Vacu Touch manual

Before starting…………….3
How to use this manual…………….3
Intended use……………………..3
Safety instructions……………….3
How to insert/remove the battery……3

Types of vacuum kilns……….3
Continuous / Discontinuous vacuum…..3
Ventilation system………………..3
Drain tank……………………….3

Installing VACUTOUCH………..3
Parts listing…………………….3
Installation tips…………………3
VACUTOUCH CPU (LG41) – LG39………..3
Dip-switch settings……………….3
Inputs / Outputs description……….3
Relays connection example. 3
LG35 Probe amplifiers. 3
Connecting several amplifiers to the Kiln Bus. 3

Power on………………….3
User’s interface…………………3
Keyboard lock / unlock……………3
Language selection……………….3
Icons and symbols………………..3

Configuring vacuTOUCH (Service menu)…..3
Vacuum management………….3
Vacuum pump activation delay…3
Maximum pump activation time…3
Pump alarm auto reset……….3
Vacuum Hysteresis…………..3

Humidification management.……….3
Humidification management……………..3
Sprayers management mode…………..3
Proportional/Integral/Derivative gain……3
Sprayers activation time……….3
Condenser minimum temperature………….3

Heater management.………..3
Heater management mode…………….3
Heater valve opening time………….3
Proportional/Integral/Derivative gain……3
Max kiln/plates temperature………..3
Heating by plates…………………3
Reference temperature……………..3
Maximum over temperature…………..3
Heating threshold (discontinuous vacuum kilns)….3
Heating pressure (discontinuous vacuum kilns)…..3

Fans management.………..3
Fans inversion………………….3
Fans management mode…………….3
Minimum pressure……………….3

Other settings………….3
Probes configuration…………….3
EMC and TMC measures filter………3
Drain tank……………………..3
Drain open while in STOP…………3
Additional HT probes…………….3
Minimum num. of HT probes………..3
Minimum HT temperature…………..3
Auxiliary output mode……………3
Twins chambers………………….3

Serial address. 3
Baud rate. 3
Maintenance. 3
Wireless SN assignment. 3
Alarms management. 3

Main screen………..3
Status bar……………3
Synoptic view with measures and actuators symbols…..3
Timber Moisture Content…..3
EMC and Temperature measures…….3
Actuators status…….3
Controller status indicator……3
Alarms indicator……3
Menu bar…….3

Configuration menu………3
Controller options…………….3
Backlight timeout……………..3
Day….. Minutes………………..3
Keyboard unlock code…………..3

Drying using VACUTOUCH…….3

1) Preliminary operations…………..3
2) Kiln loading / Timber probes positioning………..3
Wood temperature………………3
Plates temperature…………..3
Timber moisture.
Probes selection / visualization……..3
Timber moisture content probes (MC)……..3
Probes auto cut-off………………3
Calculation mode……………..3
MC probes list…………….3
Climate sensors (Temperature / Air humidity)…………..3
Climate probes list……………..3
Timber core temperature probes…..………..3
Drying cycle start / stop………….3
Manual actuators activation…………3
Semi-automatic mode……………….3
Automatic mode – cycle setting…………..3
Recalling a standard/user program……. 3
Saving a user drying program……………3
Drying phases definition…………….3
Inserting, deleting, enabling, disabling a phase………..3
Page A………….3
Drying climate…………………3
Phase ending condition………… 3
Timber moisture ………… 3

Other conditions…………. 3
a) Time ….. 3
b) Temperature + time +….. 3
c) EMC + Time +….. 3
d) EMC + Temperature + Time  +….. 3
e) Time or Temperature  / ….. 3
f) Time or Humidity   / ….. 3
g) Time or Humidity and Temperature  /  ….. 3
Page B………………. 3
Heat Treatment…………. 3
D/h  — Speed of climate change……. 3
Page C.. ……….3
Fans speed……………….3
Vacuum pump, heater, sprayers handling mode…………3
Page D……………3
Generic drying parameters……………3
Timber group………….3
Fans inversion time…….3
Inversion pause………3
Drain interval……… 3
Drain time: …………3

Drying preferences………. 3
Spray / condenser enabling temperature…………. 3
High temp. alarm thresh……………… 3
High temp. alarm delay………….. 3
Humidity alarm thresh…………..3
EMC alarm delay…………….3
Save measures every………….3
EMC compensation…………………..3
MC / EMC / Temperature calculation mode………3
MC compensation………………3
End of cycle time………………..3
Time tolerance……………………3
Timber Moisture tolerance………….. 3
Pressure measurement unit………….. 3

Additional functions……….. 3
Energy saving……………..3
Measures history…………. 3
Alarms history…………….3
Heat Treatment (HT)…………3
How to set a HT cycle……….3
HT probes selection……….. 3
Causes for not valid HT cycles……..3

1) Wood type/group table……….3
Actuators disabling conditions………3
Vacuum pump……………..3
Sprayers / Condenser…………3
Problems and solutions…….3
Touch pad Calibration……..3
Firmware upgrading……………3
Upgrading the firmware through RS485 interface…………..3
Upgrading the firmware using a miniSD card…………..3


Revisions History

Rev. 2


First Edition


Fixed LG39 – CN4 connection table

Before starting

How to use this manual

This manual is intended as a reference guide to use VACUTOUCH. Although it is possible (and advisable, at least one time) to read it starting from the first page, the manual has been written to be used as reference every time an information is required about a specific function. For this reason the title of the paragraphs are the same as written in the control system (abbreviations included). The best way to get most out of this manual is by sitting in front of VACUTOUCH, exploring it, be curios and searching here the explanations.

This manual uses icons that to point out some specific information:

This icon points out in-depth information or a peculiarity regarding the specific argument.

This icon is used to highlight the operations that, in case of not appropriate use, may cause damage or data loss.

Intended use

This product has been designed for the control of timber kiln dryers, in order to perform drying cycles in automatic, semi-automatic and manual mode. It can also perform HT cycles according to the ISPM15 requirements.

The control system has been developed for the maximum flexibility in order to be suitable for the several variants of vacuum kilns, such as:

  • With or without humidification system

  • With or without condensation system

  • With or without drain tank

  • With or without heating plates

The presence of humidification / dehumidification systems allows an accurate control of the humidity into the kiln, independently of the temperature and pressure. If one or both the systems are missing, the regulation will not be possible and the right climate must be obtained with an accurate setting of the temperature and the pressure.

The presence of the drain tank is required to work under continuous vacuum conditions; if it is missing, the control system releases the vacuum at regular intervals in order to discharge the condensed water, otherwise the control system simply opens alternately the kiln discharge and the tank discharge valves, so discharging the water without releasing the vacuum condition.

The most important distinction for the various vacuum kilns types is between continuous and discontinuous vacuum kilns, that is between heater by plates or by air circulation. The kilns with plates can work under continuous vacuum condition (except while discharging the condense in kilns not equipped with draining tank), because the timber heating is assured by direct contact with the plates. On the opposite, kilns without heating plates use the forced air circulation to transfer the heat from the heat exchanger to the timber, so that it may be necessary to let some air into the kiln periodically in order to assure a proper heat transfer. The start and the interruption of the vacuum condition is decided by one or more temperature probes inserted into some timber specimens.

According to the kiln type setting, VACUTOUCH automatically adjusts the vacuum management logic for the best functioning of the drying kiln.

Further information about kiln types and functioning modes can be found in the description of the settable parameters.

Safety instructions

  • Warning! When using battery-powered instruments, basic safety precautions, including the following, should always be followed to reduce the risk of fire, leaking batteries, personal injury and material damage.

  • Read this manual carefully before operating the instrument.

  • Retain this manual for future reference.

Consider work area environment

Do not expose the instrument to rain. Do not use the instrument in wet conditions. Keep the work area well lit. Do not use the instrument where there is a risk of causing fire or explosion, e.g. in the presence of flammable liquids and gases.

Keep children away

Do not allow children, visitors or animals to come near the

work area or to touch the instrument.

Stay alert

Watch what you are doing. Use common sense.

Do not operate the instrument when you are tired.

Check for damaged parts

Before use, carefully check the instrument for damage. Ensure that the instrument will operate properly and perform its intended function. Do not use the instrument if any part is damaged or defective.


This instrument complies with relevant safety requirements.

Repairs should only be carried out by qualified persons using original spare parts; otherwise this may result in considerable danger to the user

Use appropriate instrument

The intended use is described in this instruction manual.

Warning! The use of any accessory or attachment or performance of any operation with this instrument other than those recommended in this instruction manual may present a risk of personal injury.

Additional safety instructions for non-rechargeable batteries

— Never attempt to open for any reason.

— Do not store in locations where the temperature may exceed 40 °C.

— Please disposing the battery in accordance with local regulations.

— Do not incinerate the batteries.

— Under extreme conditions, battery leakage may occur.

When you notice liquid on the batteries, proceed as follows:

— Carefully wipe the liquid off using a cloth.

— Avoid skin contact.


The VACUTOUCH is equipped with a battery which is used to maintain some data (clock, phases timers, current phase) when the power supply is not present. The battery is used only when the power supply is not applied and has duration of about one year. If the control system is often turned off, it is advisable to replace the battery once a year to avoid data losses in case of power failure.

If you want to store the data during the battery replacement, proceed as follows:

  1. Disconnect the connectors on the back side of the control system and remove the back cover (see the next chapter)

  2. Connect the KilnBus connector and provide the power supply

  3. Replace the battery (see the next chapter)

  4. Switched off the power supply and close the cover.

Battery technical data

IEC* designation




Rated voltage

3 V

Nominal capacity

210 (mAh)

Working temperature

-20°C … 60°C (min/max)

Approx. weight,


Approx. dimensions

ø20 x 3.2 mm

* International Electrotechnical Commission

Before disposing the equipment, remove the battery as explained in the following chapter and dispose it according to the local rules.

How to insert/remove the battery

FRONT view

  • Unplug the “PC” and “KILN BUS” connectors from the rear side of the control panel.

  • Unscrew the 4 screws indicated by the “A” label in the “rear view”, then remove the metallic cover.

  • The battery, located as stated in the red circle in the “rear view (internal)” is now accessible.

  • Insert a small, flat screwdriver under the battery as indicated by the yellow arrow (B) in “Battery holder detail”, then lift the battery and slide it out from the battery holder.

  • To insert a new battery, gently slide it inside the battery holder, as indicated by the grey arrow (C) in “Battery holder detail”. Pay attention to the positive pole (+) which must be faced up.

REAR view

REAR view (internal)

Battery holder detail

Types of vacuum kilns

On the opposite to the conventional kilns, which are very similar each other, the vacuum dryers can be equipped with very different technologies and actuators.

All the vacuum dryers are equipped with a pump to create a depression which speeds up the water evaporation, and with an heating system to increase the wood temperature, while the following actuators may or may not be installed:

  • Heating plates

  • Fans

  • Sprayers

  • Condenser

  • Drain Tank

VACUTOUCH can be set-up according to the specifications of the kiln to be controlled using the “Configuration” menu. The most important difference is the heating method, which affects the functioning logic of the kiln.

