Choosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor Tips

Choosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor

Are you choosing process heating equipment vendor? You may be experiencing some anxiety and option overload.  A lot of time has probably been dedicated to determining the details of your requirements, researching options, getting bids, and analyzing those proposals.  The question now is, “Which process heating equipment vendor is best for you?”  How do you make this decision?  Powerblanket has some suggestions.

Choosing Process Heating Equipment Vendor

Visit the vendor’s production facility

If you really want to know who you are working with and what kind of product they produce, go to where the magic happens.  Spend a day or two getting to know the staff and the facility.  It is worth the time.  There is really nothing that can replace old-fashioned, face-to-face interaction.  You have probably had plenty of interaction with the sales personnel, but now you can talk directly to the engineers who will build, test, implement and service your process heating solution.  Get a feel for the atmosphere of the work environment and the relationship of the team.  Happy employees usually indicate that you will also be a happy customer.

Ask to see the testing facilities.  This will give you a chance to observe the tools they use and the team that conducts tests.  Watching their problem-solving process can give you great insight to the actual expertise of the team.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your observations.

Visit actual customers in your industry

When choosing process heating equipment vendor, go visit another company that uses this vendor’s product. Ideally, you will want to be pointed in the direction of a company that works in an industry like yours with heating equipment similar to your needs.  You don’t typically buy a car without a test drive.  This process will allow you to see the equipment in action.  Talk to the staff about reliability, consistency, and quality output.  Ask about the vendor’s customer service, reliability, and responsiveness.  

Ask for References

When an individual or company offers a reference you can expect that it will be a glowing reference with only fantastic things to say about the vendor in question.  Seek out a variety of references.  Find a reference that will tell you about the ups and downs of working with this process heating equipment vendor.  Find a reference who has had a long-term relationship with the vendor.  Do your homework and ask a lot of questions:

  •    How does this vendor handle setbacks?
  •    How did this vendor work with your industry standards?
  •    If a problem arose, how quickly and efficiently did they respond?
  •    Did they do the right thing, even if it wasn’t the convenient thing?
  •    Do they stand behind their equipment?

After all this hands-on research, you should have a new perspective on the original bid.  Choosing a process heating equipment vendor becomes much easier after you have invested the time and effort to see and hear about how this vendor really works.  Now proceed with confidence.  

Process Heating with Powerblanket

Often, when your industry is unique, or your product very specialized, there is not an off-the-shelf solution for your specific process heating needs.  In these cases, Powerblanket engineers take a hands-on approach to creating a custom solution just for you. Powerblanket engineers use their ingenuity and Powerblanket technology to solve the temperature needs of many different companies throughout many different industries, saving time, money, and/or headache for our clients. With Powerblanket custom process heating solutions, you’ll benefit from quick turn-around times. Our products are certified to universal safety standards and are easy to install, use, and store. If you can build it, produce it, or store it, Powerblanket can cover it and protect it.

 

Beacon Smart Controllers: How Would You Use Beacon?

For many years Powerblanket has offered Johnson Controls A419 temperature controllers with our products that require adjustable or precise control, like our drum and tote heaters. Now, we are excited to introduce a new smart controller with all of the temperature control functionality of the A419 PLUS internet connectivity, which gives our customers the ability to do a lot of interesting things. Remote control and monitoring, temperature logging over time, and customer defined alerts are just a few features included in this new line of smart controllers.

With Beacon Smart Controllers, you can control and monitor multiple devices in one place via our web portal (browser) or mobile app. You can also group the Smart Controllers together, with the ability to change the settings and notifications for entire groups or individual devices. Beacon Smart Controllers make Powerblanket heating solutions state of the art and take your processes to the next level.

Now the question is: how would you use a Beacon Smart Controller? Leave your comments, ideas, and questions. We want to hear from you!

Standout Features of Powerblanket Smart Controllers:

  • Check in on your devices remotely; see temperature, electrical current, set point, differential and other values and how they have changed over time.
  • Make changes without being physically at the device. Change set point, differential, anti-short cycle delay and other settings from your smartphone or computer.
  • Provide notifications and alerts via text message, email or push notifications(i.e. temperature out of range; settings changed by other user, cold boot-power reset; heartbeat-“alive” notifications; electrical current and temperature samples; relay status [on/off/changes]; keypad activity)
  • Set it and forget it. Be confident that you will receive a notification when temperature or other values go outside thresholds that you define, no need to constantly verify operating conditions.
  • Offer connectivity to WiFi, or Cellular networks.
  • Easily restrict access to settings both at the device and remotely. Lock the keypad to be sure your settings aren’t changed.
  • Allow for multiple user accounts with local logins, providing read-write and read-only access options for more refined access restriction
  • Offer electrical current measurement and tracking over time (Beacon Smart Controllers give you the ability to measure current consumption and estimate cost of operation.)
  • Each controller has 2 temperature probes, control and ambient, and provides control algorithm choices using one or both temperatures.

