USAUTOCURE LOW ENERGY CONSUMPTION
OVERVIEW: ENERGY EFFICIENT CURING SYSTEM
Traditionally, curing coatings of any type typically requires high heat over a period of time. This method requires substantial energy input for each unit produced. Infrared curing systems can drastically reduce the time required to produce each unit. Production speed and efficiency gains are crucial to lowering energy consumption.
Since IR curing systems directly heat the coated surface, there are no wasted BTUs to heat the entire component or the surrounding air. This represents a tremendous reduction in energy required to produce each unit. Additionally, IR (Infrared) systems are more efficient than traditional convection booths since more of the energy (heat) is delivered directly to the substrate.
IR systems can be switched on or off in a matter of seconds, so less energy is wasted during warm-up. This is an especially important consideration in regions that experience cold winter months. Due to the time it takes for a convection to come up to temperature, operators may keep the oven on for a full shift. This will include work breaks and is not adjustable for that shift’s work load. The oven continues to work hard even when it is completely empty.
Energy Efficiency Means Less Equipment
IR emitters convert nearly 90% of their energy to heat, as opposed to traditional convection booths that at best only convert up to 60% of their energy to heat.
Lastly, fans, pumps, and blowers are not needed to provide combustion air, pump thermal oil through heat exchangers, or to circulate heated air around the substrate, resulting in additional incremental reductions in energy requirements.
- No wasted BTUs
- More energy used directly for curing
- No wasted energy to pre-heat convection booth
- IR emitters are highly efficient. Energy in = energy out
- Reduces the need for fans and blowers
Traditional convection curing ovens utilize gas burners of considerable capacity. The burners maintain air temperature within the oven without consideration for the part size or batch size. Studies show that convection ovens are generally less than 7% efficient.
Where does the remaining 95% of the burner power go?
It is lost in exhaust gasses, leakage through the oven walls and explosion panels and in heating the other oven or assembly components. Opening and closing the doors frequently only makes matters worse.
US Autocure infrared curing systems can be very carefully controlled by creating a programmed and repeatable heat profile throughout the oven which is easily customized to the unit being cured. This method provides a high degree of temperature control.
Gas-Catalytic IR Curing:
The Rule of 3:1
For every three minutes it takes to cure a part in a conventional convection oven, it will require only one minute in a gas-catalytic IR oven.
For example, components that normally take 30 minutes or more to cure conventionally, take 10 minutes or less in a gas-catalytic IR oven.
This means production facilities utilizing gas-catalytic IR curing systems have a unique opportunity to increase production while drastically reducing energy consumption per unit produced.
Faster Curing = Higher Profits
- Infrared curing cycles are shorter and quicker than convection ovens
- Faster auto paint curing means shops can serve more customers in same time frame
- The use of gas catalytic IR ovens reduces energy consumption
Why is the 3:1 Rule so Important?
The rule fundamentally demonstrates that less energy
is required during infrared curing.
50-55” Water Column
6.5” Water Column
USAC IR systems require 90% less energy to operate compared to a traditional convection heat booth.
US Autocure technology dramatically reduces cure times, allowing for increased output with far lower energy requirements.
The system’s sophisticated software and articulating robotics allow it to adapt to a large number of applications in the automotive, RV, marine, aerospace, and industrial markets.
The following case studies come from the automotive collision repair, rail, and marine industries.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION EVALUATION EXAMPLES
Infrared curing systems from US Autocure offer substantial reductions in energy consumption as compared to traditional curing methods.
Detailed calculations of energy savings are developed for each US Autocure system. Measurement and custom reporting of production output and energy requirements will be available following system installation.