Continuous Ovens for mass production
Batch ovens have certain advantages over Continuous Ovens because they do not require high initial capital investment. The oven is easier to operate and needs less maintenance. However, batch ovens are more effective for short production runs and when the parts to be processed are different in shape, size, weight and thermal requirements. Continuous Ovens are better for mass production of products that require systematic and consistent thermal processing. Continuous Ovens can also be customized to work with a process line using a conveyor system.
In powder coating, a conveyor belt can be integrated into the continuous oven to accommodate parts across its entire width. When batch ovens are used in curing, parts have to be placed in baskets before they will be loaded in ovens. Usually, when the parts are stacked in a basket, it can restrict air flow which results into a longer cure cycle for parts that are placed in the middle of the oven. In the continuous conveyor ovens, each part will receive an equal airflow that often results into a 25% faster cure cycle with more consistent cure and lower unit cost per piece.
Customizing a continuous conveyor oven
A continuous conveyor oven can be customized according to production rate per hour and estimated time for the curing cycle including other specific requirements of the application. A temperature profile will be important to meet the requirements. To simplify the requirements, engineers can provide accurate specifications on how quickly the product has to be heated, how long it should stay heated and whether the oven needs to be reheated after it has been cooled.
The conveying system can utilize a flat wire belt and a variable frequency drive so that speed can be adjusted. With the conveying system, products can move through them at a steady rate. This is very efficient when there is a large volume of similar parts that require thermal processing. When considering heat source, continuous conveyor ovens can run through electricity, natural gas, LPG or infrared energy. The industrial oven can be designed to combine both electric and gas heating.
Other factors that have to be considered in the choice for the industrial oven suitable for thermal processing requirements include the overall budget, availability of floor space, manpower requirements and energy consumption. Sometimes, it makes sense to involve the oven manufacturer to ensure the best industrial oven will be chosen. You can tell the oven manufacturers about the product so that you can be guided with your choice. At the very least, the oven manufacturer needs to know the product’s shape, dimension, orientation, weight and whether it needs to be processed individually or in group.