Through the new TRU-TUNE+TM adaptive control algorithm featured in the CPC400 multi-loop temperature controller, Watlow now offers a control system that improves tuning by automatically optimizing control parameters whenever necessary to keep the system at the target temperature. When a system is well tuned, the product is kept closer to the ideal processing temperature. This improves yield and reduces wasteful scrap and the need for reworking mis-processed material. Also, when the process variable tracks the set point more accurately, the process or equipment spends less time warming up and stabilizing, and is more available and productive, which can save capital and energy costs.

The CPC400 with TRU-TUNE+ is the next-generation of Watlow's CPC400 technology, and has many potential applications in any industries with control needs.

“Control technology keeps improving, making it easier than ever to optimize PID control loops,” explains Sean Wilkinson, Watlow product manager. “The CPC400 with TRU-TUNE+ fine tunes PID control loops and adaptively tunes dynamic systems that otherwise would have to be re-tuned by operators.”
The product has many other features and benefits, including:

  • Tunes temperature control to within plus or minus 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit (0.06 degrees Celsius) depending on the actual process' capacity for control;
  • Reduces process variable overshoot when approaching set point;
  • Tunes both heating and cooling PID control parameters to highly precise values;
  • Provides excellent tuning with very little setup. Typically the operator only has to set the sensor type, output signal type and set point prior to commissioning the control loop;
  • Allows customization by accepting user-written, logic programs;
  • Eliminates the need to use separate closed-loop and sequential controllers.

Prior to the CPC400, products such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs) were combined with loop controllers, leading to increased costs, extra wiring and integration issues.

With the TRU-TUNE+ feature the controller tunes loops more precisely than a typical auto-tune feature or manual tuning procedure. Because it tunes control loops automatically, the new feature reduces the time and effort to commission a process as well. Wilkinson notes, “For people who want to eliminate scrap and other waste but don't have the time or expertise to fine tune PID control, TRU-TUNE+ adaptive control can help.”

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