Hilustre Coatings (“Hilustre”) operates a factory in Thomastown that provides metal coatings services to the automotive, electrical appliance manufacturing, and building products industries. The company has been in operation since 1987 and provides contract powder coating services to a wide range of manufacturing businesses across Victoria.
The project involved the modification of two curing ovens to reduce gas consumption. The gas convection ovens have large openings to enable the entry and exit of powder coated metal components. Due to convection current caused by the escape of hot heated air from these openings a large volume of cold air is allowed to enter the ovens at the bottom of the openings. The gas burner is required to heat this constant in flow of cold air to maintain the ovens operating temperature. Hilustre Coating installed air curtains at the openings to reduce the inflow of cold air and improve the efficiency of the ovens.
The objective was to minimise heat losses in the ovens, increase energy efficiency and reduce gas use and costs.
The installation of the air curtains improved the performance of the ovens by reducing cold air inflow at the openings. This enabled the ovens to operate at 20 degrees lower whilst maintaining the required heat to cure the powder coated components.
Measurements of gas consumption showed a significant reduction in gas use with the air curtains operating and led to $14,500/year in gas savings.
Hilustre Coatings is considering modifying other gas convection ovens on site with similar air curtains to further reduce gas consumption and improve production efficiencies.