Continuous / Discontinuous vacuum

Despite the drying in vacuum conditions is more effective, there are some conditions during the cycle when it is convenient to restore the environment pressure. The first condition is when it is necessary to heat up the timber and the kiln is not equipped with heating plates. Since the water evaporation depends also on the temperature, and since the timber tends to cool down because of the water evaporation, it is necessary to continuously warm up the timber in order to proceed with the drying.

The kilns equipped with heating plates, having an heating plate for each layer of timber to be dried, can easily maintain the timber temperature thanks to the direct contact of the timber with the heat source. Unfortunately the loading of a plates kiln is a quite long process, because of the manual positioning of all the elements over every plate. Moreover the connections of the plates to the hot water conducts are always critical and prone to leakage.

For these reasons other kinds of vacuum kilns have been developed, where the heating of the timber occur by radiation and by air circulation. Since the air density is very low during the vacuum condition, it could be necessary to restore an higher pressure if the wood temperature decreases in order to heat up it properly.

VACUTOUCH automatically selects the proper functioning mode (continuous / discontinuous vacuum) according to the selection made for the heating (Plates: yes/no). For the kilns without plates, a heating cycle will be started each time the wood core temperature decreases below a settable threshold (ServiceHeating)

Sometimes, depending on the wood species, it could be convenient to alternate vacuum periods to “pause” periods in order to let the wood to stabilize itself and speed up the drying process.

It is possible to obtain this function, even in case of continuous vacuum kiln, simply by using a drain discharge system without drain tank and setting opportunely the discharge interval and the discharge time parameters.

Ventilation system

It is used to heat-up the timber by means of hot air circulation (discontinuous vacuum kilns only).

VACUTOUCH considers whatever kiln not equipped with heating plates as equipped with fans for air circulation and allows to set the fans speed, the reversing interval and the minimum allowed pressure for fans activation.


These devices can be used to obtain a more accurate regulation of the humidity inside the kiln, by spraying nebulized water or by condensing the excess water on cold coils.

Since the moisture can even be controlled by acting on the temperature and the pressure and since the kiln is usually very small and easy to saturate with the vapor coming from the timber itself, these options are not installed in all the kilns.

VACUTOUCH can be set to show or hide these devices from the synoptic view. In case of absence of the devices it could be advisable to disable the low/high humidity alarms in some phases of the drying cycles.

Drain tank

The kiln can be equipped with a drain tank for the condensed water, equipped with two valves, one (normally open) towards the kiln, the other (normally closed) towards the sewer. VACUTOUCH will switch the status of the two valves at settable intervals so discharging the tank maintaining into the kiln the vacuum condition.

In the plants where a drain tank is not available, when the interval elapses, VACUTOUCH opens the air inlet valve to restore the standard pressure into the kiln, then it opens the drain valve for a settable time. This function may even be used to suspend the vacuum at regular intervals to let the wood to stabilize itself and speed up the drying process.

Installing VACUTOUCH

Parts listing

The VACUTOUCH control system consists of the following parts:


Nr. 1

Central unit LG41 with touch screen


Nr. 1

Relay outputs /analog outputs unit LG39


Nr. 1

LG35 Smart multi sensor box to be installed inside the kiln.


Nr. 4

Timber moisture measurement cables


Nr. 30

Electrodes for timber moisture measurement (three lengths)


Nr. 1

User’s manual


Accessories for installation

The quantities listed for the positions from 3 to 5 are referred to the 2 Temperature, 2 EMC, 6 Timber MC probes version. The other parts are subject to change according to the actual configuration

Installation tips

For an proper installation, please observe the following advises:

  1. The central unit with screen and keyboard and the relay outputs unit must be placed into a room having temperature between 0 and 40C non condensing and must be strictly protected from rain and water spray.

  2. If VACUTOUCH is installed on a switchboard, it is necessary to pay particular attention to the correct assemblage of the other equipment installed inside the same switchboard, installing, where suggested, all the filters required to reduce the interferences. Especially if a frequency inverter for fans driving is present , it is necessary to follow all the indications of the manufacturer to avoid the generation of interferences that could affect the operation of the control system.

  3. The temperature and EMC sensors must be positioned inside the kiln so that to assure a representative measure of the climatic conditions inside it.

  4. The cables for wood moisture measurement have to be under good conditions. No junction or reparation is admitted, because it could affect the cable insulation characteristic. In the case of insufficient length, it is necessary to replace the whole cable. This limitation doesn’t concern the other cables of connection of the controller.

The distance among CPU unit, the power unit and the probes amplifier, can be also very high (< 1,2Km), because the communication among these devices is made through an RS485 line, suitable for long distances.

In case of long distances (>100m) or of environments particularly disturbed, it could be necessary to use special cables, especially developed for RS485 transmission; in this case the power supply must be conducted separately, using another cable. It is also advisable to add surge protections at the ends of every very long RS485 line



LG39 is the Inputs/Outputs unit which is used to set the actuators and to read the external feedback contacts.

The control panel of the kiln controller must be connected to one of the two KilnBus connectors ( CN2 or CN3 — they are internally connected) of the input/output unit LG39, using the supplied cable (connection 1:1*).

The other connector (CN3 or CN2) can be used to connect the next devices on the bus.

(*) Please note that, although the pins number is reversed if compared to the control panel, the functions are on the same pin (1:1 connection).

Dip-switch settings

LG39 is equipped with 8 configuration dip-switches. Use a small sharpen tool to position them.

The following table summarizes the function of the dip-switches (Off=0, On=1):

Dip-switch number









Serial address offset






000 = Base address + 0

100 = Base address + 1

010 = Base address + 2

110 = Base address + 3

001 = Base address + 4

101 = Base address + 5

011 = Base address + 6

111 = Base address + 7

0=Safe Mode not active

1=Safe Mode active

Not used


1= work

Not used



Factory settings









When “Safe mode” is enabled, after 4 minutes of inactivity of the serial interface, all the outputs will be disabled but HEATER CLOSE and VACUUM RELEASE will be activated, in order to set the kiln in a safe condition. When this alarm condition occurs, the DATA ERROR led flashes every second. In normal conditions, for use with standard controllers, the switches should remain as indicated in the “Factory settings” row.

Whatever change on the dip-switches setting will be effective only after a reset of the device.

Inputs / Outputs description

The power supply input and the relays outputs are available on the CN4 and CN7 connectors.

The power supply for the whole system must be applied to the pins 1 and 2 of CN4 connector; these contacts are internally connected to the KILN-BUS plugs through the protection FUSE 1 (5A), to supply all the peripheral devices.

All the common contacts of the relays are connected to the same input (CN7 — 8) that can be connected to whatever voltage from 0 to 250Vac. A protection fuse (FUSE 2, 5x20mm – 5A) is connected in series to this input; the sum of all the loads consumption must not exceed the fuse maximum current rating.

The following table summarize the function for every I/O pin of LG39:

Connector ID



Fans inverter ModBus connection (for ModBus controllers only)

1 – RS485 Tx/Rx +

2 – RS485 Tx/Rx —

3 – Serial interface GND


KilnBus connector

1 – Power supply output L/+ (**)

2 – Power supply output N/- (**)

3 – Serial interface GND

4 – RS485 Tx/Rx —

5 – RS485 Tx/Rx +


Inputs connector (clean contacts only)

1 – Common

2 – External alarm

3 – Fans alarm

4 – Heating valve position feedback

5 – Auxiliary input


0-10V outputs (NOTE: the outputs are not mutually insulated: all the commons are referred to the same GND as CN5. This GND is insulated from the serial interface GND (CN1, CN2 and CN3) and from power supply.)

1 – Fan common (- FANS)

2 – Fans 0-10V output (+ FANS)

3 – Auxiliary analog common (- AUX)

4 – Auxiliary analog 0-10V output (+ AUX)

5 – Heat common (- HEAT)

5 – Heat 0-10V output (+ HEAT)


Power supply inputs / Relays outputs

1 – 24Vac/dc Power supply input N/- (**)

2 – 24Vac/dc Power supply input L/+ (**)

3 – not connected

4 – AUX3 output (Normally Open)

5 – Air inlet valve (RELEASE)

6 – Vacuum pump (PUMP)

7 – Heater Close(HEATER CLOSE)

8 – Heater Open (HEATER OPEN)


Relay outputs / Relays common Input

1 – Fans counter clock wise output (FANS CCW)

2 – Fans clock wise output (FANS CW)

3 – Sprayers output (SPRAY)

4 – Condensation system (NC)

5 – Condensation system (NO)

6 – Drain valve(NC). In case of system equipped with drain tank, this output should be used to drive the valve situated between the kiln and the drain tank. This output should not be used for systems not equipped with drain tank

7 – Drain tank valve (NO) or kiln drain valve (in case of system WITHOUT drain tank).

8 – Relays Common input (RELAY COMMON)


Green led (flashes each time a valid packed has been received)


Red led (flashes when a wrong message has been receive or when there is no communication)

Outputs Leds

Yellow leds which signal the activation of the corresponding output. For the 0-10V outputs, the duty cycle (ON time) of the LEDs is proportional to the output voltage (10V = led fixed ON).


Configuration Dip switch


Protection fuse for devices powered through CN2/CN3 connectors (5A)


Protection FUSE for relays outputs (5A – 250V). The sum of all the output currents from connectors CN4 and CN7 should not exceed the rating of this fuse.

(**) These power supply signals can be direct or alternate current, so that they can be reversed.

The outputs from 4 to 8 (CN4) and from 1 to 7 (CN7) are subject to the voltage applied on the relays common input (CN7, pin 8).

The analog outputs to drive the fans frequency inverter, the heater and auxiliary are electrically insulated from the power supply and from the Kiln Bus interface, but are not insulated each other and from the digital inputs (CN5)

If a relays output is used to drive an inductive load (such as an electro valve), it is recommended to add the supplied spark suppression filters in parallel to the load.

NOTE: the filter must be installed across the load and not across the relay, to avoid leakage currents and consequent possible malfunctioning.

Relays connection example

Fig. – Block diagram of a continuous vacuum kiln equipped with condenser unit, heating plates and drain tank.

Fig. – Block diagram of a discontinuous vacuum kiln equipped with condenser unit, humidification system and ventilation.

The above pictures explain how to connect the various actuators on basis of the specific kiln type. Note that the connection of the drain system is different for kilns with or without drain tank.

LG35 Probe amplifiers

The multi sensor LG35 includes all the sensors required for the Kilns management and the electronic to transform the signals in digital information. It should be installed inside the kiln in a position suitable to measure the average climate conditions of the cell.

WARNING: LG35 cannot be exposed directly to water spray and to temperatures higher than 80°C, otherwise serious damage may occur.

