What kind of temperature and process controls will be used in industrial thermal processes in the future? Here are some ideas.

It is possible that multi-controller integration will make an appearance. Some manufacturers already are putting more than one temperature controller in a single package. Imagine a controller — a single, stand-alone, standard-size controller — but with both a temperature controller and a high-limit controller all in one package. This would eliminate the need for two controllers, cut panel space requirements and lower overall costs.

Another benefit would be that the controllers would have the ability to talk to each other. For example, let’s suppose the high-limit controller’s temperature exceeded the setpoint. The high-limit controller could tell the temperature controller that it tripped and the temperature controller would stop trying to heat the system.

Or, suppose there are multiple thermocouple inputs to the same device. If one sensor failed, the controller could switch over to the backup sensor and send a message to a technician to change the primary thermocouple.

Perhaps you want to have several thermocouples measuring temperature across an air duct, and you want to take the average temperature and control off of the average temperature. Using a multiple input temperature controller, this could be accomplished.

See the related feature article, "The Future of Temperature Controls," to learn how industrial process and temperature controls are changing with the times.