“The best performing ovens we own.” That is what one of the world’s-leading manufacturers of aero-structures told LEWCO engineers after commissioning their fifth LEWCO Industrial Oven this year. The walk-in oven is used in the manufacturing of aircraft components, specifically to bake paint on various composite parts.
The batch process oven features a top mounted heater-box with a 700,000 BTU direct-fired natural gas burner and a 30,000 CFM high efficiency circulation blower, which delivers dual airflow to the workspace. It operates at 130°F., up to a maximum temperature of 200°F. Per standard LEWCO testing procedure, the oven was heated up to operating temperature and underwent a 25-pt. temperature uniformity survey. The results exceeded customer expectations maintaining a temperature uniformity of +/- 2°F. throughout the entire workspace (144”W x 168”D x 96” H). Engineers attribute this to LEWCO’s proprietary plenum design and effective airflow distribution. Due to the solvents present in the paint being baked, the oven was designed to meet NFPA 86, Class A standards for ovens and furnaces. NFPA 86 requires that the oven use a number of safety interlocks and an exhaust system to ensure that the volatiles and/or products of combustion present in the oven do not ever exceed a dangerous concentration.
Composite components are loaded into the oven through a high-performance roll-up door, which opens at a rate of 50 inches per second. The door features an advanced wireless safety system and employs a rotary encoder to regulate door travel limits. Standard oven controls were upgraded to include a Eurotherm Nanodac Recorder/ Controller. Through the use of advanced PID algorithms, the Nanodac provides ultimate performance and accuracy to the baking process of this oven. The Nanodac has the ability to record 4 universal inputs, and store data through the use of a secure UHH file format. This data can be seen in “Real Time” or historically, and can be archived to a USB stick or viewed on a host web server. The Nanodac provides a simple, yet highly accurate and reliable operating platform.