Case Studies

Railway signalling

Railway signalling metallised film capacitors

Railway signalling is an application that demands the highest possible standards. The world’s most respected manufacturers of track circuit equipment rely on the experience, expertise and quality delivered by ICW Film capacitors for their tuning unit capacitors.

No matter where you are in the world, if you travel by rail you can be sure you will pass an ICW Film capacitor at some point on your journey.

Tuning units are typically fitted to the ground directly next to the track and exposed to extremes of temperature and humidity. ICW tuning unit capacitors are respected for their robust mechanical design, precise tolerances and exceptionally low drift over extended thermal cycles.

For many years railway track circuit systems relied on tuning capacitors manufactured from polycarbonate film. Its temperature stability offered the performance required.

After several years of tightening supply and increasing costs, metallised polycarbonate film essentially became obsolete in 2004. For an industry that has safety and consistency at its core this came as quite a shock.

Working with the track circuit OEM’s our extensive Research and Development experience allowed the development of alternatives.

The solutions varied depending on customer preference.

Several OEM’s required a solution of the same physical size but were able to modify their circuits to allow a tight tolerance polypropylene capacitor with a higher temperature coefficient to work as desired.

For other OEM’s this was simply not viable and a more sophisticated solution was required. ICW were able to engineer a capacitor with a temperature stability of less than 54ppm/°C over a wide temperature range, effectively matching the application performance of a polycarbonate capacitor.

ICW Tuning unit capacitors are available in many configurations.

Typical specifications are given below to illustrate our capabilities.

Capacitance values 10uF - 500uF
Rated voltage typically 160Vdc
Tolerances ±0.5%, ±1.0%, ±3.0%
Temperature stability 54ppm/ °C, -150 to -300ppm/ °C
Operating temperature range -40 °C to +90 °C
Mechanical packages Various

If you have a specific requirement then please contact us.

Aerospace - More Electric Aircraft (MEA)

Aerospace metallised film capacitors

After over 30 years of reliance on hydraulic activation aircraft control systems design is undergoing something of a revolution. In the constant battle to reduce operational costs, through improved fuel efficiency and reduced weight, direct electrical activation of flight control surfaces has been identified as attractive and could ultimately become responsible for as much as 5% fuel saving in new aircraft design.

The aerospace industry requirements are very demanding: Physical size and weight are important; operating environments and duty cycles are harsh; safety and reliability have to come first.

When considering the inverter required to control the actuation motors, appropriate capacitor choice is particularly difficult. By working closely with our customers we have been able to understand the precise application requirements for several primary and secondary flight surface applications and offer viable solutions with readily available materials.

Our quality management system and manufacturing flexibility are able to accommodate the stringent requirements for material traceability and precise quality control records.

Induction heating systems

Induction heating is a highly useful electromagnetic phenomenon that has been successfully exploited in several industries for many years. ICW have been involved in supplying DC link capacitors and high frequency resonant circuit capacitors to manufacturers of induction heating systems from more than 20 years. The capacitors typically have to operate at high RMS currents and frequencies from 20kHz to 500kHz. Self inductance, dissipation losses need to be minimised. ICW’s application knowledge and capacitor quality have been proven time and time again this demanding application Our customers range from a manufacturer of a 2kW induction toasted Panini maker through manufacturers of industrial scale cooking woks to industrial metal treatment, hardening and melting systems in the 10kW - 100kW power range.

EMC filtering capacitors

EMC Feed through filters

We have vast experience in supplying cost effective feed through capacitors for EMC filtering.

Our designs cover currents from 5A to 300A, voltages from 63Vdc to 660Vac and capacitances from 10nF to 100uF.

Our customers include a broad range of specialist filter manufacturers, EMC consultants and OEM equipment manufacturers.