Monday, January 25, 2010

New oven expands Fortress Fusion capacity

We just went operational on a new oven that will greatly improve our efficiency and productivity, allowing us to reduce turnaround times and lead to quicker deliveries of our products.

The second oven arrived on Dec. 10, and we turned it on just in time for the new year. Both ovens are nearly 45 feet long and 9 feet high, so we can fit any piece that would fit on a tractor trailer.

The powder coating process - if done right - requires two stints in an oven. One to bring the metal up to temperature so the powder adheres correctly, and one to actually bake the powder onto the metal.

Previously, we had to put pieces in the oven to warm them up, move them to the spray chamber to coat them, then return them to the oven to bake the powder on. Because the processes are for different durations and different temperatures, we could start a new batch unless the old batch was finished.

Now we can. We're not sure how much faster will be able to produce projects, but it's going to be a big improvement.

And a safer one, too. One of the advantages of a second oven is that product will always move in one direction through our shop, so our employees never need to worry about getting blind-sided by a piece of metal coming from a direction they didn't expect.

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