LG35 is equipped with a new, spring cage type connector, for an easy and faster wiring. To access the connector, unscrew the four screws of the front panel.

Remove the front panel CAREFULLY, and temporary fix it at the left side (see picture) while wiring the connector, in order to avoid any stress to the delicate connections between the front panel and the connection board..

Two inputs are provided for an easy chain connection: the kiln-bus can be connected to one of the two inputs, while the other is available to connect the next device (if any). For the connection use the following wires:



KilnBus +


KilnBus —


KilnBus GND

Can be used to connect the cable shield (not required)

24Vac (dc) – Phase (+)


24Vac (dc) – Neutral (-)


To perform the connections, simply peel about 1cm of insulation from the wire, insert a flat screw driver ( 0,6×3,5mm tip) and turn it slightly to open the cage, then insert the wire. Pay attention to climp the copper and not the insulation of the wire.

The two temperature probes inputs can be used to connect two NTC type sensors.



Air Temperature


Wood Temperature (optional)

WARNING: be sure that no uninsulated wire (including the shields of the cables) get in touch with the metal cover of the measuring circuit, otherwise the measures could be seriously influenced.

On the main connector there is also the measuring circuit ground , which is supplied connected to the metallic roof of LG35 through a capacitor. The metallic roof should be connected to an earth connection, not shared with other power devices. To get good performances, in most of the applications, it is enough to install LG35 on the metallic walls of the kiln.

The missing or insufficient earth connection may cause problems in measuring very low EMC and MC values.

If this kind of problem is encountered, the following solutions should be tested:

  1. Disconnect the capacitor from the LG35 metallic roof and connect it to a ”clean” (addicted only to the measuring circuit) earth connection.

  2. Leave the “Meas. GND” input of LG35 unconnected.

  3. Connect the Meas.GND pin directly to a clean earth connection. (Warning: this solution could carry to errors in measuring very high timber moisture contents)

Observing the rear side of the front panel a dip-switch wit 8 positions can be found. For this application their position should be: 8,6: ON, all the others OFF. Usually they are set in factory so there is no need to adjust them.

Looking obliquely into the dip-switch window two LEDS can be seen. In normal operation only the green LED should blink approx. once a second; the red led blinks at power on or in case of communication problems.

At the end of the wiring, before closing the cover, be sure that no wire is positioned over the connector, because there is no room available between the connector itself and the rear side of the cover. Pay also attention to the proper positioning of the sealing gasket.

Connecting several amplifiers to the Kiln Bus

 Wiring diagram – Pc connections

Power on

At power-on a special firmware (boot) tests the internal memory and manages the upgrading requests.

At the end of the test, the main firmware is launched. The main firmware starts with a delay in order to read the values measured by the sensors and to set to a known position all the actuators (i.e. valves) driven in proportional mode.

User’s interface

VACUTOUCH is equipped with a touch sensitive screen; all the settings are performed through a slight pressure on the desired icons or descriptions displayed on the screen. To touch the screen use a finger (the finger nail) or, for a more accurate positioning, the supplied pointer or whatever else object with rounded tip.

The touch must be delicate, to avoid damaging the special sensitive film, making the product not usable anymore. Do not use nails, spikes or any other sharpened tool

The graphic interface of VACUTOUCH is based on one main screen. The system automatically returns to this screen from whatever else page after a period (1 minute) without activity on the touch screen. The main screen is the starting point for whatever operation and setting.

The active areas of each screen are identified by buttons and/or BLUE text.

When an active area is selected, VACUTOUCH makes a confirmation “beep” and executes the related operation.

When a scrollable list is displayed, the list can be scrolled by touching the UP or DOWN arrow or by moving the finger in the desired direction along the scroll bar.

Keyboard lock / unlock

The keyboard lock function can be enabled by setting a lock code other than 0 (see “Controller options”) . When the keyboard lock function is enabled, a “” symbol is shown on the upper bar of the main screens: a green symbol indicates that the function has been enabled but still not active. After about 5’ of inactivity, the symbol turns to red and whatever pressure on the screen will prompt the request for the unlock code.

After power on, the keyboard is always unlocked for the first 5 minutes. This time can be used to clear / reset a lost password

Language selection

To set the preferred language for the controller menu, from the main screens press the  button, , then the  button and select the preferred language.

This is a shortcut: the same setting can be accessed through the section “Controller options”



The Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC) is the moisture content at which the wood is neither gaining nor losing moisture; this however, is a dynamic equilibrium and changes with relative humidity and temperature.

It is used in this control system as a method to indicate the humidity of the air inside the kiln: it specifies the moisture content that the wood will reach if subjected to the current climate for a long enough time.


The drying gradient (DG) is the ratio between the inside wood moisture and the EMC. A value equal to 1 means that the wood is in equilibrium with the air so it won’t gain or loose moisture.


Moisture Content (of the timber)

MC Phase

Phase of the drying process which will be terminated when the wood will reach the given MC.


The software installed by the manufacturer into the control system memory.

Icons and symbols

Inner moisture of the wood

Superficial moisture of the wood

Wood Moisture


Equilibrium Moisture Content

Air temperature

Wood Temperature

Plates temperature

Heating fluid temperature


RF signal strength + battery status (green = charged / white = empty)

Probe alarm / fault



Vacuum pump


Automatic management

Manual or semi automatic management

Device forced OFF

Device forced ON

Device temporarily not available (disabled)

miniSD memory card detected

Keyboard locked

Active connection with remote PC


Energy saving mode

Button for probes visualization / selection

Button to recall the settings menu

Button for manual editing of the drying program


Button for manual editing of the generic data of the drying program

Button to launch the section to set, edit, Start / Pause / stop the drying cycle.


Regulation MC = the minimum value among the active probes


Regulation MC = the maximum value among the active probes

Condition for phase ending

Time based phase


Time + temperature based phase (the countdown starts when the temperature has been reached)


Time + EMC based phase (the countdown starts when the EMC has been reached)


Time + EMC + Temperature based phase (the countdown starts when the EMC and the temperature have been reached)

Temperature OR time based phase (the countdown starts with the phase; the phase is terminated when the temperature has been reached OR the time is elapsed)

EMC OR time based phase (the countdown starts with the phase; the phase is terminated when the EMC has been reached OR the time is elapsed)

EMC + Temperature OR time based phase (the countdown starts with the phase; the phase is terminated when the temperature AND the EMC have been reached OR the time is elapsed)


Timber MC based phase. The phase is terminated when the MC reaches the desired value. The temperature has the high priority in the kiln regulation.


Timber MC based phase. The phase is terminated when the MC reaches the desired value. The EMC has the high priority in the kiln regulation.

User defined cycle

Standard cycle

Cycle modified by the user

Air inlet (vacuum release)


Configuring vacuTOUCH (Service menu)

After the installation of the controller and before using VACUTOUCH, it must be configured, to fit it to the characteristics of the specific kiln. To enter the configuration section, from the main screens press the  button, then select “Service only menu”.

Vacuum management

This section includes all the setting related to the vacuum system management.

Vacuum pump activation delay

It can be used to avoid too frequent activations of the vacuum pump. By setting it to a value other than 0 (function disabled), it is possible to specify the time in minutes between two consecutive activations.

Note: when the delay is active, the pump is signalled as disabled in the synoptic view until the delay time is elapsed.

Default setting: 0

Maximum pump activation time

This parameter can be used to signal an alarm (“vacuum system”) when the vacuum set is not reached within this time (minutes). The alarm may or may not cause the stop of the pump, according to the “pump alarm auto reset” setting.

Set the value to 0 to exclude this function.

Default setting: 30’

Pump alarm auto reset

This setting must be used together with “Maximum pump activation time” and can be used to avoid the overheating of the pump due to a too long operation time.

If set to 0, the function is not active and the pump continues to run even after the signalling of the “Vacuum system” alarm. Otherwise, if set to a value other than 0, it represents the pause time (minutes) for the pump, which begins when the alarm is signalled. When this time elapses, the alarm will be cancelled and the pump automatically enabled again.

Default setting:: 30’

Vacuum Hysteresis

Specifies the difference between the set-point and the measured pressure which causes the activation of the vacuum pump.

Default setting: 1,0KPa

Humidification management

This sub menu includes all the settings related to the humidification device.

Humidification management

Specifies whether the kiln is equipped with an humidification system.

Default setting: NO

Sprayers management mode

Defines the driving logic for the sprayers actuator. Three settings are available and should be set according to the humidification system type.

  • On/OFF: The sprayers are activated when the humidity in the kiln is lower than the set point and turned off when it returns within the desired values.

  • Prop: The sprayers are activated proportionally to the difference from the set point. The proportional activation is obtained by driving On the actuator for a variable percentage of time of a 30” cycle.

  • H2O: The humidification occurs by opening a water inlet valve for a settable time (seconds) every 30 minutes, in order to allow the water to evaporate.

Default setting: Prop.

Proportional/Integral/Derivative gain

These three parameters should be used to optimize the humidification system response. If the response is too fast, the system may oscillate around the ideal value; if it is too slow, it could take too much time to reach the ideal value. To avoid these problems the response time may be adjusted trimming the three P.I.D. parameters. The first one (P) regulates the response on basis of the difference from the ideal value, the second (I) on basis of the duration of the error, the third one (D) reduces the gain according to the last changes on the measured values.

If the system is particularly subject to oscillation or it has too slow reactions, it can be adjusted proceeding as follows:

  • Set the I and D gains to 0.

  • Adjust P until the ideal value is reached as soon as possible but with no oscillation or excessive overshoot.

  • Improve the response time by increasing I until reaching reasonably fast performance without oscillations.

  • If necessary, increase D to reduce the oscillation.

Usually D gain is one order higher than the P and I values.

Default setting: P = 20. I = 50, D = 300

Sprayers activation time

This setting is used only when the Sprayers management mode is set to “H2O” and specifies the time (seconds) of activation of the water inlet valve every 30 minutes.

Default setting: 20”


Specifies whether the system is equipped with a condenser unit to reduce the air humidity.

Default setting: NO

Condenser minimum temperature

It is used only for kilns equipped with a condenser unit to specify the minimum air temperature which must be reached to enable the utilization of the condenser.

Default setting: 40,0°C

Heater management

This sub menu includes all the settings related to the heating device..

Heater management mode

Used to specify whether the heating system should be managed by pulses (the controller gives small opening or closing pulses, to move the valve little by little) or On/Off (the valve can be only fully opened or closed). When traditional motorized valves are used, the first solution is warmly advisable, because it allows a better regulation. The On/Off mode should be used only when the proportional mode cannot be applied (for instance: direct burner driving)

Default setting: Pulse

Heater valve opening time

The time required for the heater valve to open or close completely. It is used only if heating pulse mode has been selected.

Default setting: 80”

Proportional/Integral/Derivative gain

These three parameters should be used to optimize the heating system response (For further information please see the same chapter under “Sprayers management”).

