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Industrial Conveyor Oven: 2022 Guide

Industrial conveyor ovens are a type of oven that products move through during operation. These ovens offer several benefits, including process flexibility, automation, and the ability to operate with high production volumes. These ovens work with many applications and provide better results than other less compatible ovens, depending on the specific industry and application.

What Is an Industrial Conveyor Oven?

An industrial conveyor oven is an oven that uses continuous motion or indexing to move products along when operating, with products traveling along vertical, horizontal, spiral motion, or inclined paths. The different styles of industrial conveyor ovens include powered roller, chain-on-edge (COE), belted, power and free, and overhead.

It’s important not to confuse these ovens with batch ovens, which only allow for the static positioning of products to prepare them for thermal processing. These ovens move in-process workpieces with continuous motion, eliminating the need for human interruption while preventing disruptive heat exposure.

Industrial Conveyor Oven Styles

Conveyor ovens offer a variety of configurations to make them compatible with various heat processing applications.

These configurations include:

  • Powered roller system. These systems convey products horizontally through the oven using a series of powered rollers that operate in an indexing or continuous mode.
  • Overhead monorail. An overhead monorail carries items to move them through the oven.
  • Heavy-duty chain-on-edge (COE). A COE oven conveys products using a vertical or horizontal configuration, in which the parts or carriers move on one or more strands of engineered chain.
  • Pusher conveyor oven. These ovens use an internal or external pushing mechanism that uses rollers, slide beds, or low friction rails to index parts and move them through the oven.
  • Industrial conveyor belt oven. The use of conveyor belts consolidates multiple heating stages into a single fixed location to help minimize waste and increase power efficiency.
  • Slat and chain conveyor oven. These ovens’ superior resistance and durability facilitate heavy loads and longer processing times.
  • And more.

All of these methods enable operators to control the rate at which each product passing through undergoes heating and finishing, which allows for optimum efficiency and smooth operation.

Industrial Conveyor Oven Applications and Uses

A wide variety of applications use industrial conveyor ovens, from the automotive industry to the aerospace industry.

Some specific applications of industrial conveyor ovens include:

  • Annealing
  • Strip annealing
  • Heat treating
  • Drying
  • Curing
  • Baking
  • Pre-heating
  • Bonding
  • Stress Relieving
  • Tempering

Considerations for Industrial Conveyor Ovens

When selecting an industrial conveyor oven for an application, there are certain considerations to keep in mind.

Why use a conveyor oven?

There are a few key reasons why an application may use a conveyor oven. Some may use these ovens to:

  • Increase throughput. This is the main reason for using industrial conveyor ovens or continuous ovens.
  • Increase safety. These ovens don’t need the involvement of an operator to load or unload components, which are often challenging to handle and remain at high temperatures during processing.
  • Allow for replicable quality. These ovens can also help increase the overall quality of the cure. This is due to the oven’s conveyor belt system remaining at a constant velocity to make sure each part undergoes curing for the same amount of time. Additionally, this type of oven allows for repeatable, uniform curing for each part placed on the belt.

Why is a conveyor oven important in manufacturing?

Conveyor ovens are vital for many manufacturing applications due to the following benefits:

  • They’re easily integrated into existing production lines
  • High production volumes
  • Production automation
  • Controlled and standardized quality

What should you look for in industrial conveyor ovens?

If you’re looking for the right industrial oven for your facility, the following are some specific items to consider:

  • Loading requirements — Start by identifying use requirements, including the load capacity, desired exhaust rates, the height and size of the load, and other aspects to determine whether the application needs a conveyor oven.
  • Operation — Manual or automated loading
  • Maximum operating temperature
  • Heat source and heating medium
  • Certifications, testing, and standards

The Technology Behind Industrial Conveyor Oven Manufacturing

Industrial conveyor ovens use a system of conveyance technology to help consistently move parts through the oven, whether using indexing or continuous motion. These systems primarily feature steel and aluminized steel construction to optimize durability.

Applications often zone industrial conveyor ovens based on a designated temperature profile, with the ability to create zones for each profile segment. After traveling through a heating zone, parts can move through a cooling zone. This is different from the zoning capabilities of batch ovens, which typically heat and cool parts in the same zone.

Why Invest in a Conveyor Oven?

Businesses invest in industrial conveyor ovens because of the range of beneficial features they offer, including:

  • Controlled atmospheres. State-of-the-art industrial conveyor ovens can achieve and maintain temperatures as high as 1,800°F to 2,100°F. Zones can also control heating and cooling processes.
  • Different material capabilities. Industrial conveyor ovens can process all types of metals in a range of configurations.
  • Automated loading & unloading. To increase efficiency and eliminate the need for workers to manually move parts at dangerously high temperatures, these systems allow for automated loading and unloading of each component.
  • Easy maintenance. It’s easy to inspect, repair, and maintain conveyor belt heat processing systems.
  • Reliable & streamlined. Industrial conveyor ovens facilitate even and consistent performance. Using a single piece of equipment, it’s possible to streamline production processes to optimize smoothness, safety, and speed.
  • The design experts and engineers at S.M. Engineering and Heat Treating can custom-configure each conveyor belt system. Our customers can customize belt width, select gas or electricity for power sources, or add multiple digital belt controls and performance zones.

Types of Furnaces and Services at S.M. Engineering and Heat Treating

S.M. Engineering and Heat Treating offers a selection of custom furnaces and services, depending on our customers’ needs. We carry continuous conveyor belt furnaces in addition to ammonia dissociators, pusher batch and quench furnaces, and strip quench and multiple tube strip furnaces. Additionally, we provide heat sealing services along with calibration and furnace repairs.

We build top-quality tools designed and built to last, exceed performance expectations, and help our customers’ production centers achieve the best possible results.

Customers will benefit from our conveyor belt furnaces and furnace and oven heat treating services. We offer certified custom heat treating oven repairs for many industries, including the automotive, medical, and electronics industries. We also provide local pickup and delivery, along with the shipping of various oven and furnace parts via a network of trusted carriers. We provide many services for heat treating, including annealing, quenching, hardening, and stress relieving on many types of metals. Methods for heat treatment include case hardening, bright, deep case hardening, age and precipitation hardening, flame hardening, sintering, and normalizing.

Our team has over 50 years of combined experience as leading innovators in our industry. This level of experience and expertise enables us to provide top-tier customer service and workmanship as our customers’ trusted heat treatment suppliers. Regardless of what our customers require, we can work with them to provide the most compatible solution.

To learn more about our ovens or annealing and heat treatment services, request a quote today.