** Do not get the VCP-900-ECO confused with Cigol VCP-800 **
In the summer of 2012 the VCP-900-ECO became available. Cigol Controls Limited do not manufacture this device or it's closely related predecessor the VCP-610-ECO. Cigol Controls Limited regard the other manufacturers choice of their product's names as being very flattering but consider that it could cause confusion amongst existing and potential customers.
If you are considering the purchase of a VCP-900-ECO we would of course welcome the opportunity to quote for the supply of products from our VCP range of controllers. This applies equally to both end users and OEMs. We take this opportunity to summarise the history of the Cigol Controls VCP range of controllers and suggest that potential purchasers take our thirty years of experience into account when considering different product lines.
1982 - First Dedicated Vacuum Pumpstation Control
Our first dedicated vacuum pumpstation controller was based on the Motorola 6800 microprocessor programmed completely in assembly language. It controlled the pumping of a large vacuum furnace chamber with a system comprising of 12 rotary pumps, 5 roots pumps, 2 vapour booster pumps and 2 diffusion pumps.
1983 - C10800/C10802 Vacuum Pumpstation Control Introduced
Based on the Motorola 6802 microprocessor the C10800/C10802 was designed to control the pumpstation for a range of electron beam welders manufactured by our prestigious UK customer. They handled a dual chamber system with separate pump sets for the EB gun and chamber.
1985 - C13900/C10802 Vacuum Pumpstation Control Introduced
Based on the Motorola 6809 microprocessor the C13900/C10802 was designed to replace the C10800/C10802 system. The use of the 6809 allowed us to program in the high level language PL9. Immediate benefits in terms of software support became apparent.
1988 - VCP-102
Our first move into the Balzers BPS-102 upgrade market saw the introduction of the VCP-102. This was supplied in a 4U high 19" rack mounting enclosure.
1990 - VCP-400
Several different controllers followed the VCP-102, including, in 1990, the VCP-400. This was the based on the Motorola 68HC11 micro-controller, allowing us to write the software in the high level language 'C'.
1992 - VCP-500
The VCP-500, designed in 1992 returned to the 4U format
1995 - VCP-600 (followed by the variants VCP-601, VCP-602 and VCP-603)
The VCP-600 brought the form factor down to a compact 2U.
The VCP-610 was our first pumpstation controller to use a 16 bit micro-controller (9S12). The use of eeprom allowed the implementation of customer configurable options. For applications where an external control system provided full control of the VCP, such as the WAVE control software we developed the VCP-700, an identical unit but with a blank front panel. The VCP-610 is still our recommended product for stand alone applications.
The VCP-800 uses external i/o modules and allows more flexibility in demanding multi-pump applications. It has a very compact form factor.
Our customers consider the VCP-610 ideally suited for standalone applications and the VCP-800 provides the perfect solution for applications with remote PC control. The firmware supplied with these devices is the result of thirty years of development and it will continue to evolve to suit customers continually changing requirements. At present Cigol Controls have no plans to introduce a VCP-900 hardware platform but if customers start to find limitations with our existing hardware we will be sure to rapidly respond to their demands.