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1. (WO2016114836) NUMÉRISATION D'ENTRÉE DE COMMANDE MFC ANALOGIQUE
Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A mass flow controller comprising:

an analog signal input configured to receive an analog set point signal;

a converter configured to convert the analog set point signal to a digital set point signal; and

a source of at least one exact non-changing digital set point signal precisely representing a desired rate of flow;

wherein the source provides the exact non-changing digital set point signal in response to the digital set point signal so long as the digital set point signal is within a preselected band defining a range of values.

2. A mass flow controller according to claim 1, wherein the source is configured to provide the exact non-changing digital set point signal in response to the digital set point signal within the preselected band for a predetermined amount of time.

3. A mass flow controller according to claim 2, wherein the level of the exact non-changing digital set point signal, the preselected band of the digital set point signal and the predetermined amount of time are user preselected.

4. A mass flow controller according to claim 1 , wherein the source is configured to provide any one of a plurality of different exact non-changing digital set point signals, each exact non-changing digital set point signal being provided in response to a corresponding digital set point signal so long as the digital set point signal is within a respective preselected band defining a range of values associated with the that digital set point signal.

5. A mass flow controller according to claim 4, further including a sensor arrangement configured to provide data representing the actual rate of flow of gas through the mass flow controller, a control valve responsive to a valve control signal configured to control the flow of gas through the mass flow controller, and a control

unit for generating a valve control signal as a function of a selected exact non-changing digital set point and the data representing actual rate of flow of gas through the mass flow controller.

6. A mass flow controller according to claim 5, where the sensor arrangement is thermal-based.

7. A mass flow controller according to claim 5, wherein the sensor arrangement is pressure-based.

8. A mass flow controller according to claim 5, wherein the valve control signal is a voltage predetermined as a function of the control valve and correlated to a valve position that provides a flow rate though the mass flow controller substantially equal to the selected set point.

9. A mass flow controller according to claim 1, further including a sensor arrangement configured to provide data representing the actual rate of flow of gas through the mass flow controller, and a control valve responsive to a valve control signal configured to control the flow of gas through the mass flow controller, wherein the source includes a processor configured to generate the valve control signal as a function of the exact non-changing digital set point and data representing the actual rate of flow of gas through the mass flow controller.

10. A mass flow controller according to claim 9, where the sensor arrangement is thermal-based.

11. A mass flow controller according to claim 9, wherein the sensor arrangement is pressure-based.

12. A mass flow controller according to claim 9, wherein the valve control signal is a voltage predetermined as a function of the control valve and correlated to a valve position that provides a flow rate though the mass flow controller substantially equal to the set point.

13. A mass flow controller according to claim 1, wherein the source is configured to provide anyone of a plurality of different exact non-changing digital set point signals depending on the digital set point signal converted by the converter.

14. A mass flow controller according to claim 1, further including enabling/disabling arrangement configured to the allow the mass flow controller to operate in at least two modes of operation, the first mode of operation wherein the mass flow rate is a function of the exact non-changing digital set point signal, and a second mode of operation wherein the mass flow rate is a function of the digital set point signal converted by the converter.

15. A method of providing at least one predetermined fixed valve control signal representing a desired flow rate through a control valve of a mass flow controller, in response to an analog set point signal, independent of noise in the analog set point signal, the method comprising:

receiving the analog set point signal at an analog signal input;

converting the analog set point signal to a digital set point signal; and providing the exact non-changing digital set point signal in response to the digital set point signal so long as the digital set point signal is within a preselected band defining a range of values.