Control Loop System Offers Several Control Features in One PackageControl Loop System Offers Several Control Features in One Package
May 1, 2006
Control Loop System Offers Several Control Features in One Package
A manufacturer of thermal system components has introduced an integrated control loop to the market. With its EZ-Zone ST, Watlow Electric Manufacturing Co. (St. Louis) is touting its claim as developer of the first product to integrate temperature control, power control, safety shut-down, and power disconnect in a single package.
The unit is a byproduct of information gleaned through the firm's Voice of the Customer and Environment of the Customer feedback programs, the firm asserts. Watlow had originally planned to improve upon a temperature controller. However, this interaction with customers revealed a general dissatisfaction with the number of terminations, vendors, and part numbers related to the process, according to the firm. The company then set out to remedy this issue, resulting in the EZ-Zone.
"Through our conversations we found that our customers have four primary issues that they note as their greatest pain," says Don Commare, Watlow product marketing manager. "They would like to see simplification to reduce termination and wiring complexity, a reduction in the number of components taking up panel space, intelligence added to power control, and a lower cost of ownership for the entire solution. This product directly fits our customers' needs."
Features include a PID temperature controller and high amperage solid-state relay, as well as optional current measurement, heat sink, over and under temperature limit, mechanical contactor, and digital communications. The thermal system also has back-panel or DIN rail mounting, a touch-safe package, and ±0.1% temperature accuracy. The product is modular, scalable, and flexible to accommodate a variety of needs, according to the company.
Customers can also add one or more remote user interface (RUI) displays. The RUI features an EZ key that can be programmed to perform repeatable functions. Applications for the system include plastics processing, packaging, environmental chambers, semiconductor processing, and analytical instrumentation.
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