TAP IN Blog

Everything You Need to Know About Controlling Your Kiln

TAP Kiln Controllers include alerts and alarms to keep you informed about the progress of your kiln firings.
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Scott Shannon

What’s the Difference Between TAP Kiln Controller Alerts & Alarms?

Alerts, Alarms, Oh My! I’ve got all these settings on my kiln controller, but what are they and what do they do? The simplest way to associate alerts and alarms is to think of them as user-defined or controller-defined events. Alerts are used for things that you want to be informed about, like when a critical temperature has been reached, or just before the hold time is about to expire. Alarms are generated by the controller to notify you that an unexpected condition has occurred.

Here’s an example to delineate the difference: We are starting a firing schedule with an initial chamber temperature of 70 degrees. The first step of the schedule is 200 degrees per hour to 270 degrees, with a 10-minute hold. Let’s enable both the setpoint Alert and hold time Alert…what happens within the firing? Once the controller detects that 270 degrees has been reached, you will receive an Alert in 3 different formats:

  1. An audible buzzer on your TAP Controller product
  2. A visual pop-up on your TAP Controller product
  3. A push notification on your TAP Kiln Control Mobile app

TAP II Alert ExampleExample of Setpoint Alert on TAP II Controller

8 minutes later, with 2 minutes remaining in the hold, the hold Alert is triggered in which the same 3 indications are presented. 

TAP II Alert Hold Time ReachedExample of Setpoint Alert on TAP II Controller with 2 minutes remaining in hold

Let’s now assume the schedule being executed has a 2nd step with a ramp rate of 100 to a setpoint of 670 degrees. We would expect to hit that setpoint 4 hours from now, but 30 minutes into the next step the controller detects a temperature reading of 670 degrees. Clearly, this is an unexpected behavior, because it should’ve taken 4 hours to get to the setpoint, but it’s only been 30 minutes. This would trigger an Alarm condition and the firing would be aborted.  

When the Alarm is triggered, you are also presented with 3 notifications: 

  1. A solid audible buzzer on your TAP Controller product
  2. A visual pop-up on your TAP Controller product
  3. A push notification on your TAP Kiln Control Mobile app  

These Alarm notifications describe the error that has been observed and the possible causes of the problem.

TAP II Alarm Firing ErrorExample of Alarm on TAP II Controller

How Do I Turn off Alarms and/or Alerts? 

Alert and Alarm settings can be managed within the controller by navigating to  

Menu > Settings > Notifications

TAP II Notifications

Alternatively, they may be managed via the TAP Kiln Control Mobile application. 

With Alert Notifications enabled, you are given the option to enable setpoint or hold time Alerts for each individual step within a schedule. These Alerts can be enabled while creating a new schedule or editing an existing schedule. Once the condition is met to trigger the Alert, all three notification types above will be generated. 

Disabling Alert Notifications serves as a global method to turn off all setpoint and hold time alerts. Even if schedules had previously defined setpoint Alert or hold time Alert triggers for a particular schedule/step, they will be ignored when the Alerts Notifications setting is disabled. 

Disabling Alarm Notifications will not stop the controller from monitoring for errors. However, it will prevent the audible Alarm and visual indications from appearing when an Alarm condition is met. We recommend leaving Alarm notifications enabled in all cases. 

How Can TAP Help Me Manage My Firing Through the Use of Alerts? 

TAP Kiln Controllers can keep you constantly informed about the status of your kiln firing through the use of Alerts and Alarms. 

Alerts can help you closely monitor your project and manage your firing by allowing you to: 

  • Check on your project immediately when a setpoint is reached, so you can make sure your project is progressing as expected 
  • Check on your project as a hold time is approaching, so you can extend the hold time or skip the time remaining and move immediately to the next step if needed 
  • Receive push notifications to your TAP Kiln Control Mobile app, so you do not have to be in ear-shot of the controller to know when your critical process point has been reached

Between kiln Alerts and Alarms, TAP Kiln Controllers allow you to manage your kiln firings with confidence, convenience, and ease. Please reach out to our support team with any questions!

TAP Kiln Control Mobile Push Notifications

Disclaimer: The images shown within this post may not be 100% representative of what you will see on your screen. Different products, software versions and variants, and hardware versions may produce differing displays. The intent of this post is to communicate the basics of the features available within TAP Controller products.

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