Have you been in the market for an industrial oven or dryer? No? Have you been watching operating costs creep up? Maybe you’re starting to face the dilemma of adding an additional shift or choosing to pay overtime. Either way, you found this page and are interested in learning more about the buying process.
Part of our much larger guide, Steps to Selecting an Industrial Oven or Dryer, the below information provides a brief overview of the process.
Step 1: Knowing It’s Time
The first step to making any kind of change is to realize that change is necessary. Many of us put this off for months or even years, and often this includes the decision to invest in something for your company.
That said, there are a few common reasons that an oven or dryer needs to be replaced—either the oven itself or your company.
Is the Oven Beginning to Show Signs of Aging?
Industrial ovens and dryers are reliable, delivering years or even decades of quality and consistency. That said, after years of reliable operation, the constant application of heat takes a toll on the product. Yes, many of the parts are replaceable, but when you start to notice a lack of uniformity, failures in airflow, or more time than necessary waiting for the machinery to heat up, it may be time to start looking.
From here, you may begin to notice that the oven becoming more costly to run as the insulation becomes less effective, doors leak, or heating elements become less efficient.
Have Your Company Needs Changed?
If you’ve grown, it’s likely that you’re seeing higher labor and operations costs to meet production. This is normal, but only if the increase in revenue can justify the increased costs. Adding an extra shift is one thing, but sometimes, it’s easier to install a new oven that can handle the needs in one shift.
Alternatively, what if demand shifts in the opposite direction? Maybe you could use your oven or dryer for a different purpose or could downsize your oven to save money.
Step 2: Documenting What You Need
After noticing that your oven or dryer is no longer the best solution for the job, it’s time to start documenting your needs. As you begin to make calls, send RFPs, and narrow down your list of vendors, it pays to know the market, the availability of products, and your specifications so that each industrial oven manufacturer can provide an accurate quote.
Since most ovens are custom-made for the organization that uses them, this is a key step, because any inaccuracy could result in last minute changes. A few things to discuss:
- Application: What is your oven or dryer being used for? Get to know a few of the applications here.
- Batch or Conveyor: Could you save time by replacing your batch oven with a conveyor one or vice versa? Here are a few things to consider.
- Size: While batch ovens come in common sizes, conveyor ovens can fit into your current line.
- Temperature: Depending on the application, you will need to document ramp time, soak time, dwell time, and more. This is a critical discussion that will ensure your consultant builds what you need.
- Airflow Needs: To get even distribution of heat, ovens are equipped with fans to provide horizontal airflow, vertical airflow, or a combination of the two.
- Additional Considerations: From here, it’s important to document necessary atmosphere and filtration, humidity control, location, fuel source, and safety concerns so your manufacturer can present you with a design you need.
Step 3: Preparing for Your Consultation
After gathering your needs and submitting them, next comes the consultation process. Much like the standard equipment buying process, the path to purchase for a piece of customized machinery starts with an early, high-level overview of your needs—the request for quote and initial call. However, the goal is to dig a bit deeper to understand how to best suit your needs and minimize last-minute changes.
Step 4: Building, Planning, Installing, and Operating
After you decide on a custom industrial oven or dryer manufacturer to design, build, and install your custom oven, the planning and implementation process begins. The building process is completed by your manufacturer, but from here, you have options on how your oven or dryer is installed and depending on the complexity and scope of the implementation, there are different levels of support that take place.
- Start-Up Installation: The most basic form of installation, in which your consultant will deliver the oven, make necessary adjustments, and provide training. The customer is responsible for the unloading and placement, as well as the ductwork and gas/electric
- Supervised: A process in which your oven builder will work with your internal team on an advisory level to ensure the oven is installed properly.
- Turnkey: For those who want the security and peace of mind that comes from working with an experienced oven installer, turnkey is the most hands off for you. In this, your consultant will assume responsibility for all of the labor, and complete the installation and startup process.
Step 5: Operating Your Oven
During the training and implementation process, your oven manufacturer will explain operating practices, inspection and maintenance procedures, and test the oven to ensure everything is running smoothly before leaving you to run your business.
As days pass, the oven will fit into your manufacturing process, and will be a main part of your day-to-day operations. However, to ensure that you are getting the most out of your oven and are working to keep your employees safe, the following inspection, maintenance and safety procedures should be in place.
Focus on maintenance, safety, regular inspections, and cleaning—they will help ensure the maximum life of your oven.
Get the Full Guide to Buying an Industrial Oven or Dryer
Whether this is your first oven or dryer purchase, or you haven’t needed to buy for a few decades, it pays to know what options you have available. From new technologies to new regulations and specifications, having a plan can help you avoid challenges throughout the process.
To help manufacturers understand their options and path to purchase, The CMM Group has released a new guide to help you chart a course from recognition to operation. This new guide, Five Steps to Selecting an Industrial Oven or Dryer for Your Manufacturing Facility is available for download by clicking here. Looking for a sneak peek? Preview it via SlideShare below: