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Case Study: Extruder Die Preheat Oven

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

Customer Background:

Company:  Major Carpet Manufacturer
Part to be Preheated: Extruder Die Packs for Plastic Extrusion
Part Material: Steel
Part Dimensions: N/A
Part Weight: 9 lbs each
Target Preheating Temperature:  700°F
Number of pieces to be heated at one time:

48 die packs / 12 packs per shelf

Required preheat  time frame: None specified

Project Background:

At Keen, we receive calls everyday from a wide variety of clients, each with their own unique preheating requirements.  The K-VF4.6 oven is another example of a fully customized oven with specific features requested by the client to enhance productivity.

Engineers for this particular carpet manufacturer called Keen seeking a custom industrial oven for preheating extruder dies used on plastic extrusion machines.  Carpet manufacturing today involves many processes, one of which is the extrusion of plastics and polymers.  In the extrusion process, the material is fed into a heated cylinder and an actuator compresses and forces the molten plastic through holes in a tool die.  The material is then cooled and further processed.  After repeated use, these dies wear out and must be removed from the extruder and replaced with a new die.  Before the die is replaced, the new die must be preheated to the operating temperature of the extrusion machine, otherwise stress may occur in the die which can result in cracking.

The engineers that contacted us were doing on audit of the extrusion process and discovered that a significant amount of time was lost in replacing extruder dies. The current replacement process involved the removal of the die, the preheating of the die and then the installation of the new die.  It was determined that productivity could be enhanced by continuously storing replacement die packs inside a preheat oven so they would be preheated and ready whenever a change was needed.

For this particular preheating steel before welding application we designed a custom industrial oven from scratch and called it the K-VF4.6.  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-VF4.6 custom oven is useful for a variety of purposes, not just for extruder dies.  The temperature range can be modified for any application.

K-VF4.6 Industrial Oven Specifications:

Shelving Style: Perforated Steel - One Lower Shelf / One Upper Shelf
Temperature Control:
Digital Dial-Adjustable
480V 3-Ph
Cycle: 50 or 60
6,000 Watts
On/Off Light: Yes
Thermostat Temp Range:
Interior Dims: 20"L x 20"W x 20"H
Exterior Dims: 31”L x 42”W x 40”H
Net Weight: 125 lbs.

Oven Construction


This is a front-loading industrial oven that is floor-positioned vertically.  This digital dial thermostat is our standard digital unit with an ambient-999F temperature adjustment range.  It's important to note that the door hinges on the K-VF4.6 die preheat 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 in blue - as with all our ovens -  at our in-house paint facility and is highly durable for a wide variety of industrial settings.  The K-VF4.6 is a rugged oven and can be used in a variety of applications.

A 1/2HP blower with a totally enclosed fan cooled motor was installed on the K-VF4.6 batch oven to evenly distribute the heat around the extruder dies.   It was mounted on the top of the oven for forced convection, allowing the extrusion dies to be heated quickly in the time frame required.  This allows the part to be heated quickly in the time frame required.  The motor has an RPM Range of 1400-1800, and it is a UL Recognized (E47479), CSA Certified product with a steel cover. 

The control panel which houses the digital PID is mounted on the side of the oven with heavy-duty rivets.  A standard "ON/OFF"  indicating light was also provided, which is bright enough to be seen from a distance.  A variety of temperature control methods are available. 

The K-VF4.6 preheating oven rests on tack welded forklift slots to enable free movement of the oven around the workplace and to different workstations.  


The K-VF4.6 custom oven is constructed of carbon steel and is insulated throughout.  It has 6 / 1000W heating elements installed at the sides of the oven behind perforated steel grates to prevent the dies 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 3 shelves installed this oven as requested – the bottom of the unit can also act as a shelf for the parts.

All our preheating ovens are made in the USA and feature a 1-year limited manufacturer's warranty.  Parts are readily available.

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-VF4.6 preheat oven for extruder dies 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 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


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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