Batch Ovens Reduce Cycle Times, Improve Efficiency and Profits

Jun 21, 2010

Northwire Inc.

Northwire, Inc., founded in 1972, is a manufacturer of high-quality custom-configured wire and cable products, that meet the changing needs of many industries worldwide. They are known for their service, product attributes and the shortest lead time in the industry.

Northwire’s previous industrial oven, used for the thermosetting process, was not performing efficiently.  The thermosetting process is a temperature forming method that gives the wire its retractable shape and memory.

Growth, Footprint & Timing Challenges

Northwire was growing rapidly and was experiencing a few challenges due to the needs of their customers.  There was an increased demand in production capacity and they needed larger ovens to make bigger parts, but didn’t have the space for new ovens on their factory floor. “In addition to those growth and footprint challenges, we needed time to develop a plan to rearrange the facility,” states Dan Strobach, Product Development Manager, Northwire.

Wisconsin Oven was referred to Northwire to provide the solution. “At Wisconsin Oven Corporation, we strive to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.  We know that not all orders will happen overnight and that’s okay.  By working with customers like Northwire through the buying process, we build relationships that last” says David Strand, President, Wisconsin Oven.

Custom Design Provides Real Answers

Northwire’s old equipment was home-built and limping along.  After a review of their needs, Wisconsin Oven proposed two new ovens that would meet projected growth and support bigger parts for the future. “Northwire needed an unusual oven size of 4’ wide by 7’ long x 12’ high, which is unusually tall,” says Strand.  Wisconsin Oven modified a standard oven and was able to ship it on its back in one piece for easy customer installation. “Both ovens are tipped up, bolted down, wired in, and we’re rocking and rolling” touts Strobach.

Improved Cycle Times, Efficiency & Profits Deliver a Great ROI

The old oven took three hours to come up to operating temperature. Once the oven reached the operating temperature the doors were opened and a batch was placed in at ambient temperature. It would then take an additional one to three hours for the oven to recover from the cooled temperature and reach the operating temperature again for the baking process to begin.

“With Wisconsin Oven’s products, the initial run-up to operating temperature takes 14 minutes and total baking time is reduced by one to three hours per batch.  We used to complete one or two batches each day and now we complete four to six batches each day. We have gained 75% - 80% in time and will see a Return-on-Investment in less than nine months.” reveals Strobach.

Northwire  chose to add an E-Pack™ upgrade, which includes thicker insulated walls, high efficiency motors and other energy-saving items.  Based upon utility rates, operating temperature and weekly usage, Northwire saves thousands of dollars on energy costs per year. 

Also, in addition to Wisconsin Oven’s standard warranty, these ovens include an exclusive 3 year heat and recirculation warranty. All controls and instruments are UL certified and installed in a labeled NEMA 12 enclosure.  “We are pleased with the ovens and are proud they are manufactured in the United States” closes Strobach.

Northwire Case Study