Generic Approach to Sustainability Improvements in Manufacturing Ovens
Improving industrial ovens is an important objective for sustainable manufacturing due to their significant energy consumption and impact on final product quality. A generic approach for sustainable oven development is presented that focuses on reducing the environmental impact of the oven and manufacturing superior product. The approach focuses on developing product understanding, process improvement and process parameter optimisation. An application example for an oven is presented, in which understanding of cure was developed to highlight how temperature variation affects product quality. This led onto process improvements that developed temperature uniformity and system responsiveness by lowering the thermal mass of the oven structure; resulting in 89 % reduction in heating and cooling times respectively, saving 202 h of annual downtime. Process parameter optimisation was applied and saves 25 % of natural gas consumption per year. The approach is flexible and can be replicated throughout the manufacturing industry.
KeywordsIndustrial oven Sustainability Optimisation Energy saving Product variation
This work has been completed during an Engineering Doctorate research programme in collaboration with the University of Surrey and 3 M, and was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (501100000266) (EPSRC).
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