watlow semiconductor

What is ATS?

watlow adaptive thermal systems gold logo

Watlow’s Adaptive Thermal Systems (ATS™) are a suite of  technologies that combine sensing, heating and controlling in innovative ways to improve the thermal performance of a customer’s application. ATS technology integrates foundational technology platforms including power conversion, multi-loop control and sensing, integrated TCH junction temperature control and high TCR materials based temperature control to optimize performance that is specific to the problem being solved.

Historically, engineers have compensated for system variation  with inadequate information. With ATS technology users now have the ability to listen and respond to the materials to enhance and simplify performance. ATS enables engineers to close the open loop and see what is going on in the system in real time. For example, locations where temperature sensing was previously impractical can now be measured utilizing heater circuits as additional sensors. Also, increasingly complex wire routings are simplified by using innovative multiplexing methods to integrate additional zones of control. Furthermore, heaters that have been design constrained due to geometry or electrical resistance can now be driven with an appropriately scaled down voltage level.

ats thermographic mapping
  • Protects ceramics from breakage
  • Lower sensor and integration costs
  • Real-time diagnostic feedback
  • Better uniformity with closed loop control
  • Fewer wires & less complexity
  • Immune to power quality issues


>> Reduces RF filtering

>>> Measure change in resistance to convert every heater into a sensor

Sensor is integrated into heater

High TCR Material Based Temperature Control

high temperature coefficient resistance heater materials

Measure temperature without a separate sensor

>> Saves Space

>> Eliminates hysteresis with PID control 

ATS system comparison

>> Improves sensing reliability

>> Lowers sensor and integration costs

No time delay between heating and sensing

>> Enables closed loop control for better performance

>> Improves thermal system response

>> Reduces complexity due to fewer wires

Power Conversion

>> Provides real-time feedback

>>> Regulate power up and down rather than on and off

>> Protects ceramics from breaking

ATS power conversion diagram

>> ensures immunity to power quality issues

Gain total control of power quality

>> Reduces power distribution rating with smaller fuses and wires, which saves money and space

>> Eliminates noise injection into power distribution

Power is always on rather than duty cycling on and off

>> Achieves high power quality without the high cost and added space of a dc power supply

Line cycle synchronization

Lower voltage drives low impedance heaters

>> Reduces noise

Multi-Loop Control and Sensing

>>> Increase heater zones while reducing wires

>> Delivers a temperature gradient that was previously limited to only uniform set points

>> Enables closed loop control without added sensors

multi-loop control wires vs zones. ATS vs traditional.

>> Provides more accuracy than traditional PID control

High number of zones with minimal wires

>> Reduces overall system cost and complexity

multi-loop control and sensing comparison

Control during dynamic and non-linear changes