Two continuous process heating cells — equipped with ovens, conveyors and cooling zones — will be used to cure polyethylene foam contained in aluminum molds. The 800°F (426°C) ovens, designed to meet NFPA 86 Class B standards, include a top-mounted heater box with 1 million BTU heat input.
According to oven manufacturer Lewco Inc., Sandusky, Ohio, each has two independent mesh-belt conveyors passing through the same workspace. Operators can adjust the speed of the conveyor separately to yield proper dwell times. The conveyor speed is adjustable from 1.5 to 2.5 ft/min through the use of a variable-frequency drive.
Parts are manually loaded into the oven by operators. Once the molds pass through the oven, they are automatically transferred to a 180-degree curve belt conveyor. From there, the molds are transitioned to two mesh-belt cooling conveyors that transfer the mold back to the load end of the oven. The finished product then is removed, and the molds are refilled with foam to repeat the process.
Based on equipment testing, the customer said it will be able to increase production by 15 percent.