As J.W. Guanci III and Cliff Semmler note in their article, “Batch Oven Q&A,” savvy process oven manufacturers understand that their businesses are not just about selling ovens. Instead, the primary focus must be helping match the oven design with customer’s application. Guanci, who is company president, and Semmler, who is product manager for the Ovens Division of Precision Quincy, explain how application specifics such as temperature requirements, desired loading, temperature uniformity needs, and materials to be processed shape the choices available. With effective collaboration, the result is a system that satisfies the application demands safely and efficiently.

Of course, this advice -- that savvy manufacturers focus on more than simply selling the system -- applies to more than just oven makers. One like-minded author is David J. King, a sales engineer with Thermometrics Corp., Northridge, Calif., who takes a compare/contrast approach to temperature sensors in his article, “RTDs vs. Thermocouples.” As King notes, each application must be judged on its own merits. Apply a systematic approach and let the process tell you what it needs.

Also in this issue, John Kantz, a product manager at Pittsburgh-based Chromalox, explains that radiant heaters provide high efficiencies, shorter oven lengths, a clean operating environment and close product temperature control. In “Infrared Heaters Radiate Benefits,” he suggests users consider whether infrared heaters might satisfy their process requirements.

Thermal fluid heating system users can minimize the time and costs associated with starting up a thermal fluid heater system by following the steps outlined in “Checklist for Problem-Free Startup” from Thermal Fluid Systems Inc., Kennesaw, Ga. Properly preparing before the manufacturer’s field engineer arrives at your site can help avoid startup delays.

“Maintain Pumping Systems Effectively,” an article from the Hydraulic Institute and the Department of Energy, looks at establishing a pumping system maintenance schedule that includes preventive and predictive activities. According to the organizations, routine maintenance and periodic efficiency testing are key steps to keeping pumps operating well.

Linda Becker, Associate Publisher and Editor,