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Regardless of how you think about it, being energy efficient is good and especially when concerning industrial ovens. In industry and manufacturing, industrial ovens use tremendous amounts of energy for baking, curing, annealing, cleaning, and drying items in manufacturing and industrial processes. For many several hundred or thousand-degree ovens, this can mean heating and cooling areas many times a day with volumes similar to a cabinet, closet, or even a house. This constant heating and cooling creates tremendous levels of energy use comparable to sections of cities. This is especially drastic over the life span of an industrial oven, or the lifespan of a factory or business. Even here at Hix Industrial Ovens and Dryers, we have been in business for over 40 years. That means over 10400 days of energy use and production. It certainly adds up fast. But, this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for an inefficient industrial oven, which drives up your costs and creates unnecessary waste in the process. At Hix industrial Ovens and Dryers, we strive for maximum efficiency from our truck- sized plastic annealing ovens to our customized conveyor ovens. Our designs are cutting edge, highly customizable, and even have Hixcorp only design improvements that define the edge of efficiency. Knowing all of this, we would like to give you a primer in industrial oven efficiency and what to look for in a quality industrial oven.

Efficient Heaters

The first part of an efficient industrial oven is making sure that it is producing heat as effectively as possible. Different process requirements demand different heating elements, but the most popular heating types remain electric, gas-fired, infrared heating, and quartz or combinations of them. Some processes benefit from the gentle heating of natural gas, while others are best left to electric heating, infrared, or quartz element heating. For the sake of efficiency, the infrared heating process is the best, sporting up to a 96% energy to heat conversion rate. For greater efficiency, it is important to focus and look at watt density, rating, and size. At Hix industrial Ovens and Dryers, we make all of our customized infrared conveyor ovens and batch ovens in-house. Our engineers design the optimal configuration for your process needs. This allows us to fine tune your infrared heating to precise resistance ranges for the most energy efficiency possible for your needs, such as the inclusion of custom engineered nichrome ribbon weaved throughout the inner chamber.

Insulation

For any oven, this is a critical part but varies from heating type to heating type and process needs. Each type of heating benefits from different types of insulation and insulation configurations. For instance, our infrared heating uses nichrome ribbon to maximize insulation, while natural gas configurations use more traditional insulation methods. Make sure that when you are dealing with any industrial oven maker, you check to see if the oven reaches or exceeds US, European, or other international regulations on industrial oven insulation efficiency and is using the most efficient insulation possible. This is especially true when looking at buying used models, as efficiency and even insulatory capacity is often reduced with age. It is pretty inconvenient when an especially detail-oriented inspection fines you or requires changes to one of your industrial ovens.

Air Recirculation

One of the most important parts of even heating is air recirculation. For our industrial ovens, we offer designs with up to 97% air recirculation. Even seemingly dry materials carry vapor if exposed to breathable air and can create vapor barriers to efficient heating. Therefore, preventing air saturation from water or chemicals is important. While doing so, maximum efficiency is key because even a tiny fraction of energy lost from over-eager air inclusion can increase operation costs noticeably over time, and it can jeopardize product quality. The less efficient air recirculation you have, the more energy you have to put into the system. Some companies will add more air as a way of skipping on filtration, but here at HixCorp, we make sure that our air is minimally vented and, when applicable, passes through filters in either sterilization or drying processes—this is the case with medical belt dryer ovens and with ovens that have higher vent rates to maintain safe operations with processes that create combustive vapors.  

Heat Curtains

For conveyor designs, efficiency hinges on two key traits:efficient and non wasting airflow, and effective heat catching through the use of heat curtains or double heat curtains. These are flexible and hinged flaps of high grade thermal insulation that hang over the entrance and exit of the oven but can be moved by the product on the conveyor belt or are raised just enough to allow products to pass through. Without these even a customized tunnel oven can lack maximum efficiency.

Rapid Process Times

One of the greatest energy savers is making sure that your process is both as efficient as possible and rapid. This way meeting quotas means less time, less labor, and less energy used. A win-win-win on the financial and responsibility front. At Hix Industrial Ovens, we make sure that we are creating the best custom ovens to meet your needs. From design to production our sales team, engineers, and production technicians are involved in making sure you get exactly what you want. Whether it’s one of our customized drying ovens, medical belt dryer ovens, industrial infrared conveyor oven, or a plastic annealing oven, we have the Hix Advantage. Custom built for your exact needs.

Controlled Cooling

In many processes such as glass or plastic annealing, there are optimal cooling rates that are important to hit. There are also limitations to the cooling rates of a number of materials common in industry. This means that for the most efficient cooling process possible, heat must be vented in controlled manner with proper air circulation created by air knifes and fans. Hixcorp ovens sport state-of-the-art temperature control interfaces for optimal temperature control and cooling rates, allowing the even cooling to be controlled by a sophisticated and efficient process program and its network of temperature sensors with minimal energy use.

We hope that this guide has helped you think more about not only the importance of efficiency, but what to know as you look for your next high-quality industrial oven. If you have a sensitive process that needs exacting specifications for annealing, curing, drying, baking, and more, than look no further than Hix Industrial Ovens and Dryers. We custom design each oven around your needs and specifications, from floor space use to efficiency to rapid production compatible with other machinery or robotic pick-and-place assistance. Browse our site for more, or contact your area representative for a free quote.