Industrial ovens are thermal processing machines. Ovens use heat to treat materials in many ways. The name for a given heat treatment process reflects the kind of property changes that occur in a product when it is heated; drying, baking and dehydrating are processes of moisture removal, curing is the process of strengthening and firing is the process of hardening ceramics. Industrial ovens are also used to activate adhesives, gel and fuse materials together, heat-set, heat-shrink, preheat, sinter, melt, laminate and thermal bond other materials.
Industrial ovens may be used for a broad variety of applications. These include powder coating, drying, baking, curing, and many others. These ovens have a wide range in temperatures that they are capable of reaching. Higher temperature industrial ovens may be used for drying materials and are sometimes also called a kiln; though they do not reach temperatures quite as high as traditional ceramic kilns. Lower temperature industrial ovens may be used for baking or curing and are found in places such as factories or bakeries. Industrial ovens come in many shapes and sizes, some come designed similar to a home oven, while others are large enough for people to walk into. There are also some industrial ovens which have a conveyor running through them in order to heat mass quantities of items over a short span of time.
Industrial ovens vary greatly in size and shape. There are the very large that contain many shelves and could be used for baking many loaves of bread at once. Ovens may be installed into large trucks or on carts for ease of portability. The one thing all of these ovens have in common is they are all temperature controlled based on their purpose. There are industrial ovens that are specifically designed to remove the moisture from objects that are placed inside, these are called drying ovens. Industrial ovens designed for curing are made to cause chemical reactions between the coating and the actual product itself. Like ovens found in homes, some industrial ovens are designed for specifically for food production. Although typically the industrial ovens used for food production are much larger and reach temperatures much higher than the average domestic oven the concept of baking food is the same.
Heat is a major factor in all manufacturing industries. Virtually every product engaged in the production process requires heat introduction at some point. Among the major sources of this form of energy is industrial ovens. They are hot and insulated chambers utilized in industries for drying, baking, or treating various parts or components before, during or even after their creation.
Industrial Baking Oven - Intek Corporation
Industrial Oven - Thermal Product Solutions (TPS, LLC)
Custom Industrial Oven - Thermal Product Solutions (TPS, LLC)
Industrial Baking Oven - Thermal Product Solutions (TPS, LLC)
Industrial Oven - Thermal Product Solutions (TPS, LLC)
Industrial Oven - Thermal Product Solutions (TPS, LLC)
The number of applications of ovens is almost infinite. They are used in the electronic industry for degassing epoxy resins and reacting elements, among others. Food and beverage companies also use ovens for, but are not limited to, sterilization of items before packaging. Other industries that use ovens include:
In applications that require temperatures that go above 2000 degrees F, an industrial furnace is the most ideal. Furnaces also require large spaces, and the desired temperature is introduced directly into the chamber, unlike ovens that utilize a system of ductwork to distribute hot air onto the raw materials being processed.
Technology has changed so much since the first use of ovens. The first ever ovens date back to 2900BC in Central Europe where they were utilized in boiling and roasting pits in yurts for mammoth cooking. Later on, an advancement was conjured up where the pits used hot coal covered in ashes. By 3200BC, almost all settlements had hearths used in food cooking as well as making bricks. The ovens were later employed in kilns for pottery and bread baking, which was introduced by the Greek.
Many years later, instead of ceramic and earth ovens, fireplaces with cauldrons were used. Transitions occurred, and ovens were either using wood, coal, iron gas and later electricity. The early 1700s saw the introduction of the Stewart Oberlin iron oven, which was smaller and had a chimney of its own. During the earlier years of the 19th Century, coal ovens were introduced, and years later, the gas ovens. James Sharp patented the first ever gas stove in the year 1826. The AGA cooker invented in 1922 by Gustaf Dalen was the improvement of the gas stove.
Since then, things changed and more advancements followed, and although the first electric ovens were invented late in the 19th Century, power had not yet become extensive as it is today. The introduction of high-tech ovens began with Percy Spencer's microwave in 1946. After it was patented, more productions, adaptations, and creation of large scale ovens emerged to the present-day ovens.
Ovens provide consistent burning environments, and with separate chambers for cooling and warming, they have various sources of thermal energy. Hot water, electricity, and gas are the most common sources, all which are introduced into the oven through forced convection.
Electrically fired ovens are the most popular types because of their rapid sweltering process and the durability they hold. They are inexpensive and are less polluting. On the other hand, ovens fired by gas are available in direct and indirect configurations and can either use propane or natural gas. They are more expensive than the electric types, but with considerably cheaper running costs. In hot water ovens, the water passes through radiator coils for the emission of energy. They are the most preferred choice for applications that require lower temperatures and where quick heating time is not necessary.
Ovens have different functionalities. However, the most common type, the convection ovens, function by blowing jets of hot steam through coils or hot panels. When this happens, the material is quickly warmed up, improving the functionality and the operational efficacy of the machine. Once the raw materials have been placed in the oven, a temperature knob is adjusted to a particular degree. Each task has a different temperature specification.
In other models, the air is drawn by fans through the coils and propelled back to the compartments via plenums installed in the side walls, which results in temperatures that are uniform and consistent.
The types of ovens depend entirely on the industry application. The most common ones include:
• Curing Ovens
These types of ovens are used when the need for powder coating and chemical reactions arise in the industry. They come in handy when a specific or set of temperature is required by a particular material or substance for a reaction to occur. During the heat treatment process, the ovens catalyze the reaction. The wide range of applications of a cure oven extends to rubber and the adhesive industries.
