Kempa Fits the New Heraeus Infrared Oven
The Belgian company Kempa Products supplies kitchen fronts exactly to customer specifications in batches from one upwards. Consequently, in order to meet the powder coating requirements, the drying and curing oven must be flexible enough to meet all situations.
Kempa has used a gas catalytic oven from Heraeus for this essential, flexible heating process since the beginning of the year.
Paul Maeyninckx, managing director of Kempa Products, is delighted and comments, “In partnership with Heraeus, we could determine the plant design and set up the plant so that we can now react flexibly to every customer specification. As a result, we can achieve a very good finish much faster than before.”
Infrared Heating for Powder Coating
Heraeus has supplied Kempa gas catalytic infrared heating systems for two different places – for the pre-heating and for the curing itself. Powder coating on MDF boards is significantly more homogenous if the boards are pre-heated before the actual powder coating. This increases electrical conductivity, which then helps the powder to be distributed more homogenously.
The second gas catalytic infrared oven at Kempa serve to gel and cure the powder coating. Generally, powder absorbs infrared radiation very well, so that the powder itself heats up very quickly and is gelled in significantly shorter time than in a conventional convection oven. As there is no circulation of air, dust inclusion in the coating is eliminated and the powder is not swirled or moved around. A fast melt improves the coating quality and increases the production line speed.
Infrared heat is transferred faster and at higher power than warm air, so that in most cases the oven is shorter than a warm air oven or the production line speed is faster.
The oven at Kempa is 12m long, with a line speed of around two metres per minute. The implemented zone control allows adjustment of every temperature profile according to the requirements of MDF board dimensions or powder type used. Heraeus application specialists worked with Kempa in a series of tests to establish the required oven settings. Various temperature profiles were investigated to meet the various board sizes and thicknesses and the various coating systems and to establish the fine adjustment of the control required. Finally, various programs to meet the different requirements were incorporated in the control system and these can be called up on demand.