A switch mode transformer (Switcher) is very flexible and can be used in many applications.
Switchers are used in a wide variety of industries such as telecommunications, biomedical,
and aerospace. In these industries they make up the bulk of the communication and
power application transformers. Other types of switch mode transformer applications
include but are not limited to switching power supplies, converters, inverters,
These types of switchers are prevalent in automatic controls, biomedical equipment,
geophysical instrumentation, and electronics. A switcher also lends itself to designs
that require high switching frequencies often up to 500MHz. Other types of switch
mode transformers are the preferred choice for lower frequency applications. Some
of these applications include high Q filters; RFI filters, switching regulators,
and low power isolation power supplies.
The switch mode transformer is ideal for use in DC/DC converters for industrial
controls and all types of test equipment. They work great in various topologies
such as push-pull, forward converter, buck/boost, half/full bridge, and flyback.
The unlimited number of applications continuously challenges us to come up with
creative custom designs that can be economically manufactured and tested.
The total power output and the operational frequency drive the overall size and
shape of the switch mode transformer. This along with any specific mechanical design
requirements specified by the customer help define a core that is "best" for a specific
Custom designs begin with the core of the transformer. Custom Coils sources it magnetic
cores from several key industry leading magnetic manufacturers. This allows flexibility
in design and lowers design costs. Custom Coils' cores are constructed using ferrite,
which is pressure molded ceramic structures of various shapes. These cores are made
by mixing iron oxides with other oxides or carbonates. Carbonates consist of a recipe
of metals such as magnesium, nickel, or zinc. Once the cores are shaped, they are
kiln fired and allowed to cool. These cores can then be assembled with the corresponding
bobbins to create a switch mode transformer.
As with the cores, Custom Coils sources bobbins and coil forms from many of the
industry leading bobbin manufacturers. This gives us the flexibility of selecting
nylon, glass-filled, flame retardant, or Rynite material bobbins. This also gives
us the flexibility to choose between single or multi-section bobbins and between
vertical or horizontal core mounting. The bobbins also determine how the transformer
interfaces with the rest of the circuit. Custom Coils offers a full line of standard
terminated bobbins. We can also design and develop custom terminals to meet your
Most of our bobbins allow attachment to printed circuit boards via PCB pinouts or
surface mount. The PCB pinouts offer pin spacing from .150 and .200 typical up to
.300 typical. Surface mount headers offer a highly reliable way to pick and place
transformers in large volume. The surface mount bobbins offer standard pin pitches
of .100 typical. Custom Coils also offers flat solder lugs, quick disconnect terminals,
and flying leads. This gives a full complement of attachment possibilities for a
switch mode transformer.
When building custom magnetics such as a switch mode transformer many different
winding procedures are used to build different designs. The bulk of the small to
medium size winding is done on one of the various Custom Coils owned winding machines.
These winders allow Custom Coils to maximize winding time by winding multiple bobbins
at one time on each machine.
Custom Coils has a large investment in multi-bobbin winding equipment such as Synthesis
S-100's, Essex Leesona 108's, and Elden 605 layer winders. These machines allow
us to wind multiple bobbins simultaneously and maximize winding time to keep costs
down for switch mode transformer production. Even with all the capital equipment,
Custom Coils still does quite a bit of hand winding using many different types of
hand winders. This allows us to still satisfy specialty applications with low turns
counts and allows us to do small quantities without any large setup fees and times.
Although we can build smaller specialized quantities for custom orders we also have
the equipment and capabilities to do high volumes at premium quality.
Another key element of the switch mode transformer and another key factor when determining
winding procedure is the actual wire type to be used. Custom Coils uses many different
types of magnetic wire from several key sources. Some applications call for super
fine wire (#46AWG) for tight spaces while others need large current carrying capabilities
of super heavy build (#10AWG) wire. We also have several insulating possibilities
to solve high temperature applications. We often use triple or quadruple build,
twisted magnetic wire and other isolation techniques. We offer the use of different
types of sleeving using materials such as Teflon, PVC heat shrink, and vinylglas.
This allows isolation and protection where needed and wanted.
Custom Coils offers many type of finishing products as well. We provide many types
of shielded covers, clamps, and isolation options to finish the packaging of your
transformer. All Custom Coils switchers go through a varnishing stage where Ripley's
468-2FC varnish is vacuum impregnated into the transformer. The varnish impregnation
increases the resistance between coil wires many times over air.
Custom Coils also uses many types of potting and encapsulating compounds such as
Ripley's 471-5LL, 3M Scotchcast 280 epoxy varnish, and Dolph's CB1054 potting compound.
Other high temp special applications use Hexel 4003. These compounds give Custom
Coils a variety of options when finishing and encapsulating a switcher.
Custom Coils takes pride in the fact that we test 100% of our transformers. Custom
Coils uses several Voltech 3600 to do all testing required. Custom design test suites
are developed based on the customer's requirements and expectations. The Voltech
3600 gives Custom Coils the flexibility to measure inductance, turns ratio's, resistance
of coils, leakage, and hi-pot. We use all these type tests for our outgoing tests,
random sampling, and TQM initiatives.
Custom Coils warehouses many test fixtures of some of our most popular parts. This
allows tests to be defined quickly for customers and no tooling costs incurred.
Quality is the ultimate goal, through engineering design, manufacturing processes,
and quality control over these processes.
When you have a need for a switch mode transformer, we're here to help from the
initial design right through testing and final delivery. Just contact Custom Coils
and we can help out on your projects big and small.