Commitment. Capability. Continuity.

People often have concerns about the longevity of CRT technology.
Below we provide insight on the questions we hear most often.

Are Cathode Ray Tubes Obsolete?

Are CRTs Obsolete

Absolutely not. CRT material and process technologies are common to the vacuum tube industry as a whole, which continues to serve many applications across a wide variety of industries:

  • Lighting: incandescent, fluorescent, and high power arc lamps
  • Communications: microwave, traveling wave, high power amplifier tubes
  • Medical Testing: x-ray tubes
  • Commercial & Industrial Heating: magnetrons

What Are the Advantages of Maintaining CRTs?

There are many. The fact is that CRTs use tried-and-true technology that has been in successful application for many decades. That doesn’t mean it’s old; it means it’s a reliable solution. In addition, they’re also:

  • Cost-effective: High value components can be refurbished and reused
  • Available & Accessible: Quick turnaround, short setup, continuous production, and no minimum buys
  • Eco-friendly: Refurbish, reuse, recycle—and avoid waste
  • Proven: No need for costly and risky system updates when you’re working within a familiar, stable design
Advantages of maintaining CRTs

Will CRTs be available for years to come?

CRT Longevity

Yes indeed. For over 65 years our focus has been CRTs. They will continue to be our focus for the foreseeable future. Further evidence of our commitment:

  • Our Facilities: We’re making ongoing, aggressive investments to maintain and modernize our 3-building, 38-acre campus
  • Our Global Presence: We’re not going anywhere, with production and manufacturing facilities around the world (New York, Illinois and France)
  • Our Staff: Our team is intensely committed to maintaining and furthering our expertise in all aspects of CRT displays

What Technologies Are Used in Manufacturing CRTs?

The technologies we use at Thomas Electronics are the same as those used in a variety of high-technology manufacturing processes and industries. For example:

  • Glass Working: lathe forming, frit sealing, grinding & polishing
  • Coatings: screen print, settle, spin, spray, photolithography, vacuum evaporation
  • Vacuum: turbo-molecular pumping
  • Testing: photometry, image analysis, vibration & temperature cycling
  • Assembly: solder & crimp connections, silicone rubber encapsulation
CRT Technology

What Manufacturing Control Systems Do You Use?

Manufacturing control systems

Our Quality Assurance tools are common to today’s high-tech world. Processes such as thin film measurement, optical & laser measurement, and RGA are in place across an array of industries. Other consistencies include:

  • DMAIC: We apply Six Sigma’s 5-part improvement cycle (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) to every work center in our facilities
  • Manufacturing Execution System: We utilize a finely honed control system for operator instruction, consistent data capture, and real-time monitoring of work-in-process
  • Factory Automation: Our LabVIEW-based control systems and Keyence sensing/measuring solutions allow the automation of various processes and machinery

What is Your Supply Chain?

We’ve been manufacturing products for the electronic display and imaging market since 1948. Over this time, we’ve developed strong, enduring relationships with our suppliers at all levels. We actively maintain those relationships with frequent visits and collaborative interchange of key data.

  • Forecasting: provided at regular intervals
  • Parts Commonality: established over many designs
  • Basic Materials: procured when necessary
  • Vertical Integration: undertaken when necessary
What is Your Supply Chain

Facilities & Capabilities

Facilities and Capabilities

Class 10,000 Cleanroom

  • Continuous monitoring of area temperature, relative humidity, airborne particulates
  • Real-time information available and accessible remotely

Cleanroom Manufacturing

  • Phosphor screening
  • Electron gun assembly
  • Bulb-electron gun sealing

Facilities & Capabilities (Continued)

Facilities and Capabilities

High Vacuum Manufacturing

  • High temperature ramp and soak
  • Continuous monitoring of temperature profiles with SpecView software
  • Continuous monitoring of vacuum
  • Automated cathode filament cycling

Intelligent Automation

  • LabVIEW: automation of CRT activation
  • Digital communication for data tracking and archiving
  • On-board PLC for cathode current regulation
  • In-process testing for cut-off and emission performance

Facilities & Capabilities (Continued)

Facilities and Capabilities

Process Control Software:

  • Proprietary software developed by TE to monitor production processes

Modern Metrology:

  • Consistent grid-to-cathode dimension and alignment of apertures measurements

Phosphor Screen Analysis

  • Camera Inspection Software, developed by Thomas, calculates blemish size, transmission, location

Facilities & Capabilities (Continued)

Facilities and Capabilities

Brightness & Resolution Testing/Measurement

  • State-of-the-art equipment provides accurate and repeatable brightness and resolution measurement

ESS Capability

  • Vibration/shock simulation
  • Simulated altitude testing
  • Operational thermal exposure

Failure Analysis

  • Phosphor particle size SEM analysis
  • Phosphor thickness SEM analysis

Test Equipment Designed by Thomas Electronics

Test Equiptment
Test Equiptment
Test Equiptment
Test Equiptment