An aging data acquisition system at Sawyer Research Products Inc. (Eastlake, Ohio), producer of high-quality quartz crystal for electrical component manufacturers, was limiting efforts to improve process reliability and overall yield. Growing quartz crystals requires high precision and constant monitoring and adjustment of process temperatures. The company felt its operation was in jeopardy from a reliability standpoint, because it monitors temperature data from the autoclaves to track the culturing process from start to finish. It's critical to accurately monitor the autoclave temperatures, since crystal growth is controlled entirely by maintaining internal autoclave temperatures at optimum levels throughout the process. The old manual controllers were unwieldy and unreliable, requiring a technician or engineer to physically walk to each individual autoclave each time a temperature adjustment is necessary. The crystal growing process is controlled with skin temperature, so replacing the old controllers to bring skin temperatures into the data acquisition system also was important.