Everything You Need to Know About Controlling Your Kiln

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Scott Shannon

Benefits of Software-Based Kiln Controllers

Whether you’re working on ceramics, pottery, glasswork, or metals, software-based kiln controllers allow you to easily program and monitor your kiln or heat treat oven. 

Compared to manual kiln controllers, which require constant analog adjustment, or the early automatic controllers that had extremely clumsy user interfaces, software-based kiln controllers significantly streamline the firing process. Below, we’ll be looking at the benefits and features of today’s software-based kiln controllers!

Intuitive Touchscreen User Interface

The most noticeable difference of using a software-based kiln controller is how the controller receives user inputs. Rather than buttons, knobs, or dials, software-based kiln controllers allow users to program their kiln through a responsive touchscreen, similar to what you’re used to on your smartphone.

An intuitive, graphical user interface – with full text displays, alpha-numeric titles, and logical menus – gives users the ability to manage settings, create and name firing schedules, abort firings, and control all kiln functions with just a few presses of their finger.

The kiln controller software interface from the TAP Kiln Controller
The TAP Controller by SDS Industries was the first software-based kiln controller to include responsive touchscreen controls and an intuitive graphical UI.


Kiln controller software takes these inputs and automatically executes firing schedules, minimizing the possibility of user error and ensuring maximum consistency.

Unlimited Schedule Creation

One of the major benefits of software-based kiln controllers is the ability to create, name, modify, save, and access an unlimited number of custom firing schedules (each including an unlimited number of steps!).

This feature is useful for glass artists, ceramicists, and metalworkers who use their kiln or oven for different types of firings. Rather than having to re-create a specific firing schedule from scratch each time or refer to their firing schedule notebook, they can easily save schedules to use again later. 

Mobile App Integration

Another major quality-of-life feature that software-based kiln controllers provide artists is the ability to fully integrate their kiln with their mobile device or tablet for almost complete remote control. While, for safety reasons, you should never leave your kiln unattended, sometimes real life requires you to step away from your project. 

The TAP Kiln Control Mobile App by SDS Industries gives kiln operators the ability to create and modify schedules, monitor their kiln remotely with real-time updates, update settings, skip firing steps, abort firings, and more from their tablet or mobile device. With premium features like Remote Start available for purchase, the TAP Kiln Control Mobile App gives artists unprecedented control and convenience over their projects.

More In-depth Kiln Monitoring, Data, and Analytics

Software-based kiln controllers also provide artists with additional insights into the operation of their kiln. With up-to-the-minute visual firing graphs, enhanced data logging, and preventative maintenance alerts, kiln controller software helps kiln operators troubleshoot potential errors and ensure that their kiln is always functioning correctly.

This, combined with the ability to set alerts and alarms, makes kiln management easier and helps ensure more consistent results. 

Kiln controller software also includes onboard diagnostics to track component usage and calculate the cost of electrical usage for each firing schedule.

Real-Time Software Updates

Another benefit of software-based kiln controllers is the ability to download software updates that introduce fixes, new features, and improved functionality. With TAP Kiln Controllers, these updates are downloaded automatically when the controller is connected to Wi-Fi.

SDS Industries is dedicated to continuous innovation. Each TAP Controller is backed by a three-year extended warranty – and SDS supports their products with software updates and upgrades to the TAP Kiln Control Mobile App to ensure optimal performance over the lifetime of your TAP Controller.

How to Upgrade Your Kiln to a Software-Based Controllers

Are you looking to upgrade your kiln with a software-based kiln controller? The good news is that doing so is probably a lot less complicated than you’d think. 

If you’re currently using a manual kiln, then a standalone kiln controller allows you to upgrade to software-based controls with minimal modifications to your kiln. All you have to do is drill a small hole through your kiln brick to insert the tip of the standalone unit’s thermocouple into the interior of your kiln (or you can find a technician to do it for you!). 

If your kiln already uses an automatic controller, then using a conversion kit lets you swap out your existing controller for a software-based kiln controller without having to make any mechanical or electrical changes to your kiln.

Explore Software-Based Kiln Controllers by SDS Industries

If you’re in the market for a software-based kiln controller, the TAP and TAP II Controllers by SDS Industries are the most advanced, precise, and easy-to-use controllers on the market today. With responsive touchscreen controls, an intuitive graphical UI, and cutting-edge kiln controller software, TAP Kiln Controllers can pair with any relay-controlled kiln or oven. 

We invite you to explore our selection of software-based kiln controllers, standalones, and conversion kits on our online store. You can also purchase TAP Digital Controllers or TAP-Controlled Heat Treat ovens through one of the following distributors:

A CTA guiding users to the TAP Software-Based Kiln Controller shop

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