Monthly Archives: May 2014

Industrial Oven Product Video


Here is our new video featuring some of our recent industrial ovens and industrial  furnaces.  We would like to thank Beethoven for giving us permission to use his wonderful masterpiece.

Car Bottom Furnace: What you need to know

For the past few years, we’ve noticed a surge in car bottom furnace orders. This has been great as we love building car bottom furnaces because the engineering can be quite fun, and by fun, I mean challenging. Some of our car bottom furnaces hold loads in the thousands of pounds and exceed 2000 degree Fahrenheit!

So what is a car bottom furnace?

Simply put, a car bottom furnace is built with a track where the door and bottom slide in and out of the furnace. This is ideal for loading and unloading large or heavy items that need to be heat treated in some manner. Car bottom furnaces can operate with a range of configurations including electric, gas-fired, direct fired, or indirect fired with recirculating fans. Check out these pictures of some of our recent projects. These will give you an idea of how they work.

The two most important aspects of a car bottom furnace are the door mechanisms and the track quality.

The most common door mechanisms on a car bottom furnace is an affixed door and a guillotine door. Guillotine doors are used for applications that require doors on both ends of the car bottom furnace. The doors should seal against a slotted ½” thick steel plate on the front of the furnace. The door must seal properly to prevent leakage and ensure heat uniformity.

In regards to the track, the furnace should have “live axles” riding on massive pillow blocks. The solid steel wheels should have a flange to eliminate drift. The car bottom furnace is driven with a speed reduction gearbox which talks to a chain/sprocket arrangement.

All that said, every car bottom furnace application is different, so make sure you get detailed drawing and work with your manufacturer to customize your car bottom furnace for your needs.


Car Bottom Furnace: 2000 Degrees F
Car Bottom Furnace: 2000 Degrees F
Car Bottom Furnace: Opened
Car Bottom Furnace: Opened
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Five questions: Buying a Composite Curing Oven

If you are planning to purchase a composite curing oven, we wanted to share some of the more important questions beyond size and temperature you should ask to ensure you are getting the best quality oven possible. Here are our top five questions and answers for buying a composite curing oven:

1. Does your composite curing oven guarantee plus or minus 5 to 10 degrees F uniformity?Air Uniformity is a crucial component of a composite oven. Typically an oven should utilize from 10 to 75 air changes per minute dependent on fan speed and CFM (cubic feet per minute). A longer Composite Curing Oven (depth) will require multiple fans to achieve tight temperature uniformity.

2. How can I be assured air won’t leak and the doors will seal properly over time? Typically, oven doors will sag over time if not engineered properly. It is essential you ask the manufacturer if they have a proprietary door design. Better yet, find a manufacturer that will guarantee their doors for the life of the oven.

3. How is the air delivered in the composite curing oven? What is the airflow pattern? The air delivery plenums should be fully adjustable on both the delivery plenums and the return air plenums. It is optimal for air to be delivered via side wall ducts and returns via roof ducts.

4. What kind of Control Systems are available to cure composite materials? For most applications, digital PID controls can be employed with either single point or a ramp soak settings. For more sophisticated curing, PLC’s (programmable logic controllers) are used with custom software developed by the end user or by the composite curing oven manufacturer.

5. Is the Control Panel approved by an accredited Agency? Make sure the manufacturer is a U.L. Accredited Panel Shop. Each control panel should have a U.L. Classified Sticker affixed inside. All components in the U.L. Classified Control Panel should also be U.L. listed or recognized.

If you have experience buying composite curing ovens and would like to add more questions, please feel free to add comments!  Thanks.

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industrial oven

The difference between an industrial oven and an industrial furnace

When I started working in this industry, the first question that came to my mind was: What is the difference between an industrial oven and an industrial furnace?

We get calls all the time from customers asking us to build them an industrial oven when what they actually need is a furnace and vice versa. So what is the difference between an oven and a furnace? Does it matter? They both heat stuff. There has to be a  logical reason they are different, yet most people use these terms interchangeably.

Is it based on the application? I thought a bit and realized that many applications often use both terms: Annealing Oven and Annealing Furnace, Heat Treat Oven and Heat Treat Furnace, Aging Oven and Aging Furnace, etc..   Why do these applications sometime require an oven and sometimes require a furnace?  To get to the bottom of this simple, yet fundamental distinction, I went to the top for answers.

I asked Ernie Bacon, Founder and President of Baker Furnace, Inc to please clarify these two terms for me. I figured with his 35 years of building both industrial ovens and industrial furnaces, he would have the right answer I was looking for. The conversation was much quicker than I had anticipated, but when it was all said and done, the answer did not require a verbose answer.

The fifty-five second conversation went like this:

Me: ‘Ernie, what is the difference between an Oven and a Furnace.’

Ernie: ‘They are spelled differently… Just Kidding. It is actually pretty simple, we consider anything above 1000 degrees F a furnace.’

Me: ‘So it is about temperature?’

Ernie: ‘Pretty much. There are several nuances that exist because of the high temperature, but ultimately it is about temperature.’

Me: ‘Thanks, that make sense.’

Ernie: ‘Glad I can help, now get back to work!’

So there you have it. If you need an industrial oven to go above 1000 degrees F, then you actually need an industrial furnace.  For all applications under 1000 degrees F, you should ask for an oven.  Pretty simple.

Furnace or Oven?
Furnace or Oven?


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