For my very first issue of Process Heating more than 20 years ago, I worked with oven manufacturers to develop our first Equipment Overview. At the time, the Internet wasn’t the wealth of information it is now, and Google didn’t even exist except as an idea for Larry Page’s dissertation theme. I remember pulling out books (yes, books!) to create a preliminary list of industrial oven characteristics and suppliers.

When I had something resembling an Equipment Overview, I faxed it to perhaps 10 oven companies for review of the criteria by which their product lines would be compared with their competitors. Unfailingly, it came back more marked up than a failing student’s first English composition. With a lot of phone calls and more faxes, at last, the Equipment Overview on Industrial Ovens was born.

Today, Process Heating’s Equipment Overviews remain a valuable, practical tool for identifying prospective manufacturers of key types of industrial thermal-processing equipment. In 2015, we are again publishing the full matrixes in print as well as in our digital editions, and the content is available online via an interactive directory.

Take this issue’s Equipment Overview on Convection and Conduction Heaters as an example. (The printed edition begins on page 38.) You can use it “old school” by highlighting the columns that best describe the kind of heater you want or the application in which you intend to use it. Then, read down and across the pages to find those manufacturers with the capabilities that match your search criteria.

Alternatively, you can use our Equipment Overview online. In just a few clicks, you can expand or contract your search results simply by adding or removing criteria by which to search. (Click on the plus signs to the left of each main heading, shown in the upper left online, to add or remove heater configurations, energy sources, manufacturing processes or industries.) Hyperlinks are provided to some manufacturers’ websites.

For instance, I arbitrarily checked off several items and found myself asking for companies that provided electric over-the-side immersion heaters for finishing applications. After a few clicks, up popped more than a dozen companies capable of supplying the equipment I “designed.” Clicking on any company name that shows up in response to a query shows their full capabilities in addition to the contact information in the lower right.

During the year, these bullet charts in print and their corresponding searchable online electronic versions appear for your benefit. They are as follows (note that the URLs are case sensitive):

 Finally, please remember to say “Process Heating sent me” when you contact a supplier you found either in our print or online pages. And we have been, for more than 20 years.