If you’ve done any research into industrial powder coating ovens, you’ve probably noticed that different manufacturers offer different sizes. Some have small units with only a single chamber, while others offer huge triple-deckers. Different sized units use different amounts of power, have different production capacities, and cost varying amounts to purchase and to operate. So why are there so many different sizes, and what do they each have that the others don’t? The answer comes down to advantages. Here are the six most common advantages of powder coating ovens in each size category:
When space is really limited, you only have a few choices of what type of unit you can use. A smaller powder coating oven size is often the only choice you have if you’re working in very tight quarters. This can be a problem if you have a large quantity of parts to coat. If you try to fit the quantity you need into a small oven, you’ll probably have to re-arrange the products within the oven to make it fit, potentially creating hot spots and uneven coating within each part. This can result in poor quality coatings and/or damage to the parts. However, if you have a larger oven, such as a 10x10x10 powder coating oven, you can fit all the parts you need to coat in an orderly fashion, likely without having to rearrange them and having to do multiple batches.
Frequency of Use
The more often you use your powder coating ovens, the more important it is for you to use a larger size. If you only use your ovens once in a while, the wear and tear on everything from the conveyor belts to the electrical components won’t be significant. But if you’re running parts through your ovens on a daily basis, you’re going to need to give the components a longer period of time to cool off or they’ll warp and/or crack. Conveyor belts, for instance, need time to cool before they can be stopped. This presents a problem if you have a small sized oven. Once you’ve run the last part through the coating process, the conveyor belt is still hot, and the parts you’d like to put into the oven don’t have enough time to cool before they come into contact with the belt. The result is warped and/or cracked parts. Fortunately, larger sized ovens give the parts and the conveyor components longer to cool before being put in contact.
If you’re coating a moderate quantity of parts each day, you’re probably satisfied with the results you’re getting from your current oven. But if you’re hoping to increase the volume of parts you’re coating each day, you may want to consider a larger sized powder coating oven. You’ll need to take several things into consideration for this. First, a larger oven will cost more to purchase than a smaller one, so you’ll have to factor that into your budget. Second, a larger oven will use more energy to operate. And finally, a larger oven will take longer to heat up and cool down than a smaller one. Conversely, if you currently have a large oven and you’re hoping to scale back the amount you’re coating, you’ll want to consider if a smaller oven would be sufficient.
There are many components in a powder coating oven, and each one uses some degree of energy. The motors that operate the doors, trays, and conveyor belts, as well as the fans that move the air through the oven, use a significant amount of energy. There are many different types of motors and fans available, but most are more efficient than the older models. However, even the most efficient motor or fan can’t overcome the limitations of a smaller sized oven. A larger oven will have a larger thermal mass, which is the amount of time it takes for the interior of the oven to reach the desired temperature. To illustrate this, let’s say you have two ovens: one’s a small oven that’s 3 cubic meters (m3) in volume and one’s a large oven that’s 10 m3. The small oven will reach its desired temperature in less than half the time of the large oven. So, even if both ovens use the same amount of power, the large oven will use less because it takes less time to achieve that desired temperature.