Batch ovens and conveyor ovens
In the manufacturing plant, you will often see batch ovens and conveyor ovens. The batch ovens are applicable for applications inside inert atmospheres, clean room applications, low quantity production and large parts that are hard to convey. However, when your manufacturing plant focuses in processing large quantities of the same parts, it is advantageous to use the conveyor ovens. Here are some of the advantages offered by conveyor ovens:
- Fixtures including baskets or racks are not needed in order to process the parts
- You can significantly reduce your labor costs by skipping the following manual operations: loading full fixtures in the oven, loading parts of a fixture in the oven, unloading full fixtures from the oven, unloading parts which are still unfinished from the fixture
- the work in process is reduced
- energy consumption is significantly reduced by not heating the fixture in every cycle
- energy consumption is significantly reduced by decreasing the number of cycle
- the volume of production is significantly increased by decreasing the number of cycle
Whether your conveyor has an incline, spiral, overhead or horizontal configuration, it will be processing in one of the two modes of operation- indexing or continuous.
Continuous conveyor oven- As the name suggests, the conveying system in this type of oven moves continuously. The different equipment parts are placed in the conveyor belt and are moved through the chamber that is heated at a predetermined speed in order to match the production rates and the requirements for thermal processing.
Indexing conveyor oven- In this method of production, the different parts are conveyed via the chamber of the oven in several stop-and-go movements. Groups of parts and individual parts are staged in a position ready for loading. These are then advanced via the oven chamber incrementally. The conveyor belt moves the various parts at specific distances and then rests for a certain period of time.
A conveyor oven can be custom designed to include narrow, long or wide conveyors. You can also incorporate different options including temperature monitoring schemes, temperature zoning, doors on the ends and cooling zones. The method of operation by which the application will be conducted is determined by the thermal and processing requirements.
When contrasted with a batch oven, the conveyor oven is more complex. It requires a larger initial investment and more maintenance. The conveyor oven has unique advantages that will greatly affect the bottom line when it is applied correctly. When deciding what kind of equipment to purchase, you have to inquire with your vendor first and ask their advice.