacuum metrology Made in Germany. More than 50 years of know-how in vacuum measurement is the base on which Thyracont is continuously optimizing and refining their products. The company permanently searchs for new approaches and ways to enthuse our customers with high-capacity products. By doing so, they have grown into a global leader in manufacturing and developing innovative vacuum measurement and control solutions. 

Interview with Frank P. Salzberger, CEO of Thyracont Vacuum Instruments.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Frank P. Salzberger: We specialize in the development and manufacturing of a wide range of vacuum gauges. To support our primary product range, we also provide a variety of accessories and software for data analysis, system configuration, and calibration management. The parameter setup of our vacuum transducers can be customized to a wide extent to meet specific customer requirements. We work closely with our clients to develop tailor-made vacuum instruments for unique applications.

Through our commitment to in-house R&D, we are continuously working on the further advance of our vacuum instruments. Most vacuum applications have high standards in regard to longevity, precision and reliability of the measuring instruments used. Our development team strives with continuous ambition to entirely fulfil these requirements and to develop products which offer additional value by their intelligent functionalities. Digital connectivity, individual settings, and maintainability are only a few buzzwords here.

We have set up a well-established distribution network, serving customers all over the world. Our international presence ensures prompt support, service, and training for clients regardless of their location.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

F.P.S: In 2023 we launched our new VD800 series – compact vacuum meters with an intuitive menu navigation, large data logger and precise measurement results. Their unrivaled functionality and unprecedented versatility make these handheld gauges unique tools for service use, maintenance work, leakage testing via rate of rise measurements and quality assurance. 

The VD800 measure absolute pressure in a large range of 2000 to 5e-5 mbar and additionally relative pressure in the range of -1060 to +1200 mbar. Their big graphic display shows current measurement values and pressure graphs as well as minimum and maximum pressure. The 4+1 foil keypad provides a comfortable, menu-driven operation. An integrated data logger saves multiple measurement series with their RTC data. With sampling rates from 20 ms to 60 s the instruments are not only of interest for fast vacuum processes but also for long-term monitoring.

Another important field of activity is the support of predictive maintenance strategies by our industrial SmartlineTM vacuum transducers. An operating hours counter and a parameter estimating sensor wear and tear by self-diagnosis establish new possibilities for planned maintenance and minimize downtime of vacuum plants. 

Furthermore, we are currently launching a series of mini transducers for analytical series applications. Uniting several functionalities in an ultra-compact design, these gauges offer an optimum price-performance ratio. A fast response time of 5 ms and the excellent resolution of the transducers enable stable, short-cycled and thus efficient production processes.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

F.P.S: We offer an innovative and extensive product range including vacuum gauges, vacuum sensors, vacuum transducers, handheld vacuum meters, switches, and controllers as well as accessories, software, and vacuum components. With our product families, we fulfil process requirements in a range of 2000 to 3e-11 mbar.

The variety of manufacturing processes enabled by vacuum offers a broad field of applications for our vacuum instruments. This includes areas like process industry, coating and drying, semiconductor and solar, analytics as well as research and development. Depending on the scope of tasks, we offer a variety of sensor principles in various combinations such as piezo, Pirani, capacitive, cold cathode, and hot cathode, to meet the requirements of almost any industrial vacuum process.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

F.P.S: In the world of advanced technology and scientific research, vacuum instruments play a crucial role in various industries and applications. The high-tech industry as a technology driven market faces ongoing challenges. In the midst of this fast-changing competitive environment we work hard to stay at the forefront of the industry. Technological innovation means constant development and we are developing with it. Our main driving force is our joy in innovation which has given rise to many new concepts in vacuum metrology over the last years.

As the industry evolves, we face new challenges and opportunities leading us to rethink our ways and processes.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

F.P.S: Although the technology industry is struggling with supply chain disruptions, economic uncertainty, and shortage in manpower, the first half of 2023 has seen a new enthusiasm about technology and its potential for growth and progress. Technologies such as AI, bioengineering, cloud and edge computing, semiconductor, and quantum technology show constant innovation and growth. To thrive in these surroundings, companies will have to emphasize sustainable innovations, digital connectivity, and material and energy efficiency.  

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

F.P.S: Our SmartlineTM product family offers vacuum transducers for rough to ultra-high vacuum with 0-10 V analog output or RS485, PROFINET or EtherCat interface supporting predictive maintenance and establishing a basis for industry 4.0. The PROFINET transducers can communicate with OPC UA servers and support MRP, a bidirectional, lossless data transfer between all components from individual I/O Signals to the ERP level and even to the cloud. That provides an efficient way to manage downstream processes or optimize maintenance cycles.

Our new VD800 compact vacuum meters consistently concentrate on the users’ needs. Thyracont handheld vacuum meters already set benchmarks for precision and functionality. By modernizing this product family, we successfully improved the products’ performance whilst simultaneously enhancing their intuitive handling. Graphical display, menu-driven operation and simplified use of the data logger are just a few examples of the improvements made.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

F.P.S: Our continued aim is a sustainable, long-term cooperation with our business partners, suppliers, and staff by combining technical excellence with environmental awareness and a strong sense of community.