WATLOW has provided a cast-in aluminium heater to a food processing company to seal the lids of yoghurt containers. The company was previously using a cable heater held in a stainless steel milled groove. The assembly did not meet the desired specifications for thermal performance, was unreliable and caused significant downtime.
The heaters began to fail within one to four weeks of insertion because they could not withstand the regular equipment wash downs required. The customer also had to carry large inventories of replacement components (cable heaters and many stainless steel parts).
The Watlow required part had to be 101mm in size, which limited the heater design options. Watlow delivered the necessary wattage with a short length, parallel coiled cable heater.
The heater replaced several stainless steel components, thus lowering the part count. The efficient heat transfer of the cast aluminum assembly improved the thermal performance to the desired customer specifications. Downtime and change out times were also reduced when the customer added a quick disconnect plug. The benefits realized by the new Watlow design were reduced inventory levels, a more reliable process and less downtime. The more efficient cast-in heater reduced wattage by about 50% and still produced reliable seals between the lid and container.