The Benefits of a Watlow Pre-Configured F4T®

By: Admin - November 11, 2020  

image of F4T touchscreen controller

Configuring power and temperature controllers to fit your heating process takes time. Updating your temperature controller or adding a new system to your facility does not have to take hours, thanks to the Watlow® pre-configured F4T®. We compare the features of the original and pre-configured options to see how you can receive the optimized configuration your heating and cooling process needs with less start-up time and costs.

The Watlow F4T

The Watlow F4T is a temperature and process controller that has maximum design flexibility. Compared to other PID controller options, it features several design and control benefits when you use COMPOSER® PC software to set up and enter limits.

One of the greatest advantages of the F4T is flexibility in controlling and monitoring industrial processes. In addition to thermal processes, the F4T can control other variables such as pressure, humidity, etc. Once your controller is configured and installed, it offers best-in-class ease of use and innovative performance. All the features are fully customizable. You can adjust each of the channels, ranges and loops. Some of the features include:

  • 4.3-inch color touch panel
  • Removable I/O modules
  • Up to 14 alarms
  • Ambient temperature operating range of -18 to 50°C
  • 4/4 control/limit loops
  • Up to 24 monitor channels

Set-up requirements

When an F4T is purchased, the flex modules need to be ordered separately and loaded into the F4T base module, the controller connected to the COMPOSER software and all the analog inputs and control loops set. For busy design engineers, all that customization results in extra downtime. Even experienced engineers must spend time adjusting the controller to match their process setup.

The sales team at Watlow is always ready to assist you with any controller setup. Whether you are purchasing your first F4T or the latest in a long line of power and temperature control devices, you will not have to configure your controller on your own. Part of our commitment to assisting you in rapid systems setup services is our new pre-configured F4T.

Introducing the pre-configured F4T

Our thorough research has discovered some basic features that most engineers use for their power and temperature controllers. We applied that data to our new line of pre-configured F4T controllers. A pre-configured setup allows for minimal startup time and a faster turnaround time. Whether you are replacing your existing controller or starting a new line in your facility, review the benefits and features of the pre-configured F4T.

The pre-configured F4T operates like a EZ-ZONE PM® and allows engineers and OEMs to quickly install and utilize its features. Instead of spending hours setting limits and adjusting settings on your process controller, simply plug it in and do the necessary programming through the touch-screen display on the front of the controller.

This product is ideal for the first thermal process setup in a facility. If you need a temperature controller with heating and cooling features, whether with a single set point or ramping, the pre-configured F4T reduces the learning curve necessary to operate your new system.

For busy engineers, pre-configuration significantly reduces your workload. You may be comfortable with setting control configurations and adjusting inputs, but this can all create downtime in your facility. You do not have time to load and label flex modules. Pre-configuration eliminates this pain point in the installation process of the traditional F4T. Select the right part number and your controller may be ready to go right out of the box. Even the minor adjustments that may be necessary are far easier than the full setup process.

Eight pre-configured options

We used our in-depth heating product experience and research to create eight distinct part numbers for your new pre-configured controllers. These options, labeled A-H  mirror the popular EZ-ZONE PM controller. Options A-D are four popular single set point configurations. The last four, E-H, include ramping capabilities. All four options still allow flexibility and custom control, but they give you the convenience you need to quickly start your thermal process.

How to choose a pre-populated version

The ideal configuration depends on your heating products and your facility goals. The Watlow technical support team can work with you to find the best option for your heating situation. There are slight pre-configuration differences between all eight models and choosing the right option can save you a significant amount of time and money. Here are some basic questions we ask to help navigate these eight models:

  • Do you need a single set point or ramping solution?
  • Do you need an integrated limit?
  • What type of output hardware do you need to control your process heating and cooling?

No two heating processes are identical, so there may still be some personalized configuration. The goal of pre-configured options is to dramatically reduce the time and complexity of the setup process.

Because all these controllers are based on our flexible F4T, you still have the freedom to customize and alter your controller. Add different modules, change the preface and perform other alterations to fine-tune your controller. You do not have to sacrifice customization to enjoy the ease of use and quick startup features of a pre-configured controller by Watlow.

Learn more about the F4T and other Watlow process controller options

These eight pre-configured power and temperature controllers are just a few of the many options available from Watlow. Work with us today to find the ideal controller for your advanced thermal products. Design a product to find the heaters, controllers and other systems we offer that keep your facility moving forward. Save time and money with convenient controllers that offer all the power and flexibility your facility needs.