Default settings: P = 20. I = 50, D = 300

Max kiln/plates temperature

Use this parameter to set a limit to the maximum temperature allowable into the kiln. Even if drying programs with higher temperatures are selected, the system will never exceed the temperature set by this parameter.

Default settings: 80C

Heating by plates

Specifies whether the system is equipped with heating plates; if no, the system will automatically work in discontinuous mode.

Default settings: NO

Reference temperature

This parameter must be used to select what measured temperature should be considered for the regulation. This selection causes a sensible difference in the temperature management logic of the system.

By selecting the Heating Fluid (such as the air or the plates temperature) as reference temperature, the regulation occurs normally, by increasing the fluid temperature according to the selected method (heating slope or on basis of the timber moisture) and stopping the increment when the desired temperature is reached.

By selecting the wood temperature as reference, the regulation of the heating slope is again based on the heating fluid temperature, but the increasing of the heating fluid temperature occurs when the timber temperature reaches the ideal value or when the fluid temperature reaches the maximum allowed temperature (see “Maximum over temperature”).

Usually the wood temperature should be preferred in case of discontinuous vacuum kilns while the fluid temperature could be selected in case of plates heated kilns.

Default settings: Wood

Maximum over temperature

Used only when the reference temperature is set to “wood” (see “Reference temperature”), it specifies the maximum over temperature allowable for the heating fluid (air or plates) compared with the current temperature set point.

When the wood temperature needs to be increased, the heating fluid temperature will be increased up to the set point plus this setting. If, despite this, the wood temperature in discontinuous vacuum kilns should decrease below a settable value (see “Heating threshold”), a new heating cycle will be started.

Default settings: 5,0

Heating threshold (discontinuous vacuum kilns)

Used only for discontinuous vacuum kilns (without plates), this setting defines the maximum difference from the temperature set point and the actual wood temperature before a new heating cycle is started.

Default settings: 2,5°C

Heating pressure (discontinuous vacuum kilns)

Used only for discontinuous vacuum kilns (without plates), this setting defines the pressure that should be maintained into the kiln during the heating phases. It must be set to a value higher than the minimum allowable pressure for the fans.

Default settings: 1100mB

Fans management

This sub menu includes all the settings related to the fans.

Fans inversion

Specifies whether the sense of rotation of the fans has to be inverted periodically (usable only with suitable fans and switchboard).

Default setting: Yes

Fans management mode

Specifies whether the fans should be driven in ON/OFF mode or in proportional mode (a frequency inverter connected to theVACUTOUCH analog output is required)

Default setting: “Prop”

Minimum pressure

Use this parameter to set the minimum working pressure for the fans. When the pressure inside the kiln decreases below this setting, the fans (as well as the sprayers) will be disabled.

To exclude this function, set this parameter to 0.

Default setting: 800 kPa

Other settings

This sub menu includes all the additional settings required for the kiln configuration.

Probes configuration

Defines the type and number of the measuring probes provided with VACUTOUCH.

The following symbols are used to identify the probes kinds:

  • Timber moisture (core) probe: 

  • Timber moisture (surface) probe: 

  • EMC probe: 

  • Air temperature probe 

  • Wood temperature 

  • Wireless receivers 

This parameter should be set according to the maximum number of probes allowed by the installed hardware, regardless to the number of probes really used.

EMC and TMC measures filter

It is used to enable and to define the response time of a filter that can be applied on the measured values of timber and equilibrium moisture. If enabled, the filter affects all the EMC and MC probes, allowing a variation of the measured value in steps of 1/10, while the set value defines the interval between two steps. For example:

If previous value= 4,7 ; new value= 5,3

If Filter=0 the transition occurs immediately

If Filter =1 the transition occurs step by step (4,8-4,9-5,0-…-5,3) and takes 6 seconds

If Filter =200 the transition occurs step by step (4,8-4,9-5,0-…-5,3) and takes 1200 seconds

This function is useful to reduce the oscillation of the measured values in very noisy environments. By setting this parameter to 0, the filter is excluded.

Default setting: 0

Drain tank

Specifies whether the kiln is equipped with a condense drain tank and it modifies according the condense discharge logic.

If there is no drain tank (“NO”), when the drain interval elapses, the system opens the vacuum release valve (air inlet) and, when the environment pressure has been reached, it opens also the kiln drain valve. On the opposite, the kiln drain valve is immediately activated at the elapsing of the interval, without releasing the vacuum condition.

Default setting: NO

Drain open while in STOP

It specifies whether the kiln drain valve should remain in open position while the system is in STOP mode. The air inlet valve remains always open, regardless of this setting.

Default setting: YES

Additional HT probes

Specifies whether there are additional amplifiers addicted to the phytosanitary Heat Treatment of the timber. The possible configurations are:


No LG30 amplifier installed

1 LG30 amplifier – up to 8 timber temperature probes


2 LG30 amplifiers – up to 16 timber temperature probes

Default setting: NO

Either when there are no amplifiers addicted for HT, the system can be used for HT provided that there are enough timber core temperature probes in the other amplifier systems

Minimum num. of HT probes

It is the minimum number of HT probes required by the local regulations. No HT cycle can be performed if the number of available timber core temperature probes is lower than this setting.

Default setting: 4

Minimum HT temperature

It is the minimum temperature to be reached at timber core during the phytosanitary HT cycles. It is set by the PC software WoodWizard2 at every starting of a new HT cycle, according to the local requirements. The real temperature value maintained during the HT cycles will be the higher between this one and the one set in the phase definition.

Default setting: 58°C

Auxiliary output mode

It can be used to assign the preferred function to the auxiliary output. The available options are:

  • Alarm (the output is activated in case of alarm)

  • H.Pump (Recirculation pump – the output stay always ON throughout the whole cycle, and it is stopped only in case of Pause, Stop of Enc of Cycle, or even in case of High temperature or External Alarm)

Default setting: Alarm

Twins chambers

It can be used in case of vacuum kilns composed by two twin autoclaves, one of them excludible, and both them equipped with a LG35 measurement unit. If enabled, this function allows a fast switch (shortcut) of the probes configuration from the selected configuration the immediately following one, by a simple touch on the button that appears on the main screen (the selection is enabled only while in stop condition). When this function is enabled, the probes configuration must be set to work with a single autoclave.

Default setting: NO


These settings are required when the VACUTOUCH is connected to a remote supervisory PC.

Serial address

When one or more controllers are connected to a supervision system, a univocal identification number (address) must be assigned to each of them. On the same net cannot be connected 2 controllers having the same address.

Default setting: 1

Baud rate

It specifies the speed of data transmission on the net of kilns. The setting has to be the same for all the connected equipment and must be set according to the requirements of the remote management software.

Default setting: 57600


The access to this page is reserved to maintenance operators and it is password protected.

Wireless SN assignment

This menu is useful only in case of system equipped with wireless sensors , and should be used to assign the Serial Numbers for the identification of the wireless devices assigned to the control system. Each wireless sensor is identified by an unique serial number (usually written on a label stuck on the device) which allows the receiver to identify it and to associate it to the corresponding probe. There are two lists, one for the timber moisture / temperature measuring devices (MoistureMouses) and one for the wall mounting air / temperature measuring devices (Boxes).

It is possible to assign up to 32 MoistureMouses and 8 Boxes to each control system. The control system will establish the number of installed sensors on basis of how many serial numbers have ben inputted.


  • The serial numbers must be assigned sequentially to each sensor. Intermediate sensors without any SN assigned are not allowed.

  • The SN for the unused sensors must be set to 00000

Example of assignment of the SN of the MoistureMouses for a plant equipped with 4 sensors:

Wrong assignment

Right assignment




























Alarms management

The VACUTOUCH is able to signal different alarms for possible anomalies or failures that occur during the drying cycle. For each of the causes, the system may take actions (i.e., as a rule, a too high temperature or a too low humidity usually results in suspension of the drying cycle) that have already been pre-set at the factory. The User may, under its responsibility, decide what action must be taken as a result of any fault reported.


— Changing the actions following alarms may entail serious damage to the material being dried. Do not use these settings if you are not sure what you are doing.

— Some actions reported could not be performed because of contrary actions with higher priority (i.e. almost all the actions are not considered if the kiln is in STOP mode). In case of doubt, verify experimentally the operation of the settings or contact the Support Centre.

The list of settings consists of two pages: the first page contains a description of the anomaly and the columns related to Alarm (AUX3), Kiln Drain and condenser.

The next page shows, by every anomaly, the “cycle” column:


= no action

= it sets the cycle in pause (Intervention of the Operator required)

= it stops the cycle

In addition, you can specify if the management of the sprayers, dampers, heaters and fans should be:

= automatic

= on

= off

About the pressure, it is possible to choose among the following options::

= Automatic

= Vacuum release mode (air inled valve opened)

= Vacuum mode (vacuum pump active)

Main screen

After power on or after an inactivity period from whatever other screen, VACUTOUCH automatically returns to the main screen, which can be used to survey the progress of the drying process.

This screen gives at a glance an exhaustive panorama about the kiln status and drying progress, through graphic and numeric information. It consists of the following sections:

Status bar

It reports information about the current cycle and the status of the control system:

  • ID number of the loaded cycle

  • Symbol to represent the origin of the cycle:

    User cycle

    Standard cycle

    Cycle modified by the user.

  • Thickness of the timber

  • Essence/Cycle name

  • ”: if present, this symbol means that a miniSD card has been detected in the miniSD slot.

  • ”: if present, this symbol means that the maintenance function is active

  • ”: if displayed, means that the keyboard is locked (red) or is about to lock (green).

  • “$”: displayed when the system is working in “energy saving mode”.

  • ”: displayed during data exchange with a remote PC.

  • System clock: the colour of the clock changes every second, to indicate the activity of VACUTOUCH.

Synoptic view with measures and actuators symbols

It’s a schematic view of the kiln with the measures of the sensors. The actuators are displayed according to the current configuration of the kiln.

Timber Moisture Content

It shows the current “standard” measured value for the timber MC. Beside the measured vale, in a lower, blue font, the ideal value is displayed (the value that must be reached at the end of the drying cycle). Touching this value opens the screen related to the phases definition of the drying cycle, positioning the cursor on the line where the final moisture has been defined and opening the final moisture editing window, so that it can be easily modified (the value acts as a shortcut: the same position can be found navigating through the menus and searching for the related phase).

WARNING: changing the MC in the selected row does not automatically changes other possible MC threshold in the preceding or following phases. It is a user’s responsibility to verify that the other thresholds are suitable with the new final MC required

EMC and Temperature measures

They report the current measured values in the kiln followed by the ideal values (currently required in the kiln according to the drying program) and by the values that must be reached at the end of the current humidification and/or heating slope.

By pressing the measured values, VACUTOUCH will switch from the automatic to the semi-automatic mode and will ask from the desired regulation value, overwriting the value required by the current drying program for the given parameter (Humidity or/and Temperature). The current functioning mode is evidenced by the icon before the ideal values ( = automatic mode, = semi automatic mode).

