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Case Study: Hatchable Preheat Oven for
Ship Engine Shaft Couplings — K-PHB

This oven can be modified to suit your application, just call us at 888-763-6836

Customer Background:

Company:  Multinational Ship Repair and Conversion Company
Part to be Preheated: Ship Engine Shaft Couplings
Part Material: Steel
Part Dimensions: N/A
Part Weight: 9 lbs each
Target Preheating Temperature:  400°F
Number of pieces to be heated at one time: 6
Required preheat  time frame: None specified

Project Background:

At Keen, we strive to provide unique custom oven solutions for a  variety of parts preheating applications.  The Keen K-PHB is another  example of a custom preheat oven suitable to fit through narrow  hatches found on today's naval ships.  There are a wide variety of  welding applications that require preheating steel before welding,  and this particular client needed to have tight control over the  preheating of couplings before welding them to a steel substrate.  

The logistical aspect of installing an oven at the location of  welding on a ship can be problematic, so a custom oven is often  requested to suit the specific part and the process.  The welding  engineers wanted to have the part preheated very close to the weld  zone in order to prevent any temperature variance in the part after  the oven is removed from the oven.   The engineers were well aware of  the importance in preheating and postheating (stress-relief) the part  before welding, and that if the proper procedures were not followed  that the coupling could cool too quickly resulting in stress  fractures and cracking in the weld.

The K-PHB hatchable preheat oven needed to be hand-carried to the  weld location, so had to be light enough to carry.  For this  particular preheating steel before welding application we designed a  custom industrial oven from scratch and called it the K-PHB.  This  unit is outfitted with our unique dial-digital controller with extra  bright-temperature display.  The oven can be mounted on a bench for  easy access, and is front-loading with flat interior shelves.   The K- PHB preheating oven is front-loading.
The K-PHB custom oven is useful for a variety of purposes, not just  for steel couplings.  The temperature range can be modified for any  application.

K-PHB Industrial Oven Specifications:

Shelving Style: Perforated Steel - One Lower Shelf / One Upper Shelf
Temperature Control:
Digital Dial-Adjustable
50 or 60
500 Watts
On/Off Light: Yes
Thermostat Temp Range:
Interior Dims:18"L x 12"W x 10"H
Net Weight:
100 lbs.

Oven Construction


This is an font-loading industrial oven that is positioned  vertically, and can fit through hatches on ships.  This digital dial  thermostat is our standard digital unit with an ambient-550F  temperature adjustment range.  It's important to note that the door  hinges on the K-PHB hatchable oven are tack welded to the oven frame  and not screw mounted.  This allows for a long product life.  Always  beware of any industrial ovens that do not have welded hinges.  This  oven is powder-coated - as with all our ovens -  at our in-house  paint facility and is highly durable for a wide variety of industrial  settings.  There are 2 locking draw pull catches to clamp the door  closed when in use and to prevent the door from opening causing the  parts to fall out.  It is a rugged oven and can be used in a variety  of applications.


The K-PHB custom oven is constructed of carbon steel and is insulated  throughout.  It has a 500W heating element installed at the bottom of  the oven behind a perforated steel grate to prevent the ship  couplings from coming in direct contact with the element, but at the  same time to allow the heat to radiate into the oven chamber.  There  were shelves installed this oven as requested - one shelf is actually  the perforated grate that covers the element.

All our preheating ovens are made in the USA and feature a 1-year  limited manufacturer's warranty.  Parts are readily available. Click here to see samples of our Custom Batch Ovens.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q.  What is a preheat oven?

A.  We use the term preheat oven to describe an oven that is used for  preheating parts before they are used in some type of application.   Most of our preheat ovens are custom-designed according to the  specific application being performed by a client.  Many processes  require the preheating of weldments before they are bonded to some  other type of metal.  This preheating is required to change the  property of the metal part and enable it to be installed onto another  part.  Our ovens are used in many applications.  The K-450TL  hatchable oven used on ships is just one example.  We have designed  ovens for bowl shafts, cylinder heads, cylinder blocks, military tank  transmissions and for many other types of parts.

Q.  Why is preheating steel before welding a necessary procedure?

A. It depends on the application requirements.  Many steel components  for a variety of industries require preheating to prevent problems in  the weld after the job is complete.  Keen's custom preheat ovens are  an excellent preheating solution to many welding applications.   Rather than heat each part at a time, we often have customers that  load an oven with many parts at once and leave the oven on all the  time.  This way they have parts ready whenever they need them, at the  right temperature.  Each welding application has its own thermal  treatment requirements, so be sure to check what is need for your  next procedure.

Q.  Can this hatchable oven be modified for other applications?

A. Yes, absolutely.  Many of our custom ovens have resulted from  client requests to modify an existing oven they have seen on our  website, or to one of our standard welding electrode ovens that a  client may be using for welding electrode storage applications.  The  process usually begins like this:  a client finds one of our ovens  that has an interior size close to what can accommodate the parts  that need to be preheated, and then inquires if modifications can be  done.  Our engineers get to work to provide suggestions to the client  as to what modifications can be done.  If the modifications are not  suitable, we design a new oven from scratch to fit the users needs.

Q.  Do you provide CAD drawings for review?

A.  Yes.  Keen's custom oven design process typically begins with a  discussion of the various solutions we are able to provide to the  client.   If the client wants to proceed, we then do a CAD drawing  for review that clearly outlines the custom oven design for the  client to review.

Q.  Do you manufacture gas-fired ovens?

A. No.  We only manufacture electrical ovens with a maximum  temperature range of 1000°F

Q.  Are your products made in USA?

A.  Yes.  We manufacture our ovens in Louisiana.

Q.  How long have you been in business?

A.  Henkel Enterprises, LLC, manufacturer of the Keen brand of  welding ovens, flux ovens, and custom preheat ovens has been in  business since 1923.

Oven Photos

preheat oven

preheating oven

For more information or to find a Keen distributor near you:
Call: (888) 512-2870 (USA only)
Email: Sales@keenovens.com

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