Continuous ovens are some of the most bespoke ovens that are used in industry today. Continuous ovens are synonymous with conveyor ovens. The principle behind these, as the name ‘continuous’ suggests, is that as the ovens provide heat, product is moved at a set speed across the oven.
This provides a continuous stream of production unlike, say, a batch oven, where products must be placed in the oven piecemeal. Continuous ovens, due to their inherently more open design, may seem at first blush less efficient than their closed cell counterparts, but that does not have to be the case. Since continuous ovens do not require the heating cycle to be restarted regularly, the start-up and shut down losses can be minimized greatly. Moreover, with continuous ovens, the efficiency lies in the high rate of production that can be sustained over long periods of time.
In this article we look at some major aspects of continuous ovens that are tailored for businesses:
- Operating temperatures – The optimal temperature working range of continuous ovens depends on the intended production process. Typically, conveyor-type ovens are used for the heat treatment of one type of product and they are optimized to suit it.
- Speed of conveyor – Not just how much heat is input into the product for treatment, but for how long is an extremely important factor too. Continuous ovens in the food industry are typically kept at the lower end of the temperature scale and processing times are low as well. Specialty glass making on the other hand will utilize higher temperatures for sustained periods of time.
- Heat transmission – How heat is to be transmitted is another important consideration. There are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. With direct heating coils will radiate heat directly; while with indirect heating hot air will be circulated by fans. In fact, most continuous ovens will use configurations with both these heating methodologies.
At Eastman Manufacturing we have designed, built and maintained continuous ovens of all configurations and specifications. We work closely with our clients to ensure that the oven they get is the most suited for the job.