"Home-Made" Oven Using Strip Heaters Saves Electroplater Time and Money

chromalox OT 250 w

The Challenge
Plating hangers, to which the metal items are attached and immersed in an acid plating solution, have to be plastisol-coated periodically to prevent expensive metal deposits on the hanger. Previously the coating was outsourced, about 100 miles away, at a cost of $1.80 per hanger plus shipping costs. Only a thousand or more were normally coated in a year, but outsourcing amounted to considerable cost and production delays. It was also necessary to keep additional inventory on-hand to account for the production delays.

The Solution
Coating the hangers in the plant was necessary to reduce costs and increase productivity. The process consists of a light sand blast of the hanger, plastic dip prime coat and then accurately baking at 400° F for two hours. The "home-made" oven was fabricated from an unused metal storage cabinet. The cabinet, 36" x 18" x 80" high, is insulated with Y2" insulation board. Heat is furnished by 10 Chromalox Strip Heaters, 240 volts, 500 watts, and controlled with a Chromalox thermostat, model AR-5519, range 200° to 500°.

Now hangers are coated as needed thus reducing the inventory. Cost per hanger is only 45 cents and power costs are less than 10% of the approximate $1.35 savings per hanger.

Benefits

  • Keeping production in-house saves $1,350 per year.
  • Oven was simply and easily constructed
  • Non-combustive electric heat requires no ventilation.
  • Oven maintenance is almost nonexistent.
  • Automatic temperature control.
  • Hanger inventory has been considerably reduced.
  • No more production delays.