Actuators status

The main actuators for the kiln are displayed on the synoptic view. Their activation status is evidenced by the percentage of activation or by a specific colour or animation. The functioning mode of the actuators is indicated by the special icons beside them (= manual, = Forced OFF,  = Forced ON).

A further icon may be displayed () to indicate that the actuator Is temporarily disabled because of the current conditions of the cycle (i.e. alarms occurred, temperature outside the limits, fans in pause and so on – see “conditions for actuators disabling”)

By pressing on each actuator it is possible to switch its status from automatic to manual (and the opposite) and to set its activation status (see “Manual activation”)

In particular conditions (like STOP mode or SEMIAUTOMATIC mode) the measured values or the actuator status could be not active.

Controller status indicator

It’s a text line which provides information about the current status of the system (STOP, PAUSE, Semi-Automatic mode, current phase and so on). When the cycle is running, the row shows also the condition that must be matched in order to complete the current phase (such as the temperature or humidity to be reached, the countdown etc.). This information, together with the measured and ideal values gives at a glance an idea of the current kiln situation.

Alarms indicator

This row indicates the possible alarms; if there are several alarms, they are displayed in sequence, one every second.

Menu bar

The buttons available from the HOME page are:

= Probes displaying / selection

= Configuration settings

= Cycle creation/editing and start/pause/stop

Configuration menu

To access the Configuration Menu, press the  button from the main screens. A new page containing a list of the configurable sections will appear. The available options are:

  • Drying cycle preferences

  • Energy saving

  • Measures

  • Alarms

  • Controller options

  • Service only menu

Simply touch the desired line to access to the related settings. For a detailed description about each section, please refer to the related chapter.

Controller options

It contains a series of settings related to the VACUTOUCH unit. To set the options from the main screens press the  button, then select “Controller options”.


Use this parameter to set the preferred menu language.

There is a shortcut available for this setting (see “Language selection”)

Backlight timeout

Specifies the inactivity time (minutes) before the attenuation of the display backlight. The standard brightness is restored as soon as the screen is touched. By setting this parameter to “0”, the brightness won’t be reduced. A time other than 0 is advisable in order to reduce the power consumption and optimize the backlight LEDs duration.

Default setting: 10’

When an alarm condition occurs while the display is in reduced brightness mode, VACUTOUCH will start flashing by switching the standard with the attenuated brightness every second, until the screen is touched.


Use this parameter to set the preferred brightness of the screen

Default setting: 50%

Day….. Minutes

Use these settings to adjust the internal clock of VACUTOUCH. The proper setting of these parameters is especially useful to obtain the right date on the reports and to manage the energy saving function.

Keyboard unlock code

See “Keyboard lock / unlock code”.

Drying using VACUTOUCH

The steps to be effected in order to dry a timber stock are:

  1. Preliminary operations

  2. Load the kiln / Position the timber moisture probes

  3. Set-up a suitable drying cycle

  4. Start the drying process

This chapter illustrates step by step all the operations to start a drying cycle.

1) Preliminary operations

To start a new drying cycle some operations and preliminary verifications are required:

  1. Clean the probes connection boxes. Since the measurement of the moisture is based on the resistance and since the dust which accumulates between the connectors could be conductive, the MC measures can be affected by the dust itself. For this reason it is recommended to keep the boxes always clean.

  2. Verify the timber probes cables; they must be in perfect conditions: a damaged cable must be replaced or shortened, but it is never advisable to try to repair/join it, because the insulation required could be not assured. Every now and then it is advisable to verify the cables, by connecting them to the plugs of the probes boxes and leaving the other extremity unconnected, suspended in air so that the connectors are not in contact with any surface. In these conditions the values measured byVACUTOUCH should be as low as possible; although it is not possible to indicate an absolute reference value (because it depends on the plant, on the temperature and on the calibration), usually the readings should be lower than 6-8% at 20-25°C. In case of higher measures, first try unplugging the related probe cable from the probes box; if the measured value falls, the cable should be replaced, otherwise clean perfectly the probes box.

  3. Electrodes verification: the electrodes for the timber moisture measurement supplied with the controller are made from stainless steel AISI303 to assure a long duration; despite this, it is possible that, after a prolonged use, traces of corrosion appear. These must be removed using some common abrasive paper.

2) Kiln loading / Timber probes positioning

Wood temperature

The wood temperature sensor must be positioned very carefully, especially in the discontinuous vacuum kilns, because the effective execution of the heating cycles will depend on its accurate measurement. The sensor must be inserted on the core of a specimen representative of the worse conditions for the drying (with the highest moisture content, the higher thickness, positioned in the middle of the kiln, far from radiate heat sources). By choosing the wrong specimen, because already dried (and then not subjected to cool down because of the evaporation), too thin or positioned in an especially favorable place (so faster to heat up compared with the other timber), the system will not be able to assure the proper heating of the remaining wood, which results in longer drying cycles.

Plates temperature

For the kilns equipped with heating plates, it must be positioned in direct contact with them or with the heating fluid pipe, in order to properly detect their temperature.

Timber moisture

The timber moisture content is calculated by the controller on basis of the electrical resistance measured between the two electrodes, which must be carefully inserted in the boards selected as samples. The electrodes must be inserted cross wise to the fibres (see figure), approximately 30 mm from each other and at an equal distance from the edge of the board; they shall be kept far from the board edges because they are the first zones to lose their moisture content, therefore they are not representative of the average moisture content. The insertion depth should be equal to ½ of the thickness, in order to reach the core of the board. To facilitate the electrodes insertion, it is advisable to make a guide hole, 3 mm diameter, to the required depth of insertion by using a drill at low rpm, to prevent over heating (and consequent drying) of the timber.

To obtain the best results choose in advance the boards to be used for the measurement, by identifying the wettest boards using a portable measuring instrument (for example LG43NG or LG6NG meters); the selected boards must be placed in different positions inside the kiln, in order to obtain an indication representative of the whole lot of timber being treated, including the stacks positioned in corners where the air flow may be not perfect.

After inserting the electrodes, connect the electrodes to the probes boxes inside the kiln by means of the supplied cable, paying attention not to crush it while positioning the other stacks.

Wrong positions for MC electrodes

1) If one or more timber probes are not used, it is mandatory to disconnect the related cable from the probes box inside the kiln, because if the electrodes of the unused probes come in contact with a ground potential (like the wall of a metallic kiln) the measuring values of all the MC probes could be affected.

2) In case of plates heated kilns, it is mandatory to avoid any contact of the measuring electrodes with the plates. Be careful not to crush the cables with the plates.

3) When a multiple amplifier configuration is used (more than 4 timber probes), avoid to connect on the same timber board probes coming from different amplifiers, because the probes can cause an interference with a consequent wrong and not stable measure. On a single board only probes coming from the same amplifier can be connected.

4) To get good drying results in the shortest possible time, is extremely important to follow the following advises:

  1. The material to be dried has to be the as homogeneous as possible, for dimensions and for initial moisture content, otherwise the drying time of the whole load will be penalized by the time required to dry the most critical elements and by the longer conditioning phase required to get a result acceptably uniform.

  2. The oven has to be loaded with extreme attention following the manufacturer indications.

Probes selection / visualization

From the main screens, press the button to access the pages for probes selection/visualization.

Timber moisture content probes (MC)

The first page displays the timber moisture content probes.

The page consists of two sections:

  • The left side contains the settings about the probes auto cut-off and the preferred calculation mode for the MC values.

  • The left side is a scrollable list which contains the measured values for every installed MC sensor.

Probes auto cut-off

If the percentage is 0, the function is disabled. Otherwise, the controller will exclude from the average calculation the probes having a discrepancy higher than the percentage set. The exclusion is performed by successive approximations; based on the average value of all the enabled probes, the probes having a discrepancy are identified and the one furthest from the average value is disabled. The average value is then calculated again based on the residual probes and the identification — exclusion process starts again, until all remaining probes fall within the discrepancy percentage set. Thanks to this selection the cycle will be regulated by the probes with the majority of similar values.

The probes that have been automatically cut off are identified by the grey colour

Example of an automatic cutoff operation:


Probe values








No cutoff









With cutoff









Calculation mode

If more than one sensor is provided to measure the timber moisture, this setting can be used to specify what is the timber moisture value which should be considered for the regulation and the visualization in the main screens.

Usually it is advisable to regulate on basis of the average MC value but, for special purposes, the regulation can be set on the average, minimum or maximum values.

The MC value calculated according with this selection will be referred as “standard value” regardless of the selected calculation mode.

  • To perform special drying phases, for each phase the reference MC can be chosen among the standard (here defined), the highest or the lowest value.

  • In case of coupled MC probes (core + surface),VACUTOUCH performs all the above calculations on the core measures only. The selected value for the surface moisture will depend on the coupled core measure. If for instance, the” Maximum value” mode has been selected for MC and the probe n.3 is the one having the highest core moisture among the enabled and not cut-off probes, the surface moisture value is given by the surface probe 3 too, regardless of its value, which may be higher or lower of the other surface probes.

MC probes list

The list contains a row for each MC sensor installed in the plant. The displayed information depends on the sensor type. The available data for each row is:

  • Probe ID number

  • Battery charge status ( for wireless systems only:  – completely green symbol = battery fully charged, completely white symbol = battery down) or probe fault symbol ()

  • Probe selection box

  • Measured value

  • Moreover, for systems equipped with double probes (core + surface), the value measured by the surface probes is reported between brackets.

By touching the selection box related to every timber moisture probe, the correspondent sensor will be included / excluded from the standard value calculation. The selected probes which have been excluded by the auto cut-off system are displayed in grey colour.

Climate sensors (Temperature / Air humidity)

From the “MC probes” page, press this button to access the climate sensors page.

As described for the MC probes, a two sections page will be displayed, reporting on the left the preferred calculation mode (Average, Minimum, Maximum) for moisture and temperature and, on the right, the list of every climate sensor of the kiln.

Usually it is advisable to regulate on basis of the highest Temperature and lowest EMC (most critical values) but, for special purposes, the regulation can be set on the average, minimum or maximum values.

Climate probes list

Every row stays for a sensor; the displayed data depend on the sensor type. The available information is:

  • Probe identification symbol: humidity () or temperature ().

  • Probe identification number

  • Battery charge status ( for wireless systems only:  – completely green symbol = battery fully charged, completely white symbol = battery down) or probe fault symbol ()

  • Measured value

  • Plates temperature (if present) ()

  • Optionally this list may include also two additional probes to measure the temperature of the heating fluid before and after the heat exchanger) ()

Timber core temperature probes

From the “Climate probes” page, press this button to access the timber core temperature sensors page.

The timber core temperature probes page consist only of a scrollable list of the installed sensors. The available information is:

  • Probe identification symbol: humidity ().