• Drying Ovens
Dry ovens have a design that rids raw materials of any moisture. These ovens operate in a three-sequence process. The first step is the heat-up, where the substance gains the optimum temperature required to withdraw the moisture at a given moment. The second phase involves the soak process. The material is left to soak, again for a particular period before the final process, which is a cool-down stage. The hot air becomes exhausted from the oven, and cold air is fed in. These types of ovens are applied for sterilization, in temperature testing as well as the incubation of temperature sensitive experiments.
• Batch Ovens
Batch ovens are also known as walk-in ovens or cabinet ovens. They are big enough to accommodate a variety of batch processes that incorporate aging, drying, annealing or curing. A batch oven is applicable where the same heat treatment procedure is required to be conducted at different times, and if the substance being processed changes between batches. The cooking of raw materials with this particular oven involves loading them inside the oven itself, on trucks, carts or even racks. The accommodation of manual and automatic loading has also been considered.
• Continuous Ovens
Continuous ovens can perform a number of applications at the same time. They are applied in mass processes that require consistent thermal treatment. These machines are equipped with separate warming and cooling compartments, which enhance the thermal treatment process without one having to wait for a particular chamber to cool down. As a result, the total time taken to complete a specific task is significantly reduced.
• Tunnel Ovens
Tunnel ovens are shaped like tubes and substances to be subjected to specific temperatures that pass through the hollows. The raw materials can be loaded either continuously or by power and conveyor belts with stops. The tunnels utilize the speed of the belts to make the elements hot using different types of fuel. They are common in the food industry, especially the meat and baking industry.
• Baking Ovens
Bake ovens have smooth interiors for easy cleaning, and they are mainly applied in baking food and other materials. They are made of inflammable materials.
• Conveyor Ovens
They are applicable in continuous process application and they utilize the use of belts and a variety of other accessories during production.
Ovens are made up of several components. They include:
- Motor, which powers the whole system
- Exhaust and recirculation fans, for air circulation within the oven
- Duct distribution network, which is used for venting
- Flame controllers and purge timers
- Burners, direct fired types are supported by most electric motors. Other types incorporate radiant tube burners for thermal transfer from gas combustion.
Industries utilize ovens for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the reasons.
Several factors primarily influence the installation of ovens. Location is one of them. They should be located where they are protected from damage by high temperatures, vibrations or even mechanical damage. Space should be adequate and not against the wall. Because most ovens are made of stainless steel cabinets, they tend to expand when they burn. This is why leveling them with shims is appropriate. Where they are installed, proper ventilation is a must. This should prevent accumulation of vapor that could be potentially hazardous.
Other things to pay attention to during installation include how the oven will be heated. Whether electrical, hot water or gas powered, the installation should be done according to the specifications and codes provided.
The most important thing is to let professionals do the work for you. Do not attempt to install or operate the machine if you have not the technical know-how. At least familiarize yourself first with all the necessary aspects that will ensure optimum performance.
Many aspects go into the design of an oven. Apart from buying a complete device to fulfill a specific task, you can design your own or customize an existing machine to fit a particular job. While there are lots of standard models available, a custom designed oven much suits your exact product, space as well as your business needs.
The first thing to put into consideration is the exact purpose of the custom machine. Will it be used for food processing or in the manufacture of equipment? Determining the specific task, or a combination of functions influences the optimizations you will consider. The next thing to consider is how the machine should work, whether electric or gas powered. Also worth noting is the temperature requirement.
Although ovens are standalone fixtures, there are other necessary components required during their installation. Apart from sources of power, gas and water, piping and venting options, other components like shims are required to keep them firmly in place. Incinerators and exhausts for waste disposal are also necessary. As part of fostering safety, the installation of alarms and fire extinguishers comes highly recommended.
Due to many hours of running, with doors closed and compartments spattered with raw material resins, ovens need regular cleaning and maintenance if you want to get the best out of them. There are various compliance and safety standards to be considered.
During the operation, of great importance is wearing protective gear. Imperatively, one should avoid direct smelling of gases, and keep off the hot parts. Should there be any wet spills or boil overs, use appropriate cleaning measures with industrial grade solutions. However, ensuring that compartments are sealed appropriately is the first thing to consider before firing on the machine. Other safety precautions include:
Many manufacturers offer many types of ovens used in the industrial production processes. However, not all of them will benefit you. The most important thing is to choose a manufacturer who not only provides the right machine for your needs, but fits the available space, has optimum performance and will last for ages.
Some machines offered on the market are not up to the required standards, in terms of operation and maintenance. The right vendor will offer a device that has less operational costs, and is easy to clean as well as to maintain. On top of that, check whether the supplier meets the certifications required for the oven and ensure that chances of delay in support and troubleshooting even after the product is in use are averted.
The right supplier offers factory acceptance testing. What this means is that supplier will run the oven, confirm everything is in order before shipping it to you. Finally, after sale service is another most important factor. Does the supplier provide installation services after the purchase? Do they have a team ready to offer maintenance whenever necessary?
Industrial Oven Terms
Aging - The process of changing the properties of a metal or an alloy through temperature changes through the utilization of an industrial oven.Annealing - The process of softening an object or changing other properties of the object through cycles of heating and cooling using an industrial oven.
Postheating - Applying heat to an object after the manufacturing
process, such as brazing, welding or soldering.
Powder Coating - A dry finishing process that utilizes finely ground, electrostatically charged particles, which are sprayed onto a part to be coated. When placed in an industrial oven, the charged parts melt and fuse into a durable, even coating.
Preheating - The application of heat in industrial ovens before the manufacturing process.
Process Heating - The supplication of heat from industrial ovens to an object or material.Quenching - The rapid cooling of an object heated in an industrial oven.