Chromalox, a manufacturer of industrial heat and control systems, conducted a study that showed many respondents have short-term plans for integrating digital control systems such as built-in diagnostic and predictive-maintenance functions and remote PC access.

Respondents expect to enhance control systems and improve information management for processes and applications. Only 5% of those surveyed currently use temperature-control systems that include diagnostic or predictive-maintenance capabilities. At least 75% expect to employ these systems in two years, representing a strong demand for more intelligent temperature-control systems.

Nearly 30% currently have some form of remote equipment monitoring technology, 20% expect to add it in 2005, and 75% will implement remote control systems in two years. That number is up 50% from Chromalox's survey last year.

Wireless technology is used in 17% of the manufacturing facilities surveyed. That number is expected to double in two years.

Production volumes will increase in 2005, with 76% saying they expect an average 28% increase — due to a demand for products and expanded product lines. To meet this growing need, 55% of respondents said they will install improved production technology in 2005.

To see the complete survey, visit www.chromalox.com/news.