Demand for enhanced control systems that include predictive maintenance and equipment diagnostic functions to help users manage information related to their process or application will continue to grow, according to a survey conducted by Pittsburgh-based Chromalox. While only 5 percent of those surveyed in 2005 had temperature control systems that included diagnostic or predictive maintenance capabilities, that number had grown to 25 percent in the 2006 survey. The trend is expected to increase another 9 percent in next two years, representing a strong demand for more intelligent temperature control systems. Of those surveyed, 27 percent currently have some form of remote equipment monitoring technology, and another 10 percent expect to add remote control technology between now and 2008. To remain competitive, 19 percent plan to install improved production technology and implement lean manufacturing techniques.
With an eye toward international markets, survey respondents noted that having global third-party approvals on the products they buy or sell is of vital importance in order to tap European markets. In addition, the ability of manufacturers to customize products for a particular application was also of the utmost importance. Thirty-nine percent claimed that up to 20 percent of the products they buy are customized.
Of the 85 survey respondents, 67 percent were from the United States and 33 percent were from other regions.