Globally, industries are taking advantage of the huge market of the heat treatment industry.
From coating machine tools to exotic automotive parts, heat treatment is a quintessential part of manufacturing.
However, heat treatment is an energy-dependent industry. By some estimates, it consumes about 17 percent of US industrial energy use and up to 15 percent of production cost is attributed to heat treatment.
In this article we look at several methods that are helping increase the operational efficiency of industrial ovens, like the batch oven. Whereas some of these are oven related, there is an emphasis on better understanding the product that is being thermally treated and the process as a whole:
1. Start and end of cycle – Research into curing has shown that temperature variation across an oven occurs most at the start and end of the heat cycle. Since an even temperature across the oven is essential for effective thermal treatment, the start and conclusion of a heat treatment are essential.
2. Understanding the product – A common theme that runs through much of the research being done on industrial ovens, like batch ovens, is that users need to better understand the product that is being heat treated. This can enable the batch oven being used at its optimal temperature for longer, and possibly reduce the time taken for thermal treatment.
3. Thermal mass – The structural thermal mass – that which may be beneficial for heat treatment – of a batch oven or other industrial oven can be detrimental for when temperatures within the oven need to be changed. This can increase process times and waste energy in the process.
4. Oven openings – Ingress points into the door are an obvious for energy inefficiency. Minimizing the entry of cooler air into the oven is key to maintaining temperatures. As much an attribute of batch oven design, it involves a process component as well, since door open times can affect temperatures negatively.
Eastman Manufacturing is North America’s premier custom industrial oven manufacturer and chemical equipment fabricator.
As a custom industrial oven manufacturer, we provide our clients with a dedicated design, engineering and installation team engaged to deliver exactly what they want and need, ensuring the best possible chance of a thermally efficient installation.