Oven primer: An introduction to industrial process ovens
Virtually every manufactured product requires the introduction of heat at some point during the production process. Purchasing the proper piece of thermal processing equipment is rarely an easy or a casual consideration. Reputable oven manufacturers share those exact sentiments, in that they will consider a customer’s application, production needs, and concerns seriously. It’s also understood that multiple issues become intertwined to create a series of details which must be resolved before trust is gained and equipment is purchased. This article serves only as a general guide to heat processing equipment and the issues that must be considered to select the proper oven, as well as the appropriate options and features. Of course, for an application-specific diagnosis, consultation with a member of your oven manufacturer’s sales team is always recommended.
Ovens are insulated enclosures or tunnels that operate at temperatures from slightly above ambient to 1250°F (676°C). Loading configurations take two essential forms, batch or continuous, with the more common sources of heat being electricity, gas (natural or propane), steam, hot water, and fuel oil. As for the means by which heated air is introduced into the work area, it’s commonly accomplished with forced convection.