Defining an Oven, Basically
In its basics section, the website builds a firm educational foundation. It notes that ovens are insulated enclosures or tunnels that operate at temperatures from slightly above ambient to 250°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. Heated air most commonly is introduced into the work area by forced convection.
The website also defines the three essential categories of ovens: laboratory, industrial batch and continuous process. The distinguishing characteristics are construction, product-handling functions and flexibility.
Laboratory units have a typical temperature range of slightly above ambient to 650°F (343°C) and range in size from 2 to 32 ft3. Construction differs from industrial batch ovens in that lab ovens have positive-latch doors, pressure-release panels, stainless steel interiors, solid state controllers and contactors, an epoxy/chemical resistant exterior coating and usually an extended multi-year warranty. The laboratory oven lends itself towards test samples or light-duty production of small parts and product.
Industrial batch-type ovens operate at temperatures from slightly above ambient to 1,250°F (677 °C) and range in sizes from 3 ft3and greater. The two general categories of industrial batch ovens are shelf/cabinet and truck/walk-in. Features include aluminized steel interior, fully adjustable duct work, scratch resistant enamel paint on the exterior, digital set-point controller, UL listed control panel and a one year warranty. These units are suited for the processing of larger quantities of product in a single batch.
Conveyor units tend to be less flexible than batch ovens because they are usually designed for a specific product or production rate. Temperature ranges are the same as for industrial batch units ― up to 1,250°F (677°C). They operate on a continuous or indexing basis through one or multiple heat zones. Conveyor units tend to be oriented toward automated production in greater quantities of small- to medium-size product. The type of conveyance system depends on the product line and the volume of work to be produced, as well as the temperature to be obtained.