HUBER+SUHNER Addresses Smarter RF-energy Concepts for Cooking and Mass Manufacturing

At the 51st Annual Microwave Power Symposium (IMPI 51), HUBER+SUHNER addressed the need for smart concepts for bringing new user experience to RF-energy applications. Speaking at the event, Hannes Grubinger, Market Manager at HUBER+SUHNER, stressed the idea that using solid-state generated and amplified RF-power brings a completely new user experience to applications such as cooking.

Connectors and cables as used in the communication industry are often not the perfect solution for energy appliances, since the losses and cost of coaxial assemblies is not appropriate for the short distances in kitchen appliances. And thus, according to Hannes, using solid-state generated and amplified RF-power means that the appliance assembly process needs to be simple, fast and reliable. For example, threaded connectors which require a defined torque would not support these requirements.

He stressed that to gain key features such as mechanical freedom and low losses, a launcher structure is beneficial, and that by realizing this with injection moulded metalized parts and moving towards alternative structures, this will lead to a very cost-effective implementation.

HUBER+SUHNER has worked on many concepts which overcome the disadvantages of cables in RF-energy, allowing for a reliable and robust connection between the amplifier and cooking cavity. Its solutions cater predominantly for cooking applications, but can be easily adapted for other applications such as lighting, microwave ablation or ignition.

Since the future calls for two or more amplifiers and antennas per appliance, having a PCB-transition connected to a probe which is mechanically fixed to the cavity will impose significant mechanical stress between the used building blocks. Applying new connectivity concepts allow for eliminating this stress; design freedom is increased due to the compensation of misalignment; assembling is simplified due to the blind-mateability feature and electrical losses are kept to a very low level.

The concepts mentioned by Grubinger stressed the idea that most of the unsolved issues in this market can be addressed, including the requirements imposed by very large volume manufacturing processes. This breakthrough of alternative connectivity concepts will contribute to achieving performance and cost targets required for a commercial solid-state energy use in the future.

Hannes Grubinger’s speech was based on a HUBER+SUHNER report co-authored by himself, Michael Rupflin, Martin Wagner and Ulf Hügel. The 51st Annual Microwave Power Symposium was held from June 20 – 22, 2017 at The Sonesta Hotel, Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida.