Multiloop industrial electronic temperature controllers are purchased for multiple zone applications, and the number of loops in these is increasing, according to a study, “Industrial Electronic Temperature Controllers: Global Market Demand Analysis, Ninth Edition,” by Venture Development Corp., Natick, Mass.

Among the users implementing temperature control loops with multi-processes/multiloop (MP-ML) controllers, an increasing number are purchasing these with a greater number of control loops. By purchasing more expensive MP-ML controllers having a greater number of control loops, users are able to control more complex processes and more pieces of equipment with fewer controllers.

Venture Development Corp. found in a survey conducted with purchasers (end users, OEMs, and systems integrators) of MP-ML temperature controllers that they expect to be purchasing in the future units with more control loops. Among those in the survey, two-loop MP-ML controllers are the most popular, and this will remain so, however, with fewer of the respondents. For a significant share the most typical number of control loops will be shifting to four or more, with the largest gain expected for eight-loop controllers.

This reflects an ongoing trend to added complexity of industrial systems, with added control needs for multiple zones. Implementing these in MP-ML controllers when needed can be more cost effective than buying separate units with fewer loops. These can cost less per loop, be easier to install, and easier to maintain.

However, the optimum number of control loops in a controller is a function of the application, as the total number required is limited, and the required location for many may not be at the same place.

To meet the shifting market demand, MP-ML suppliers are offering modular products made up of two- and four-loop controllers. With these, they can form units with eight and more loops. These also have the added attractiveness of providing easy expansion. Many users are already purchasing modular MP-ML controllers, and more expect to in the future.

Suppliers of industrial electronic temperature controllers are facing increasing competition from the implementation of temperature control loops in DCSs, PCs and PLCs, which can provide ease of use, expansion capability and low-cost solutions. Modular products are one means by which industrial electronic temperature controller suppliers are facing up to this competition.