IIT-M develops technology to enhance industrial ovens

IIT-M researchers develop technology to enhance industrial ovens

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) here have developed a disruptive sensor technology that is expected to greatly enhance efficiency of industrial ovens in fertiliser, petrochemical, chemical, and manufacturing sectors.

Known as ‘μTMapS’ (or) ‘Multi Point Temperature Measurement Sensor,’ the researchers say, provides automated and intelligent measurements that can replace existing heat process control systems that cause expensive forced shutdowns and early retirement of components well before its designed life.

Patented in India and the US, this technology also generates data in real-time through Industrial Internet of Technology (IoT) devices, which will provide inputs to the industry to greatly improve their manufacturing processes and enhance their process efficiency. The Ultrasonic Waves-based temperature Measurement Sensors can accurately measure temperatures in the range of -100°C to 1,400°C.

“Any industry that uses a lot of heat to process materials such as metals or polymers has to ensure that the entire furnace has a uniform temperature across the board. This is critical to reducing defective products. However, existing technologies for this purpose have a lot of gaps and our Research Team at Centre for Non-destructive Evaluation set out to address these gaps,” Prof. Krishnan Balasubramaniam, Institute Professor, and Head, Centre for Non-destructive Evaluation, IIT Madras, said,

He said the technology has been licenced to an IIT Madras-incubated start-up called ‘Xyma Analytics,’ which has been field testing the technology for the past one year in Indian industries to establish its reliability, performance and benefits. "We plan to commercially introduce this technology for Indian and foreign manufacturing industries within the next one year," Prof. Krishnan Balasubramaniam added.

The data generated by these sensors can be processed through Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to develop better designs for ovens and furnaces that can greatly reduce the cost and enhance efficiency for industries, the researchers said.

Dr. Nishanth Raja, Chief Executive Officer, XYMA Analytics, said the company was looking at Indian and foreign markets, targeting industries that need industrial ovens at temperatures above 50°C.

"Our targets are refineries, fertiliser, petrochemical, chemical and manufacturing industries such as metal, steel, aluminium, glass, polymer and copper. The semiconductor industry is also of great interest to us as temperature control is important for this industry too," he added.