Heating and Hazardous Locations

Working in hazardous locations means you have to exercise serious caution regarding procedure, protocol, and equipment usage. What’s more, heating in hazardous locations takes all the more care and detail to make certain you aren’t adding fuel to a potential fire. This is why Powerblanket offers products certified to national safety standards.

 

CID2Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2

We understand that hazardous location heating is nothing to take lightly. And we understand that heating products should be engineered to the highest standards of quality and safety. We’ve based our business on this simple reality and are able to customize our safe and innovative heating solutions to a myriad of industries because of it. In fact, our custom heating solutions can be designed and certified to Class I Division 1 (CID1) or Class I Division 2 (CID2) safety standards. We are certified for all four gas Groups, A, B, C, and D and up to a T4 Temperature Classification.  Many people who work in hazardous locations are familiar with these terms. For everyone else, here’s an explanation.

The classifications referenced as CID1 and CID2 regard the operation of electronic equipment in hazardous locations. CID1 is the identifier used for locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, mists or vapors could possibly exist under normal working conditions. This classification also covers locations where the same gases, mists or vapors may exist frequently due to repairs or maintenance in the area. It also includes potential scenarios where gases, mists or vapors could be leaked by faulty or damaged equipment.

CID2, on the other hand, represents all locations where concentrations of flammable gases and/or vapors and/or mists are present in the air under operating conditions outside of the norm. So CID1 covers areas where such hazards are normally present, and CID2 covers areas where such hazards aren’t normally present but certainly could be under abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, if a product is CID1 or CID2 certified, it means that product is safe to use in locations that are CID1 or CID2 rated hazardous locations.

Powerblanket provides products that are certified to either of these hazardous location equipment safety standards. So when it comes to heating in hazardous areas, Powerblanket is both an efficient and safe choice. In addition to these ratings, Powerblanket products are also certified to UL, and CSA standards. Our innovative approach to providing industry-specific heating solutions has helped our customers save a lot of time and resources to safeguard and increase efficiency among the assets that keep their businesses running. So whether it’s freeze protection, viscosity maintenance, curing assistance, or some other heat-related dilemma, Powerblanket can help, even if you operate in a hazardous location.

 

Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

Brent Reddekopp  receiving UMA Award for PowerblanketUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 

Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers

As innovative as our industrial heating blankets are on their own, how cool would it be if you could monitor them all from a central location? Well, you can. With the new Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) you can keep track of all your blankets and see exactly what’s going on with each.

 

Logic controllerThese PLCs are the Bee’s Knees

What makes these PLCs so great is the monitoring capability you have with them. A programmable logic controller is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices. Sounds pretty wow, right? But just in case that was a little too much tech talk for you, here it is in plainer English…

Using Powerblanket PLCs on Powerblanket products simply means that you can monitor and regulate all the temperatures in all your blankets (both the temperature inside the blanket and the temperature on the surface of the blanket). What’s more, you can make needed adjustments on various blankets or various zones of a single blanket too.

However, like all your products, these PLC systems aren’t just a one-size-fits-all solution. They’re entirely scalable. This means you could set your system to measure just one temperature zone, and set it to switch only one blanket based on that temperature. Or you could have your system set to measure 200 temperature zones for 100 different blankets. There’s no upper limit to the number of temperatures or blankets you can monitor and switch with these PLC systems.

Here’s an example of just how helpful these PLCs are. A particular blanket could be set to switch based on a specified internal temperature, so it doesn’t damage itself, while simultaneously, it can be set to maintain a certain surface temperature for curing something like an epoxy resin, for example. You could also set a group of multiple blankets to switch based on a maximum combined temperature or even the average of their temperatures.

 

Control Options

Temperature measurements aren’t the only control options these PLCs are capable of, however. Your blankets can be set to switch based on a schedule. This means you can set the temperature to ramp up to a certain level at a certain rate, then stay there for a certain amount of time, and slowly taper off or shut off completely. This allows you to set your blankets to automatically turn on at a predetermined time in order to prepare your material as needed, before workers arrive, perhaps.

In addition to schedule and temperature controls, you can also set alarms to be triggered if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have power failure, reach a temperature outside of your specified limits, experience circuit shorts, or a number of other similar dilemmas, you can set your blanket to automatically shut off, scale back on temperature, or produce an alarm.

In addition to this, all the data recorded in these protocols can be logged for record keeping or future analysis. The temperature, relay state (blanket on or off), current, voltage, etc. can all be recorded and sorted for your data needs. And all these PLCs can be set up for remote monitoring or remote control.