How it's made

Art of making Nixie tubes

Watch how they’re made Manufacturing video

  1. Cleaning
  2. Assembly
  3. Glass work
  4. Evacuation
  5. Base
  6. Testing

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Cleaning

Cleaning is an essential process of Nixie tube manufacture – all the parts going inside the tube must be cleaned prior to assembly. This ensures they will not pollute the gas mixture in the tube and provide for long life-span. Cleaning may take 25 % of the total time of making the tube.

Assembling table

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Assembly

Assembling hands

Assembly is the most time-consuming process, for it is very demanding on dexterity and patience. It takes more than half a year to fully train a worker.
Besides putting parts together, the worker must be able to keep the right tension in the metal sheets and do precise spot welding. There are 41 parts and 26 spot welds necessary for a R|Z568M Nixie tube.

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Glass work

Working with glass is both pleasure and pain. Every seal needs to be done just right, otherwise, the glass may crack, ruining all the work done.

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Evacuation and burn-in process

Evacuation is probably the most difficult process to understand because things just work differently at high vacuum levels. Each tube is filled with high purity noble gas to ensure long lifespan.

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Attaching the base

When the evacuation and filling process is done, the tube will get its metal base. Now it is ready for testing.

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Testing the tubes

When the tube is finished, we test it to detect potential errors.