  • Probe identification number

  • Battery charge status ( for wireless systems only:  – completely green symbol = battery fully charged, completely white symbol = battery down) or probe fault symbol ()

  • Measured value

The selected probes which have been excluded after the detection of an error, can be identified by the value displayed in grey instead of black (see “Heat Treatment”).

Drying cycle start / stop

From the main screens HOME or SYNOPTIC, touch the  key to enter the screen to START, STOP or PAUSE the current cycle. The same screen contains also two keys to change the current phase and a selector to switch between the automatic and semi-automatic modes.

Keys description:

PHASE SELECTION: these buttons are enabled only while a drying cycle is running in automatic mode and can be used to select the desired phase.

The current phase is displayed by the ID number between the two keys and by the pink square in the progress bar (the yellow squares indicate the completed phases, the grey ones the phases still to be completed)

START: it starts the drying cycle in automatic or semi-automatic mode, depending on the position of the selector.

In case of automatic mode, please be sure to load / set the appropriate cycle before pressing the START key

STOP: stops the drying cycle

PAUSE: suspend the current drying cycle, leaving the current phase unchanged and the alarms enabled. The cycle can be resumed by pressing again this key or the START button.

AUTO / SEMIAUTOMATIC SWITCH: this switch defines the working mode for the system: in automatic mode the system will dry according to the drying cycle set; in semiautomatic mode the system will only maintain into the kiln the desired temperature and EMC (settable from the main pages).

The selector is active only while the system is in STOP condition.

The other keys in the button bar should be used to write / load / create a drying cycle (see “Automatic mode – Cycle setting” chapter)

Manual actuators activation

It is always possible to override the actuators activation decided by the system working in automatic or semi automatic mode, by pressing the related button on the HOME screen or the activation percentage on the SYNOPTIC screen. A first dialog will appear asking to select between AUTO or MANUAL mode; selecting the MANUAL mode a second window will appear to switch the device ON or OFF (for On/Off devices) or to set the percentage of activation (for proportional devices). (for further information see also “Main screens”).

  • The manual activation has higher priority than every request of the drying program, including also the forced mode

  • The STOP condition has the highest priority and switches OFF all the actuators.

Semi-automatic mode

While in semi-automatic mode, the kiln can be used as a simple climatic chamber, simply setting the desired temperature and EMC to be maintained until the desired final moisture is reached.

Although it is possible to set the system in semiautomatic mode (either for the sole Temperature or EMC regulation) without using the selector switch, the selector is useful to pre-set the system in this working mode with a single, easy operation, without any need to change the drying cycle or effect many single settings.

To switch the system to semiautomatic mode:

From HOME or SYNOPTIC screens, press the START button

In the START/STOP screen, press the STOP button.

Press on the selector to position it to the semi-automatic mode ()

Press the START key

Press ESC to return to the main screen

Set the desired timber final moisture, the temperature and the pressure by touching the related measures.

— While in semi-automatic mode, the EMC, the Temperature and the fans are set to manual mode. It is not possible to switch them in automatic mode. It is still possible to set in manual mode the actuators for vacuum management, condenser, sprayers and heater.

— If the desired semiautomatic cycle should not be terminated according to the timber moisture, simply short circuit a timber moisture probe in order to obtain an high moisture indication and set a very low value as timber moisture threshold for cycle termination. In this way the cycle will continue until the operator will stop it.

Automatic mode – cycle setting

While in automatic mode, the system completes the drying cycle without need for the presence of the operator. According to the progress of the drying, VACUTOUCH will modify the climate in the kiln to complete the cycle in the shortest time.

To perform an automatic drying cycle, a suitable drying program must have been set. There are three different methods to set the drying cycle:

  • By recalling a standard program.

  • By recalling a previously saved program.

  • Through direct programming of the phases

Recalling a standard/user program

To recall a drying program previously saved into the internal memory (see “Saving a drying program”), proceed as follows:

STEP 1: From the main screens, press the START key.

STEP 2a: While the system is in STOP mode, press the LOAD key to recall a STANDARD program

STEP 2: While the system is in STOP mode, press the USER LOAD key to recall a USER program

STEP 3: Select the preferred program and confirm

The program will be loaded into the working memory, overwriting the existing program

— If no valid program was recorded with the given ID, an error message (program not valid) will be displayed.

— The program is loaded exactly as it was saved, without any adjustment on basis of the climatic or timber conditions. Be sure that all the data conforms with the requirements (see “Manual drying phases definition”)

STEP 4: Press the START (I) button to start the cycle.

Saving a user drying program

To save a drying program that was previously edited, proceed as follows:

  • Enter into the drying phases setting screens (see “Manual drying phases definition”)

  • Press the  button

  • Select the preferred position in the memory, then confirm.

  • Assign a name to the program, then confirm.

The program will overwrite any program previously saved having the same ID number.

Up to 20 programs can be saved into the internal memory.

Drying phases definition

For people already expert in kiln drying, or to create special cycles or even to verify what program has been loaded, it is possible to display and edit the phases of the drying program in the working memory.

  • By modifying in any way a loaded program, all the references to the original program will be erased, because the program won’t be the same as the original one.

To enter into the phases setting screen, from the main screens press the START button, then press the  key. A shortcut is available (only when the system is set in automatic mode) by pressing the final moisture value on the main screens: in this way the system will automatically open the phases definition screen, selecting the row where the timber final moisture has been defined and opening the moisture set window.

Up to 30 phases can be defined for each drying cycle. For each phase the kiln climate can be defined, together with the slopes for the climate variation (if any), the conditions to be satisfied to complete the phase, the handling mode for the actuators and for the alarms.

Every phase is described by a row divided in several columns; since there are many columns, the description for each phase continues on 4 pages, identified by the letters A B C D and are selectable using the  and . Buttons. While editing a phase, it is warmly advisable to go through all the pages to be sure that all the settings related to the phase have been properly set.

To change any data in a phase, select the desired phase row, then touch the parameter to be set.

Inserting, deleting, enabling, disabling a phase

To insert, delete, enable or disable a phase, touch the first column of the phase (ID), then choose the desired action from the dialog that will appear. If you choose to insert a phase, a new phase will be inserted before the selected phase and the phase n.30 will be lost. Disabling a phase instead of deleting is a useful solution to temporary remove a phase, maintaining the capability to enable it again in a later time.

Page A

It contains the main settings for the phases. Its bar buttons can be used to access the following pages (by pressing the  key) and the “Generic drying parameters” (by pressing the   key).

Page A columns description:

ID number for the phase

Final timber moisture

Drying climate: Temperature, Pressure, EMC

Condition for phase ending.

Drying climate

It defines the temperature, the pressure and the humidity (EMC) to be maintained into the kiln during the phase. If a EMC value is define, the system will use the available actuators (sprayers, condenser) to regulate it. If one or both the actuators are missing, the regulation effectiveness could be limited or null.

During the phases where the pressure control has been enabled, the sprayers are automatically excluded, except during the heating cycle in case of discontinuous vacuum mode. If installed, the condensation system remains active.

During the drying cycle, the modification of the climate between the setting of two contiguous phases both having a timber moisture threshold defined as ending condition (TMC phases), may occur gradually, according to the timber moisture variation or immediately (according to the slope set)





Example of temperature change between phases 2 and 3 according to the TMC thresholds: the temperature set for phase 3 is reached only when the phase has been completed.

In order to achieve the gradual variation of the climate based on the TMC, the following conditions should be matched:

  1. The current phase must be a TMC based phase.

  2. The previous phase must be a TMC based phase too.

  3. No temperature/humidity slope should have been defined for the current phase.

  4. The current phase cannot be an HT phase.

In all the other conditions the climate for the new phases will be set immediately, according to the slopes set (see “Climate variations speed”).






Example of temperature variation between phases 2 and 3 when a slope for temperature has been defined for phase 3: The phase 3 temperature is reached immediately after the completion of phase 2, according to the slope (°C/h) set.

As described for the temperature, also the EMC can change gradually according to the timber moisture or it can follow the %/h slope set for the active phase.

— If the current phase is an HT phase, VACUTOUCH does not allow to set any temperature lower than the minimum required for HT cycles.

Phase ending condition

Every phase ends when the timber moisture threshold set has been reached or, if no timber moisture threshold has been set, when a time is elapsed and/or other conditions are matched.

For Heat Treatment phases, the sole ending condition available is Temperature + Time

Timber moisture 

To set the timber moisture as condition for phase ending, touch the row in the timber moisture column area.

In addition to the threshold, the system will also ask what calculation mode it should use for the moisture calculation: depending on the mode set, the timber moisture considered will be the “standard” (see “Probes selection”), “Highest” or “Lowest” between the active probes; the “standard” mode should always be preferred, unless for special phases, such as conditioning or equalization phases.

The last question from VACUTOUCH concerns the climate regulation priority: it can be set to temperature (usual condition) or EMC. If the EMC priority has been selected and the kiln is not able to maintain an EMC as high as required, VACUTOUCH will automatically reduce the drying temperature until the desired EMC is reached. The EMC priority is not considered during cooling phases.

The calculation mode selected is indicated by an arrow immediately after the TMC threshold in the phase row:


Standard TMC (see “Probes selection”)


Lowest TMC


Highest TMC

The selected regulation priority is indicated in the column for the ending condition:


The climate is regulate with priority to temperature


Il The climate is regulate with priority to humidity

All the phases having as ending condition a timber moisture threshold will be next referred as “TMC phases”.

Other conditions

To specify other conditions for the phase ending, touch the phase row under the “Ending condition” column, then set the desired time and / or the desired additional condition. By setting the time to 0, the phase will end immediately after having matched the required condition.

The available conditions are:

a) Time 

The phase has a fixed duration; when the time elapses, VACUTOUCH will start the next phase, regardless to the climate.

b) Temperature + time +

VACUTOUCH regulates the kiln temperature in order to reach the temperature required for the phase. The EMC is regulated trying to maintain the required value, but it is not a constraint for the temperature increasing (unless a low EMC alarm occurs).

When the temperature is reached, the timer starts the countdown for the next phase, which will be activated at the elapsing of the time, regardless to the EMC value reached.

This is the only condition available for HT phases; the minimum settable time is 30 minutes.

c) EMC + Time +

VACUTOUCH regulates the kiln in order to reach the required EMC and temperature; if the EMC is lower than the required (-2,0%), the heater is disabled to make the humidification easier. When the EMC is reached, the timer starts the countdown for the next phase, which will be activated at the elapsing of the time, regardless to the temperature value reached.

d) EMC + Temperature + Time +

The system regulates the climate as described for (c) condition, but the countdown starts only when also the required temperature has been reached (tolerance 2,0% EMC and 5°C).

e) Time or Temperature  / 

The system regulates as described for (b) condition, but the countdown starts immediately with the phase and stands for the maximum phase duration. The phase ends when the temperature is reached or, at the latest, when the countdown elapses.

f) Time or Humidity  / 

The system regulates as described for (c) condition, but the countdown starts immediately with the phase and stands for the maximum phase duration. The phase ends when the EMC is reached or, at the latest, when the countdown elapses.

g) Time or Humidity and Temperature  / 

The system regulates as described for (d) condition, but the countdown starts immediately with the phase and stands for the maximum phase duration. The phase ends when the EMC and the temperature are reached or, at the latest, when the countdown elapses.

