What is Process Heating?Leave a Comment
A combustion-based process heating system uses fuel combustion to produce heat, then transfers that heat to a process or location where it’s needed. Most manufacturers use some form of process heating in their operations, including direct heat used for drying or indirect heat used to maintain specific facility and process temperatures.
At Custom Thermal Applications, we’re a proud industry leader in custom process heating equipment and combustion systems used to support manufacturing processes. Our product line includes:
- Heat treating ovens
- Paint drying ovens
- Ovens and other cooking equipment
- Burn-off ovens
- Water heating systems
Industries & Applications
Process heating accounts for more direct energy use than any other manufacturing element. Some of the industries, applications, and products that benefit from these systems include:
- Computer chips
- Farm and heavy equipment
- Food processing
- Medical products
- Paint/coating drying
- Paper products
- Ship building
Regardless of industry, it’s critical to keep your system(s) updated and maintained. Load management, blowdown and temperature optimization, and regular cleaning all help contribute to long-lasting equipment.
Process Heating System Types
Process heating systems may rely on numerous methods for generating and moving heat. Here are some of the most common system types.
These systems generate heat energy by combusting liquid, solid, or gaseous fuels. They transfer heat energy to processes using:
- Direct heating via convection
- Indirect heating via a radiant heat transfer
Some popular examples of fuel-based process heating systems include kilns and ovens.
Electric-based process heating systems may also use either direct or indirect heat transfer methods. While direct heating methods may pass an electric current directly through the substrate or workpiece, indirect methods may include radiation, convection, or conduction. Electric-based process heating systems are usually reserved for operations like melting, drying, heating, and forming. Common examples include infrared ovens and electric arc furnaces.
These process systems use either direct heating or indirect steam application to complete an operation. Direct steam heating will inject steam directly into the process, while indirect steam heating uses steam to heat pipes or tubes that are in contact with the process fluid to facilitate heat transfer. Steam-based process heating systems are popular in low-temperature industrial applications.
Hybrid process heating systems rely on a combination of process heating technologies. They may use different heating sources and heating methods in order to optimize energy use. Some examples include:
- Hybrid boiler systems that combined fuel-based and electric-based boilers
- Penetrating electromagnetic (EM) energy and convective hot air combinations that help accelerate drying processes
Process Heating Systems From Custom Thermal Applications
At Custom Thermal Applications, we develop, manufacture, install, and maintain a broad range of process heating systems for manufacturers and industrial businesses. We have extensive experience working with:
- Process ovens for bakeries
- Process cooking equipment and high-volume water heating for meat and other food processors
- Heat treating and burn-off ovens for metallurgical process applications
- Thermal oxidizers for metallurgical process applications
- Paint drying lines for automotive and other parts manufacturing sectors
Process Heating Equipment Experts
At Custom Thermal Applications, we’ve worked diligently since 1984 to position ourselves as an ideal partner for process heating equipment manufacturing and service. Our experience allows us to help our customers overcome any obstacle, and our custom capabilities ensure that we can tailor our solutions to meet unique application needs.
All our systems meet CSA and TSSA standards. If you’re interested in learning more about our systems, contact us or request a free quote today.