LEWCO, Inc. manufactured six custom annealing ovens for a large tier-one automotive supplier located in northern Ohio. The ovens are used for annealing plastic taillight assemblies after a welding process. The process relieves stresses created during welding to facilitate easier assembly in the vehicle without cracking or clouding of the lens.
The annealing process requires three temperature zones. A 45-minute preheat zone allows the taillights to come up to temperature slowly. Stress relief occurs in the soak zone at 175°F for a period of 90 minutes. Finally, the temperature of the taillights are brought back down in a 45 minute cooling zone allowing the parts to be unloaded and packaged by hand.
The process, production requirements, and available floor space did not allow for a traditional horizontal conveyor oven. LEWCO’s design team developed a vertical flow conveyor oven as the solution to these constraints. The parts are manually loaded onto custom LEWCO part carriers and travel up over an insulated wall into the oven making two passes through the preheat zone. An insulated wall separates the preheat zone from the soak zone. Once in the soak zone, the parts make 4 passes before going into the cooling zone. After a pass through the cooling zone, the parts are manually unloaded on the other end of the oven. The empty parts carriers return to the load station under the three zones. This solution allows the entire process to take place in approximately 275 ft of floor space.
LEWCO, Inc. manufactures a wide variety of industrial ovens and furnaces. Products include batch ovens, conveyor ovens, composite curing ovens, annealing ovens, and drum ovens as well as high temperature furnaces. Our products are employed in aerospace, automotive, primary metals, chemical, and numerous other manufacturing industries. At LEWCO, Inc. we focus on customer value; quality products, on-time, at a competitive price.