Three Rules for Reducing Oven-Related Downtime

The oven is often the largest, simplest, and most important piece of equipment in the powder coating shop. At Kaser, we have two ovens. One dries parts, and the other cures powder. Both ovens run eight hours a day, every day, and they’re the heartbeat of the shop – when they stop functioning, so does production. Here are my three rules for reducing oven-related downtime.

Clean the Oven

At 30 feet long and 14 feet wide, Kaser’s largest oven is essentially a big room. And, like the rest of the powder shop, it’s prone to accumulating dirt. Ideally, we’re sweeping the oven floors every single day – the cleaner we keep them, the less likely we are to have debris swirling around and contaminating parts. Sweeping the oven helps prevent rework and stave off equipment malfunctions.

Maintain the Oven

Once or twice a year, I shut everything down, lock and tag everything out, and perform maintenance on the burner box (our ovens are direct gas fired). You can’t expect equipment to run unattended forever, especially when it’s running at high temperatures all day. Check on your burner boxes, clean them, and replace components as needed. I also recommend running a Datapaq regularly to ensure that your thermocouples are accurate.

Stay Safe Around the Oven

A large metal room heated to 400 degrees F is not a safe or hospitable environment. Only a select few of my team members are allowed in the ovens, and never without bicep-height welding gloves. I want their hands and arms covered at all times, in case they trip or brush up against the oven wall. I also tell them to assume that all carts are hot, even if they’ve been sitting out for hours. And finally, we always make a plan before entering the oven, to minimize time spent inside. 

Of all the things that can go wrong during the powder coating process, oven malfunctions are the most costly and time-consuming to address. Staying on top of oven cleanliness, maintenance, and safety can help keep you out of trouble.

For more on oven safety, find us on YouTube.



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