In Part 3 of this series, we talked about the manufacturing phase of a custom industrial oven, covering the mechanical and electrical disciplines. In this post we will talk about what you should expect once manufacturing is complete — from installation to after-sales service.
Customer Run-Off at Supplier’s Facility
Every true turnkey industrial oven project should include a run-off at the supplier’s facility with you and your team. This gives you an opportunity to witness the operation and to verify that the specifications determined at the beginning of the project have been met.
You may have a very well-documented procedure for what you would like to accomplish and witness during the run-off. If so, you should provide it to the oven supplier as early as possible in the process — even during the quotation phase of the project. This will allow the supplier to plan accordingly and ensure that you are on the same page so that there are no added costs at this stage.
If you do not have a procedure in place, at a minimum the supplier should be able to demonstrate that every system on the oven operates correctly. As part of this review, they should use a data logging system to chart the temperature profile of the oven and should request product from you for processing. At Davron, our goal is to make the customer run-off as close to production in your facility as possible.
Upon completion of the customer run-off, the oven will need to be prepared for shipping. Any reputable supplier will have the ability to properly prepare your oven for domestic or overseas shipment.
The majority of projects shipped domestically will ship on a dedicated truck. The supplier should ensure the oven is crated and/or wrapped to withstand the travel. You do not want to receive your brand new oven damaged by straps used to secure it to a truck or with paint marred from debris hitting it during travel.
If your oven will be traveling overseas, the supplier should be able to provide a crate – if the project is too large for an ocean container – with the appropriate certified materials. Prior to placing the oven in an overseas container or crate, the oven should be placed in proper sea bags with desiccant.
You may want to handle the shipping arrangements yourself through your logistics group. However, if that is not the case, true turnkey oven suppliers will have relationships with carriers that they can call on to deliver their projects. These will be long-standing relationships with strong records of success. For instance, Davron has shipped thousands of projects all over the world and has never had an oven damaged with any of our carriers.
You may have a talented local contractor or internal staff that can handle the installation of your oven at your facility. If that is not the case, any true turnkey industrial oven supplier will know every detail of your oven and should be prepared to provide this service for you.
At Davron, we have crews available that are trained to handle all aspects of installation. We will off-load the oven from the truck, move it into position in the plant, install any components removed for shipping, reconnect all electrical wiring, and perform start-up and training at your facility.
When you buy a car, you expect to receive an owner’s manual with the vehicle. A custom oven should be no different. You have purchased a sophisticated piece of equipment and there should be instructions for installation, operation, and maintenance of the oven. At Davron, we supply owner’s manuals with each oven we ship. They include the following information at a minimum:
Oven model and serial number
Instructions for off-loading the equipment
Sequence of operation
Mechanical parts list with recommended spare parts, pricing, and lead times
Electrical parts list with recommended spare parts, pricing, and lead times
Manufacturer operation/maintenance manuals for purchased components of the oven such as: fans, heaters, burners, electric motors, temperature controllers, pneumatic components, etc.
PLC programs (when applicable)
Do not purchase a custom oven or any type of equipment from a supplier that does not provide an owner’s manual with the equipment. If they can’t or won’t provide an owner’s manual, it is safe to assume they will not be there to support you after the oven is delivered.
It goes without saying that any true turnkey industrial oven manufacturer will be there to support you and your team after the oven is in operation. The supplier should be willing to provide operational support, troubleshooting, and direction, as well as spare parts for the oven as long as it is in operation.
However, since any turnkey industrial oven is custom, you should not expect the supplier to have spare parts on the shelf and readily available. As mentioned above, lead times for spare parts should be specified in the owner’s manual. This gives you the opportunity to purchase these items before they become a critical issue. If you choose not to stock any of the recommended spare parts, the supplier will still be able to provide them to you within the stipulated lead times.
Preventative maintenance (PM) programs should be an integral component in the life of any industrial oven, usually on an annual or semi-annual basis. Preventative maintenance helps reduce unwanted down-time and provides extended years of service. All industrial ovens also need to meet certain requirements for National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and insurance requirements. PM programs should include, but will not be limited to, the following:
Inspection of safety systems
Inspection and cleaning of burner/heating systems
Lubrication of components
Inspection of wear-and-tear items such as fan belts, conveyor belts/chains, door gaskets, etc.
Replacement — or recommended replacement — of components to reduce future failures
A PM program is essential if your oven is to operate at peak energy efficiency, see maximum production up-time, deliver highest product quality, and sustain longest equipment life. Be sure to find out if your oven supplier can provide these services. If you do not plan to rely on the oven supplier, then it is essential that your maintenance department follow the recommended PM schedule provided in the oven’s owner’s manual.
We truly hope that this series of posts has helped you in your search for a true turnkey industrial oven manufacturer. If you have any questions or would like to get started on your custom industrial oven project, please contact us with your custom industrial oven requirements and let us show you that we practice what we preach. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you on your next project.