Upgrading Your Test Chamber's Controller: What to Consider
Companies that regularly conduct environmental testing understand better than most the rate at which technology improves. They’re often at the forefront of innovation, designing the next great handheld device or developing long-lasting, fast-charging batteries for electric vehicles.
Chamber technology evolves as well. In fact, well-maintained test chambers often outlast the controllers that enable you to operate them. You may even have noticed this yourself. Newer instrumentation not only gives you precise control over the chambers’ temperature and humidity conditions but also remote monitoring.
The good news is that if you have older chambers and are interested in upgrading your controllers, you can. Preventative maintenance is essential to keeping your equipment running correctly and avoiding issues that lead to system downtime.
If you have questions about replacing an outdated or malfunctioning controller, turn to an experienced manufacturer.
Test Chamber Controller Options
The shift from analog to digital controllers took hold in the 1980s, perhaps surprising given the modern connotation of the latter. Chamber users could take advantage of the latest technology to gain more efficient testing.
The same is true today. You avoid costly downtime by keeping your controllers running properly. This involves calibrating them every six months to a year to ensure precision and prevent ‘drift.’ Drift results in inaccurate testing outcomes, putting customers at risk, alongside deviation from product use expectations and industry standards.
If you notice the controller itself is broken, malfunctioning, or outdated, you have a few things to consider. Rather than focus your efforts on buying new chambers, you should first know your upgrade options.
Associated Environmental Systems, for example, offers Watlow F4Ts, EZ-ZONE PMs, as standard controllers, depending on the chamber model. AESONE CONNECT comes as a standard feature to give you control of testing the chamber from a computer or tablet, and it's available as a retrofit.
The Benefits of Retrofitting Your Test Chamber With AESONE CONNECT
Retrofitting enables you to bring the latest controller and monitoring technology to older chambers.
Monitoring testing from anywhere is made possible by AESONE CONNECT, a suite of hardware and software products that come ready-built within Associated Environmental Systems test chambers, but can also be retrofitted to chambers built by nearly any manufacturer.
Remote monitoring facilitates testing without requiring a technician to always be present next to a chamber throughout testing. For a retrofit, AESONE XCHANGE hardware and an F4T controller are fixed within your chamber’s electrical panel, and then synced up with an IP address, enabling access to the AESONE CONSOLE.
AESONE’s remote monitoring technology can be managed from a desktop, laptop, or tablet, enabling you to operate and create testing profiles from anywhere in the world.
Of course, you’ll need a technician to place devices under testing (DUTs) inside the test chambers. Otherwise, you can start, stop, and restart tests from anywhere you’re connected to the AESONE CONSOLE. You can even shut down a test as soon as an error occurs, rather than run the risk of a test cycling for several hours after a failure—wasting precious time and money you may not have.
With security features baked into the AESONE CONNECT system, you are protected against cyberattacks while having increased testing ease. The remote monitoring system includes three authentication methods and six permission levels managed by an administrator.
Plus, your information is always protected behind a firewall.
So when you’re looking to upgrade your controllers, be certain to consult a test chamber manufacturer. They’ll be able to help you identify your testing needs and which solution makes the most sense for your business.