Here are a few questions control and measurement instrumentation supplier Eurotherm Inc. (Leesburg, VA) is frequently asked:
What are the latest developments happening in the field of temperature controls for the plastics industry?
Digital communications make controls today easy to interface both to PLCs and other intelligent devices. Controls today can multidrop on either Modbus RTU, Profibus, Devicenet, or Ethernet Modbus TCP/IP, offering a highly cost-effective alternative to performing analog measurement and control loops. This allows users to record and monitor data from one location.
What are the advantages or added features of these controls over the ones that were seen in the market few years ago?
By using discrete controls with digital communications, overall system hardware cost is reduced and other devices are relieved of the extra processing burden of analog control. In our current 3200 range, the text display makes it easy for anyone to use or configure the control. If a user scrolls to a parameter and waits for a few seconds, the text display begins scrolling in marquee fashion. The control then displays a description of that parameter in plain English (Spanish, French, and German languages are also available).
In what direction is the focus of research in the field of temperature controls aimed? What can we expect in future related to temperature controls?
There are two key areas in the future of controls. First, controls that are simple to use. Simplified controls will allow users to easily set up units without the use of a manual or extensive training. Second, faster digital communications to record and monitor data from the process. Again, the focus in the future will be faster digital communication protocols and controls that are easier to use, which will make life easier on users and machine builders all over the world.
Source: Eurotherm Inc. (www.eurotherm.com)