If your industry requires heated curing for your materials, you’ve probably encountered a confusing assortment of information about which type of industrial oven is best suited for your process. Whether you’re curing composites for aviation use, heat treating metal parts, flashing off painted surfaces, conditioning poly tubing, drying wet sporting goods components before they get powder coated, or curing foam dashboard inserts, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to curing ovens. If you want to get the best results, you need to start with a realistic assessment of your exact curing needs.
There are two general types of industrial curing ovens: batch ovens and continuous process (also known as constant process) ovens. Choosing between the two is usually driven by considerations like budget, available shop space, what you’re going to be curing, and how your existing workflow is designed.
From a budget standpoint, batch style ovens are almost always significantly less expensive, sometimes costing as much as 90% less than a comparable constant process version. They also offer a better solution when shop space is at a premium because the materials being loaded into them do not have to follow a set travel path. Unlike continuous process ovens, batch ovens are often loaded with parts that are transported on wheeled carts instead of parts that are being moved along a specific path via a powered conveyor.
A batch oven is usually best suited for situations where the volume of work or the parts making up each load is varied. For example, if your parts vary in size or density, it is challenging to efficiently run them through a constant process oven where the heating environment and curing parameters are relatively fixed. This problem is easily solved by curing different types of parts in separate batches. You can change the control parameters and curing specifications for each batch based on the size, density and other traits of the load being cured.
Continuous curing ovens, on the other hand, are best for applications that require less overall handling and fewer changeovers due to differences between parts or materials. These ovens usually require only a single operator, instead of teams of workers that open and close the oven, manually transport the items being cured, and adjust the controls from batch to batch. For this reason, constant process curing ovens tend to be more economical in the long run than batch style, even though batch style ovens are generally much more versatile.
Of course, you can fully customize any Reliant curing oven based on your individual needs. You may determine that you will need a batch oven with unique components or upgraded features in order to get the job done most effectively. You may also find that there are ways to make a custom-configured batch oven more economical for your application in the long run, so that you enjoy cost savings that are similar to those associated with continuous process style ovens.
At Reliant Industrial Ovens, our goal is to focus on the equipment solution that is the best fit for your specific budget, workspace and curing needs. Our specialists will ask about the volume, size and type of materials you’ll be working with, and they’ll focus on determining just how smoothly and efficiently the curing process can flow from start to finish for your particular application.