— If the ending condition requires a temperature or EMC value followed by a time (conditions b, c, d), the system will start the countdown when the required condition is matched, but it won’t reset the timer if the temperature or humidity will change during the countdown. In this way the system won’t be blocked in case of osillations of the climate.

— If the end of phase condition requires to reach an EMC value (c,d,f,g), the temperature won’t be increased until the EMC value has been reached.

Page B

It includes the settings related to the climate variation slopes and the type of phase (to identify special phases). Its bar buttons can be used to access the other pages (by pressing the  or the  key) and the “Generic drying parameters” (by pressing the   key).

Page B columns description:



ID number for the phase



Special phases indicator



Desired slope for temperature and EMC variation.


It identifies some special phases that require a special management by VACUTOUCH. The available special phases is:

Heat Treatment 

It is used to identify the phases used to perform the heat treatment of the timber for phytosanitary reasons, according to ISPM15 specifications (see “Heat Treatment”)

/h — Speed of climate change

These parameters are used to define the speed of change for the climate inside the kiln. By setting any value in these columns, the variation of the temperature and/or EMC will follow the specified slope. If no value is set for the current phase, the system will change the climate according to the current timber moisture (for TMC based phases – see “Drying climate”) or to the latest value set for the previous phases. If no value has been set for any previous phase, the system will use the default safety values ( 2°C/h for temperature and 10,0%/h for EMC)

To have the climate changing according to the timber moisture, do not set any slope for every TMC based phase (see “Drying climate”)

Page C

It is the page for the settings related to the actuators. For each phase and for each actuator (fans, vacuum system, heater and sprayers) the handling mode can be chosen between automatic(), forced OFF () or forced ON (). Use the bar buttons of this page to access the other pages (by pressing the  or the  key) and the “Generic drying parameters” (by pressing the   key).

Page C columns description:



ID number for the phase


Fans speed


Vacuum pump handling mode


Heater handling mode


Sprayers handling mode

Fans speed

Touch this column to set the fans speed desired for the related phase. The speed is specified as percentage of the maximum speed.

The speed variation between two TMC based phases, is be performed gradually, as specified for the climate variations (see “Drying climate”)

Vacuum pump, heater, sprayers handling mode

By touching the related columns, these actuators can be set to work in automatic mode or can be forced ON or OFF for the whole duration of the phase

Page D

Use this page to enable () or disable () the alarms for Temperature and EMC during the whole drying phase. . Use the bar buttons of this page to access the other pages (by pressing the  key) and the “Generic drying parameters” (by pressing the   key).

Page D columns description:



ID number for the phase


High temperature alarm


Low temperature alarm


High EMC alarm


Low EMC alarm

Generic drying parameters

This section includes some settings related to the drying cycle common to all the drying phases:


It’s the thickness of the timber in mm. This data can be set as reference but is not used by VACUTOUCH for its regulation.


It is the specific weight of the timber in Kg/m3. This data can be set as reference but is not used by VACUTOUCH for its regulation.

Timber group

It is used to adjust the timber moisture readings according to the timber essence. It is automatically set to the value provided for the timber essence when a new cycle is created.

Fans inversion time

It defines the interval before each reversion of the fans rotation direction. Every time this interval elapses, VACUTOUCH will stop the fans for a time equal to “Inversion pause” (to avoid mechanical stresses), then it will start them in the opposite direction.

Inversion pause

It defines the pause period for the fans before reversing the rotation. A few minutes pause is required in order to avoid mechanical stress to the rotors; longer periods may be useful to temporary suspend the drying cycle at regular intervals, reducing the stress to the timber.

Drain interval

It specifies the time (minutes) between two discharges of the condensed water.

Default setting: 120’

Drain time:

It specifies the time required to fully discharge (the tank or the kiln) during the condense discharge operation. This time may also be set longer than real, in order to temporarily suspend the drying cycle at regular intervals during the drying cycle, to let the wood stabilize so speeding up the process.

Default setting: 10’

Drying preferences

This is a set of settings for the drying cycle management, which are not related to a specific essence and are valid for whatever drying cycle.

To enter this menu, from the main screens press the  button, then select “Drying preferences”.

Spray / condenser enabling temperature.

It is the minimum temperature required to enable the sprayers and the condenser; under this temperature these actuators are forced closed (disabled).

Default setting:: 20C

High temp. alarm thresh.

Defines maximum the temperature difference between the ideal value and the measured value; above this threshold VACUTOUCH starts the countdown before signalling the alarm.

Default setting: 10,0

High temp. alarm delay

It is the delay, in minutes, from the identification of an alarm condition for high temperature and its signalling.

Default setting: 20

Humidity alarm thresh.

Defines the maximum difference between the ideal and the measured EMC values. Above this threshold VACUTOUCH starts the countdown before signalling the alarm.

Default setting: 5,0

EMC alarm delay

It is the delay, in minutes, from the identification of an EMC alarm condition and its signalling.

Default setting: 20’

Save measures every

VACUTOUCH can preserve a trace of the last effected measures into its memory, included the correspondents ideal values and the state of the timber probes. Use this parameter to set the interval in hours and minutes between two following records.

Default setting : 1h

EMC compensation

Use this function for fine adjustments on the measures of EMC indicated by the controller. The correction of the EMC measure is especially useful when cellulose plates different from those originally supplied with the equipment are used as sensors. The compensation is limited to +/-3,0; the set value is added to the measure detected by the controller. The set value is added to the measured value.

Default setting: 0.0

MC / EMC / Temperature calculation mode

These settings are referred to timber probes, temperature probes and moisture probes and are used to specify how the measures received from the various sensors must be managed. For all the types of probes, the regulation value can be selected to be the highest value, the lowest value or an arithmetic average of the measured values.

The controller is preset to regulate on basis of the average timber moisture and of the highest temperature and the lowest EMC measured in the cell (usually the most critical values). In some cases, it can be useful to adjust the cycle according to other values; e.g. when the timber is particularly subject to mould stains, an adjustment based on the highest EMC value can be more suitable or in case of timber that requires a minimum temperature to ensure an adequate treatment against parasites, it may be better to adjust the temperature at its lowest value

  • These parameters can also be set directly from the probes selection page.

  • The setting here specified for the timber moisture probes defines the “standard” timber moisture; for every drying phase the TMC can be chosen among this standard value and the maximum or minimum measured value.

MC compensation

Use this function for fine adjustments on the measures of timber moisture content indicated by the controller, in order to match the reference meter used to verify the final moisture

The set value is added to the measured value of every MC probe.

Default setting: 0.0

End of cycle time

This function can be used to make it easier the organization of the workflow of the kiln operators and may be enabled simply by setting this parameter to whatever time other than 0:00. If enabled, the function allows to approximate the end of the drying cycle in order to occur exactly at the specified time. Every day, at the specified time, the system will verify whether the following conditions are matched and, if so, it will terminate the cycle. The conditions to be matched are:

  • At the set time, the last phase of the drying cycle must be in progress.

  • If the last phase is time based, the remaining time must be lower than the “Time tolerance” set (see following parameters).

  • If the last phase is based on the timber moisture, its value should be not higher than the final value set plus the “TMC tolerance” set.

By setting this parameter to 0:00, this function is automatically disabled.

Default setting: 0:00’

Time tolerance

It defines the maximum tolerance admitted compared to the last phase duration in order to allow the system to terminate the cycle. This parameter is not used when the “End of cycle time” is set to 0:00

Default setting: 2:00’

Timber Moisture tolerance

It defines the maximum tolerance admitted compared to the final moisture content set point in order to allow the system to terminate the cycle. This parameter is not used when the “End of cycle time” is set to 0:00

Default setting: 1,0%

Pressure measurement unit

It allows to select the preferred unit to represent the pressure into the kiln.

Default setting: hPa

vacuTOUCH uses as internal pressure measurement unit the hectoPascal (hPa). By selecting a different measurement unit (i.e. mmHg), all the inputted data is automatically converted and saved as hPa, although they are still displayed as mmHg. This double conversion may lead to some inaccuracy (e.g. by setting 110mmHg and then looking at the set value, it may happen to read 109mmHg). This inaccuracy is absolutely negligible and it is not sign of malfunctioning.

To avoid this inaccuracy, use the hPa as pressure measurement unit.

Additional functions

Energy saving

This function of the controller is studied to optimize the plant management cost, by limiting the consumption during the most critical hours. It allows to fix a limit to the demand of electrical energy (fans) and either to the heating power, so it is particularly useful where the energy cost depends on the hour of the day (the maximum power to the fans can be assigned when the energy cost is lower); in addition, this function may also be useful in other circumstances, such as:

  • to limit the heating demand during working time, when the boiler has a not enough power and the hot water is used also to heat-up the working environment.

  • where several kilns are installed, to reduce the maximum power demanded by the plant, by setting in turn each kiln in energy saving mode.

  • to reduce the noise generated during the night, by decreasing the fans speed in night time.

To enter the Energy Saving setting screen, from the main screens, press the  button, then select “Energy saving”.

For every hour of the week the working mode can be set, by selecting the related box. (box selected = energy saving mode active). To set the maximum allowed activation while in energy saving, touch the percentages values on the bottom of the screen (0 = device completely OFF). Pressing the  button all the settings will be erased..

Measures history

It is a list of the last measures taken by the controller. The list can be accessed by pressing the  button in the main screens, then selecting “Measures History”.

The interval between a record and the following one is settable under the “Drying preferences” menu. Every row provides the following information:



Day of the month of the report



Our/minutes of the report



Kiln temperature (°C)



Ideal kiln temperature (°C)






Ideal EMC



Standard timber moisture



Timber probes status ( “ ‘ ” = active “.” = not active )

Use the  button to erase the list.

Alarms history

It is the list of all the alarm conditions occurred in the last period. The list can be accessed by pressing the  button in the main screens, then selecting “Alarms History”. Every row of the list provides the following information:



Day of the month of the report



Time of the alarm activation/deactivation



Description for the alarm

The description of the alarm is preceded by the word “New” when the alarm is detected and by the word “End” when alarm ends.

Use the  button to erase the list.

Heat Treatment (HT)

VACUTOUCH can be used to perform heat treatment cycles (HT) according to the ISPM15 specifications, in order to reduce the diffusion of parasites through the wooden packaging materials. According to these specifications, all the timber used for packaging must be subjected to 56°C for at least 30’ in order to eliminate the parasites.

To grant the respect of these requisites, many Countries requires the use of temperature probes to be positioned into the core of the thicker wood pieces positioned in the coldest point of the kiln. The number of probes required depends on the local regulations.

