'Compact temperature controllers from Omron are proving to be an excellent match for the requirements of Seba Developments, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of heating equipment for the industrial and craft markets.

The controllers, which are used on more than 75% of the products in the Seba Developments range, were chosen by the company because of their versatility, attractive appearance, convenient USB programming and the quality and reliability of the support provided by Omron.

Founded in 1978, Seba Developments designs and manufactures products as diverse as solder baths, large wax melting systems and vulcanising presses. Almost all of the company’s products, however, have one thing in common – they involve the controlled application of heat from electrically powered heating elements. And most of the products depend for their correct functioning on accurate and reliable temperature control. For this reason, choosing the most suitable and most cost effective temperature controllers to use in its products is a crucial factor in the company’s success.

Several years ago, Seba Developments decided that the time had come to reassess its temperature control requirements, and to carry out a market survey to ensure that it was using the best possible controllers for its machines. As part of this survey, the company contacted Omron, who responded with advice and guidance that ultimately led to Omron E5CN temperature controllers being selected for use in a wide range of Seba Developments products including, for example, industrial ovens, RotaDip rotary solder pots, metal melters and vulcanising presses.

“The Omron E5CN controllers were an ideal choice for us as they’re exceptionally versatile,” said Richard Whiteoak of Seba Developments. “That meant we could use the same family of controllers across the whole of our product range, which is obviously a big benefit. In addition, we’ve found them to be easy to use and very dependable in operation, which are again big benefits, not only for us but also for our customers.”

Recently, Omron has brought out a new family of compact temperature controllers – the E5CC range – offering a number of benefits. The new controllers, for example, have large white PV displays, which are easy to read even at a distance, and they have even greater functionality than their predecessors, including the ability to handle inputs from an exceptionally wide range of temperature sensors.

However, they retain the same 48 x 48mm dimensions as the previous models, which meant that they could be accommodated in existing Seba Developments products without the need for costly and inconvenient design changes. In fact, as the depth of the new E5CC models is considerably less than that of the older E5CN units, using the new models actually makes more space available in the control panel.

A key benefit of the new E5CC controllers, which has proved particularly useful to Seba Developments, is the option of setting them up via a USB connection to a standard PC. When this option is used, the controller derives its power from the USB port, and needs no separate supply connections.

Seba Developments has produced sets of temperature control parameters for each of its machines and has stored these on a laptop PC. This means that when the Seba Developments engineers want to set up an E5CC temperature controller for a particular application, all they have to do is connect the controller to the laptop with a plug-in USB cable and download the appropriate parameter set to the controller. Not only is this operation fast and easy, it also eliminates the possibility of setting errors. After the parameters have been loaded, the controller can then be installed in the product for which it is intended, where it is ready for immediate use without further setting or adjustment.

“We were very happy with the E5CN controllers,” said Whiteoak, “but we’re even happier with the new E5CC models. The real beauty of them is that they are so simple to use and, like their predecessors, they are exceptionally reliable. Also, they have a very attractive modern appearance, which is important to us as it enhances the overall customer appeal of our products.”

Another feature of the new controllers which is proving useful to Seba Developments is the lockout function. When this function is enabled, a very specific sequence of key presses is needed to gain access to the controller settings. This makes it almost impossible for the end users of Seba Developments products to change the settings accidentally.

“We’ve now been using Omron temperature controllers for several years,” added Whiteoak, “and we’ve found them to be excellent products in every respect. Because they are so reliable and easy to use, we’ve needed very little in the way of technical support but, on the few occasions we’ve approached Omron with queries, we’ve always had a very fast and very helpful response.

“The controllers are competitively priced and they’re readily available – the deliveries from Omron are excellent. In short, they are great products backed up by great service, and we’re happy to recommend them to anyone who is looking for reliable, accurate and easy-to-use temperature control.”