If manufacturing were a person (stick with me here…), it would be the world’s worst control freak. Think about it: knowledge and control are the name of the game in effective manufacturing. Whether you seek to control a reject rate, energy use, waste, production costs, efficiency, the overall process or the bottom line, the overarching objective is to better manage the outcome by making educated choices and — let’s admit it — guesses. Then, we evaluate, revisit and revise until, at long last, we have a moment where we think we have it all under control. Then, of course, a change — new data from a control panel, a price increase from an essential supplier, or a change in customer tastes and demands — means that it is time to again evaluate, revisit and revise.

It can be tempting to — just for a minute — let things run on autopilot. Do so at your own peril; remember, you are not managing what you do not measure.

In this issue, we bring you a collection of articles that underscore the value of effective temperature control for industrial processes. Check them out for useful tips that may help you measure, adjust, manage — and then, of course, repeat.

In “The Need for Temperature Control in Plastic Injection Molding,” Mike Marrone, the president of Cold Shot Chillers, explains the need for effective temperature control in injection-molding operations to prevent quality issues such as shrinkage, warping and material and part stresses. Marrone says that striking a balance among three factors — the temperature of the cooling fluid, the rate of mold cooling and the quality of the final product — is a mindful task each injection molder faces to maintain profitability.

Industrial-scale cryogenic freezing can produce frozen product at production rates from 1,000 to more than 10,000 pounds per hour, notes Christopher G. Johnson, the director of business development, food, at Praxair Inc., a Linde company, in “Industrial-Scale Food Freezing.” Yet to get the most efficient cryogenic freezing system, it is necessary to use as much of the available energy as possible from each pound of cryogen — controlling heat loss and employing efficient process equipment.

Aside from injection molding and cryogenic food processing, what other applications rely on effective temperature control? An easier question to answer would be, which one doesn’t.