Case Studies

1. High Pressure Heater

Pressure Heater Case Study

Scenario: Customer is a testing facility for different industries. They required a piece of equipment that could test multiple round parts of varying diameters with 250-1000scfm of air volume at 1000-2500 degrees Fahrenheit and at 0-8 psig.

Solution: WCE designed and manufactured a custom direct fired air heater that utilizes a positive displacement blower for air supply. The blower is controlled by a VFD that allows them to provide a specific air volume while the supply pressure is dictated by the size of the part being tested. The heater is supplied with a constant flow and simply modulates its fuel control valve in order to obtain the desired air temperature. The customer has since tested aerospace parts for R&D purposes for their customers.


2. Catalytic Afterburner

Catalytic Afterburner Case Study

Scenario: Customer is a large volume bakery. The SCAQMD air district in Southern California required them to install an afterburner on their Pita line to remove the ethanol that results from the baking of their pita bread.

Solution: WCE designed and manufactured a custom catalytic afterburner to bring them into compliance with SCAQMD. The afterburner uses four platinum based catalyst blocks to burn off the ethanol from the air stream. This along with a low emissions burner results in maximum energy efficiency. The afterburner is controlled by a PLC with an accompanying HMl. The Afterburner communicates with the oven in order to coordinate the transfer of the oven exhaust into the afterburner. ln order to maintain compliance with SCAQMD, the afterburner does not allow for baking to begin until its catalyst are at the proper temperature needed to achieve a complete burn off of the ethanol.


3. Thermal Oxidizers

Thermal Oxidizer Case Study

Scenario: Customer is a plastics manufacturer. Each of the two sides of their plant contains separate thermal oxidizers. The previous units were over 25 years old and in bad shape due to a very dirty VOC supply. Customer approached WCE to provide them with two new thermal oxidizers.

Solution: WCE designed and fabricated two new thermal oxidizers. The new units were designed to accommodate the customer’s small available space while achieving the necessary sizing required for complete oxidation of their VOCs. WCE designed a knock-out tank system to remove any solid material from the VOC supply in order to ensure that this solid material does not do any damage to the oxidizers and that with proper maintenance they will have a long life.


4. Hydroclave Operation System

Hydroclave Operating System Case Study

Scenario: Customer required an operating system for their hydroclave, which is used for curing carbon composites with water, and includes a controlled ramp heating system, a controlled ramp cooling system and a water pressurization system. The clave and system specifications were water at 350F and 1000 psi with +/- 5° temperature uniformity

Solution: WCE designed a water recirculation system rated at 500 gallons/minute under 1000 psi system pressure. An automatic water diverter system was designed to direct the water to the heater and cooling heat exchanger as required by the process. High-pressure, piston-style pumps were used to automatically control the pressure in the system. WCE also installed a vacuum system with feed-through on the hydroclave wall for evacuating the nozzle bagging system. A multi-thermocouple system to monitor and record part temperature was installed on the inside of the vessel with feed-through wiring to the recorder.


5. Direct Fired Heat Exchanger

Direct Fired Heat Exchanger Case Study

Scenario: Customer produces ramen noodles using an under the oil fryer pan firing method which caused inherent problems and slowed down daily production. They desired a system that would heat the oil more uniformly without over-heating or burning the oil (which caused bad flavor in product) and deterioration of the frying pan.

Solution: WCE designed a direct fired heat exchanger and pumping system to deliver the oil at a controlled temperature and required BTU’s. The heat exchanger used recirculation hot air to heat the oil without burning. Similar systems were designed by WCE, manufactured and shipped to Mainland China and, after more than fifteen (15) years, are still in operation today.


6. Alternator Diode Soldering Oven

Alternator Diode Soldering Oven Case Study

Scenario: Customer was using hand torches to flow the solder in alternator diode assemblies. They wanted an oven to provide better controlled temperature and automated method of soldering the diodes.

Solution: WCE designed and manufactured an oven that operates at 480°F and uses a turntable as a continuous method of soldering the diodes. The diode assembly is placed on the turntable, which rotates through the oven heating zone, and exits to a cooling zone to automatically and continuously solder the diode assemblies. The time in the oven is approximately 30 seconds and produces a diode assembly every five (5) seconds.


7. Steel and Aluminum Forge Furnace

Steel Aluminum Forge Furnace Case Study

Scenario: Steel forging company desired to add aluminum forging to their capabilities. Asked us to design and manufacture a combination steel and aluminum forge furnace which could be used to forge steel or aluminum thereby increasing their steel forging volume as well as adding the function of aluminum forging by purchasing a single piece of equipment.

Solution: WCE designed a dual chamber furnace to forge either aluminum at 850°F or steel at 2350°F. Each chamber had an independent combustion and control system and could be used for either low or high temperature heating. Customer was able to produce forgings at whatever temperature they needed based on production needs.


8. Indirect Heated, Gas Fired Oven

Indirect Heated Gas Fired Oven Case Study

Scenario: Customer requested an oven which used indirect heated, gas-fired, and designed at 1100°F +/- 10° degrees.

Solution: WCE designed a 321 stainless steel heat exchanger with a combustion system which conveyed hot gases through the inside of the heat exchanger. A fan was installed to remove the heat from the outside of the heat exchanger for heating the oven.


9. Continuous Curing Ovens

Continuous Curing Ovens Case Study

Scenario: Customer requested two continuous ovens for curing liquid paint on sheet steel coils moving at 180 feet/minute. One oven was to cure the primer coating and the second oven was used to cure the finish coating.

Solution: WCE manufactured a primer curing oven 50 feet long to cure a 36 inch- wide sheet. We also produced a finish oven which was 80 feet long. The primer oven had two zones of temperature, and the finish oven was designed with three zones of temperature control. High volume exhaust fans were used to keep the solvent levels in the ovens below the LEL (Lower Explosion Limit).

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