How to set a HT cycle

To perform a HT cycle, at least one of the phases of the cycle must be defined as “HT phase” (see “Manual drying phases definition”). A HT cycle may consist of a single HT phase, but many other phases can be added, to slow down the cooling or either to perform a drying cycle at the same time of the Heat Treatment. The HT phase can be positioned everywhere in the cycle, but, in order to optimize the process, it is advisable to insert it immediately after the hottest phase of the drying cycle.

When a phase is defined as “Heat Treatment” (HT) phase, the specified temperature is not more intended as air temperature but rather as minimum timber core temperature and cannot be set to a value lower than the minimum required for HT cycles. VACUTOUCH will increase the air temperature according to the selected speed, until the required core temperature set + 2°C (or the maximum allowed kiln temperature) is reached, then the temperature will be regulated to maintain the timber core temperature above the set value.

The temperature defined for the HT phase can be higher than specified by ISPM15 regulation, but it cannot be lower than specified in the “Minumum HT temperature” parameter during the installation. VACUTOUCH will regulate the kiln to obtain the higher temperature between the minimum settable temperature and the temperature set for the HT phase. Example:

PhaseT = 50°, MinHT temp = 56°  target temperature = 56°C

PhaseT = 60°, MinHT temp = 56°  target temperature = 60°C

A HT phase is always terminated after a settable time from the temperature set reaching. The time must always be higher than 30 minutes.

HT probes selection

Before starting a HT cycle the operator must select the timber temperature core probes to be considered. To satisfy the rules of some Countries, the probes selection is subject to some restrictions:

  • The probes selection can be only operated before the starting of the cycle.

  • A number of probes equal or higher to the minimum required by the local rules can be selected. The selection of an higher number can be useful to grant the proper completion of the cycle either if a fault to a probe occurs during the cycle

  • If a fault to a probe is detected during the cycle, the probe will be disabled for the entire duration of the cycle (the related value will be displayed in grey), no matter if it works properly again. The probe will be enabled again at the end of the cycle. The cycle will go on only if the number of the remaining probes is equal or higher to the minimum number required.

For further details, see “Probes selection / visualization” chapter

Causes for not valid HT cycles

A HT cycle may be automatically aborted before completion if one of the following problems is detected:

  • One or more probes had a malfunctioning (also temporary) and the remaining probes number is lower than the minimum required from the local regulations.

  • The communication between VACUTOUCH and the timber core temperature measurement system is interrupted for more than 30 seconds.

If one of the above problems occurs, VACUTOUCH will automatically switch to “End of Cycle” condition.

The event which caused the cycle to be aborted, also if it was temporary, is reported in the alarms list.


1) Wood type/group table


Afrormosia, Nyatoh, Zingana


Assegai, Avodirè, Box-wood, Cedar, Coigue, Cucuswood, Greenheart, Dabema, Dogwood, Douglas, Ebony, Rilled Ebony, Beach, Framirè, Freijo, Goncalo, Goupio, Guayacan, Ipe, Iroko, Issoua, Jarrah, Karri, Kempas, Rosewood, Bahia, Rosenholz, Macarati, Massaranduba, Mecrusse, Moabi, khaya Mahogany, sapelli Mahogany, Muhimbi, Muhuhu, Mukulungu, Mukusi, Niagon, Niove, Okouma, Olive wood, Brazilian Rosewood, Indian Rosewood, Panga panga, Rose Pau, Pear wood, Persimmon ,Pillarwood, Paranà Pine, Poplar, Pyinkado, Quebracho blanco, Quebracho colorado, Ramin, Red Cedar, Samba, Sandalwood, Satinholz, Ostindisches, Satinholz, Westindisches, Schlagenholz, Sucupira, Tali, American Yew, Wacapou Teak’, Wattle, Black, Wengè, Zapatero


Fir, American Fir, With Fir, Abura, Maple, American Maple, Sweet Maple, Afzelia, Agathis, Agba, Alstonia, Amarant, Amazakoue, Amendoim, Andiroba, Andoung, Angelin, Angelique, Antiaris, Assacu, Azobè, Baboen, Baitoa, Balsa, Balsamo, Banga wanga, Basswood, Berlinia, Birch, Yellow Birch, Bilinga, Australian Blackwood, Blue gum, Bombax, Box-wood, Brushbox, Campeche, African Camphor, Hornbeam, Chestnut, Cativo, African Cedar, American Cedar, Virginia Red Cedar, Ceiba, Chickrassy, Cherry wood, Cypress, Cocobolo, Courbaril, Daniellia, Diambi, Douka, Eibe, Essia, Evino, Eyong, Ash, American Ash, Japanese Ash, Guatambu, Haldu, Hemlock, Hickory, Ilomba, Buckeye, Izombe, Jacareuba, Jelutong, Kapur, Kauri, Kotibe, Koto, Landa, European Larch, Japanese Larch, Siberian Larch, Chilean Laurel, Indian Laurel, Red Laurel, Limba, Limbali, Madrono, Magnolia, Makore, Manbarklak, Maninga, Manio, White Meranti, Yellow Meranti, Merawan, Merbau, Mersawa, Kosipo Mahogany, Tiama Mahogany, Mahogany, Mahogany, Echtes, Movingui, Musizi, Mutenye, Myrtle, Naga, Walnut, American Walnut, Okan, Olive Wood, Elm, Alder, Ozigo, Africa Padouk, Burma Padouk, Manila Padouk, Paldao, Pardillo, Pernanbucco, Peroba, Rose Peroba, American Pine, Kiefer, Weymouth, Cirmalo Pine, Great Pine, Black Pine, Red Pine, Red Pine, Sylvan Pine, Trembling Poplar, Pitch Pine, Pitch Pine , Plane, Podo, Port-orford Cedar, Quaruba, Rauli, Rengas, Locust, Roble, American Oak, White Oak, Northern Oak, Japanese Oak, Slavonian Oak, Safukala, Willow, Saligna gum, Sapo, Schirmbaum, Sen, Sequoia, Sikon, Western White Spruce, Sugi, Sweetgum, Tchitola, Thuya-maser, Basswood, Tulip, Tupelo, Wacholder, Yang, Yeman


Alerce, Aningre, Bubinga, Dibetou, Imbuia, Mansonia, Light Red Meranti, Dark Red Meranti, Sipo Mahogany

Actuators disabling conditions

All the actuators outputs of VACUTOUCH can be disabled in case of alarms or other special conditions which may occur during the drying cycle. When an actuator has been disabled, the red symbol  appears on the related button; it won’t be used anymore by the system until the end of the condition that caused its disabling.

Vacuum pump

— Interval between two activations.

If enabled, the pump re activation is disabled for the set minutes after every activation

— Vacuum system error

If enabled, this alarm may cause the disabling of the pump for a settable time or until the reset by the operator

— No functioning temperature or EMC probe is available.

Sprayers / Condenser

— Spray / condenser enabling temperature

The sprayers and the condenser are disabled when the temperature is lower than specified in this setting (see “Drying preferences”)

— No functioning temperature or EMC probe is available.


— High temperature or Low EMC alarm

— Fans inversion pause

— No functioning temperature or EMC probe is available.


— High temperature or Low EMC alarm

— No functioning temperature or EMC probe is available.

Problems and solutions

Touch pad Calibration

If the system does not respond exactly to the touch on the screen, it may be useful to proceed with a new calibration of the touch pad. From the main screens, touch and hold the screen in a not sensible position (you shouldn’t hear any “Beep”) for 11’’. A new, yellow window should appear, with a red cross on the upper left corner:

  • Using the given pointer (not the finger) touch the cross exactly in the centre.

  • The cross will move to the bottom right corner

  • Touch again the cross exactly in the centre

The calibration is completed and the system will return to the previous screen.

Firmware upgrading

Upgrading the firmware through RS485 interface

To upgrade the firmware through the RS485 interface VACUTOUCH must be connected to a PC running ACE utility (release 4.4 or newer). A valid upgrade file is also reguired (see next chapter – Upgrading from SD – for more details about the file).

The upgrade of the firmware of VACUTOUCH can be usually launched directly from the remote PC. If for any reason (such as a problem occurred during an upgrade) this automatic launching should not be working, the following procedure can be used to force the upgrade directly from the start-up firmware (boot):

At start-up, during the initial memory test (RAM test), touch and hold the screen until the end of the test: the firmware upgrade mode will be entered. In the firmware upgrade mode, the message “Waiting for connection…” appears on the screen and the system waits for a connection.

After about 140’’ without a connection, the system will automatically reboot.

Upgrading the firmware using a miniSD card

To upgrade the VACUTOUCH firmware using a miniSD card, the suitable file must be asked to the assistance service, which will provide it by email into a compressed archive (.zip).

When a miniSD card is inserted into the slot, the “” symbol is displayed on the status bar of the main screens, in one of the following colours:

  • Green: the miniSD card has been properly recognized and is not in use (can be removed)

  • Yellow: the miniSD card is currently in use: do not remove it.

  • Red: miniSD card not recognized or error (memory card full or not readable): the memory card cannot be used.

The steps to perform the system upgrade are:

  1. Extract the upgrade file from the zipped archive. The file name format is VACUyyyy.UPG, where VACU stays for the model number and yyyy is the revision number of the firmware.

  2. Insert the miniSD card in the PC adapter and create an empty folder named “UPGRADE” (uppercase chars).

  3. Copy the file extracted from the archive into the folder.

  4. Insert the miniSD card into the VACUTOUCH slot – if the firmware release is higher than the one in use, a window asking to confirm the upgrade will appear.

  5. To proceed with the upgrade press the “OK” button. The whole operation will take few seconds: VACUTOUCH will read the file, it will automatically restart and then it will copy the firmware in its flash memory.

WARNING: do not remove the power supply during the flash memory writing process (stated by a red indication on the screen), otherwise VACUTOUCH will not be functioning anymore until an upgrade through the RS485 interface will be performed.


VACUTOUCH control system is covered by a two years warranty (from the date of in-voice or receipt) against any malfunction due to manufacturing defects.

The instrument and the accessories with defects will be repaired or replaced during this period without any charge.

The warranty (EXW) is given free of charge.

Warranty does not cover damages caused by user’s negligence or by violent stresses or hits and if repairs have been attempted by persons other than authorized service staff


The symbol on the bottom of the device indicates the separated collection of electric and electronic equipment.

At the end of life of the device, do not dispose it as mixed solid municipal waste, but dispose it referring to a specific collection centre located in your area or returning it to the distributor, when buying a new device of the same type to be

used with the same functions. This procedure of separated collection of electric and electronic devices is carried out forecasting a European environmental policy aiming at safeguarding, protecting and improving environment quality, as well as avoiding potential effects on human health due to the presence of hazardous substances in such equipment or to an improper use of the same or of parts of the same.

Caution! The wrong disposal of electric and electronic equipment may involve sanctions.