About this project
Introducing TAP - the first commercially available touchscreen kiln controller with an intuitive graphical user interface
TAP, short for Temperature Automation by Proportional-Integral Derivative, is the first commercially available kiln controller with an intuitive graphical user interface. TAP derives its name from two sources: its primary function and its human machine interface. At its core, TAP is a precision temperature controller, providing an expected thermal response at user-defined intervals to ensure success in even the most discriminating firing. In addition to its precise core capability, TAP introduces a first of its kind human machine interface in the kiln control domain.
TAP - designed with YOU in mind
TAP is designed with the user in mind. From installation to schedule execution, all aspects of TAP have been carefully planned for ease of use. The touchscreen display with graphical user interface enables the user to see, understand, and interact with the information that is in front of them. From firing schedules to user-defined settings, TAP can be setup and operating within minutes.
TAP - packed with features you didn't even know you could have
Features abound in TAP from Diagnostics to Data Logging, Settings to Software Updates, and Virtually Unlimited Titled Schedules to Virtually Unlimited Schedule Segments; there’s something to satisfy everyone in TAP, whether you’re a seasoned veteran in the community or a first time user.
Let’s start with the basics: Schedule Entry and Execution
Schedule Entry can be accomplished from TAP's Main Menu or from the Schedule Selector prior to firing. When a user wants to enter a new schedule, it’s as simple as pressing “New Schedule” on the graphical touchscreen, entering a meaningful title with the virtual keyboard and populating as many schedule segments as you see fit.
All set with schedule entry? Great! Now press Start from the Home screen, select one of the predefined firing schedules or the schedule you just created, press Start again and you’re done. Now you can sit back and enjoy the feeling of starting your kiln in 1/10th the time it used to take.
TAP - providing complete control at any time
After the firing is underway, users have the great convenience of being able to view, in table format, all pertinent information relative to the firing. This information includes the current segment information, expected instantaneous temperature, actual temperature, remaining firing time, and expected completion time. In addition to the textual representation of firing statistics, you have the ability to shift to a graphical representation in which you can see the plot of the expected firing temperature v. time and the actual firing temperature v. time.
Make a mistake in your schedule entry or want to speed up a firing cycle? No worries...with TAP you can modify your schedule while it’s executing. Unlike existing controllers, that only allow you to modify the current segment, TAP allows you to make modifications to any unexecuted segment.
Let’s avoid the worst – a misfiring leading to a ruined project
Have you ever experienced a kiln failure due to a latched relay or drifting thermocouple resulting in an over firing? Or, maybe a failed element has led to uneven heating and a stress fracture has plagued you? With TAP, those days are over. TAP's built in diagnostics and preventative maintenance features help to ensure a kiln failure of this magnitude never happens again. By entering life expectancy in TAP's settings and enabling notifications, TAP will notify the user when it’s time to replace components. The built-in diagnostics provide a quick-look at the total number of relay actuations, element on time, and thermocouple high heat exposure times, ensuring you have all the data relative to your kiln.
How do we future proof ourselves?
SDS Industries is committed to providing The Most Advanced Kiln Control Technology Available, and the only way to accomplish this is to ensure that we’re staying current with technology and trends. To do this, we've enabled TAP to be updated via semi-annual software updates, initially available from www.kilncontrol.com; and, in the future, available via over-the-air updates.
Beyond staying current with technology, SDS Industries strives to understand what the user wants. We're always interested in user feedback so we can utilize these inputs to ensure that we are delivering capabilities driven by users.
See us in person (if you can)
TAP will debut April 10th – 12th at the Glass Craft and Bead Expo in Las Vegas, NV. During this time, members of the glass art community will have the opportunity to experience the benefits TAP brings to the table -- first hand. If you’re in the area, please check us out.
TAP's formal offering to the at large community will begin in June at the Glass Art Society annual conference, taking place in San Jose, CA.
Through this Kickstarter campaign, you have an opportunity to reserve one of the first TAP controllers available. All Kickstarter TAP rewards will be fulfilled prior to retail orders!
Still not convinced?
If the features listed above haven’t been enough to sway your opinion, just look at the graphic below laying out how TAP stacks up against the competition.
There's always the question of cost...
TAP is offered at phenomenal prices via this Kickstarter campaign. Early bird special pricing ranges from $200 to $300, but quantities are limited so pledge early to ensure the best price you’ll ever receive on The Most Advanced Kiln Control Technology Available! After the early bird specials are gone, pricing will remain at the MSRP of $349. Wholesale pricing tiers will be available for quantity purchases at the conclusion of this campaign. If you’re a kiln manufacturer or online retailer, contact us to find out our pricing structure and how to make your customers happier than they’ve ever known they could be with respect to kiln control.
Your donation helps us get a step closer to making this a reality for professionals and hobbyists alike and will be allocated as follows:
Risks and challenges
With any new project comes inherent risk. We have done our best to identify and quantify the risks associated with TAP:
If a high priority software bug is identified, then delivery of TAP may be delayed beyond June 2015. Probability: Low, Consequence: High
If this risk is realized, delays to the delivery of TAP will extend beyond the commitment date of June. This will only occur if a high priority bug is identified during the extensive testing TAP undergoes prior to shipment. Initial testing has been performed with no major issues identified. For this reason, we are ranking this as a low risk.
If components go out of stock, then delivery of TAP may be delayed beyond June 2015. Probability: Very Low, Consequence: High
If this risk is realized, delays to the delivery of TAP will extend beyond the commitment date of June. This will only occur if one of the few very long lead components goes out stock prior to our component order. Given the low quantity production run associated with TAP, this risk can be mitigated by selecting alternate vendors for component supply.
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