Automated Drum Heating Cell - "The Perfect Example of LEWCO's Integrated Material Handling and Process Heating Capabilities"

SANDUSKY, OH – LEWCO, Inc. recently delivered a custom automated drum heating cell to a repeat customer who is a leading supplier of advanced carbon fiber materials for the composites industry.  The drum heating cell was needed to meet production expansion requirements in the customer's prepreg facility, which operates 24/7 and is the sole supplier of primary structure materials for the Boeing 787.  The cell included two custom LEWCO Drum Heating Tunnels; model ST12, along with an integrated material handling system.

LEWCO's application engineers worked diligently with the customer for several months to develop the preeminent solution, by utilizing LEWCO's 6-step process approach. The cell had to heat up to (24) standard 55-gallon drums of composite resins overnight and then index them one at a time throughout the following manufacturing day.

According to the customers Manufacturing Engineer who oversaw the project "The new LEWCO Drum Heating cell will significantly increase our production capabilities and help insure we do not have a bottleneck in our manufacturing process. This is the second Drum Heating cell we purchased from LEWCO. Their engineers are knowledgeable in the industry and always great to work with."

How it Works: The drums are loaded into two drum heating tunnels at one end of the cell.  After heating to 165°F, the drums are discharged one at a time and conveyed to a pumping station where the operator dispenses the contents of the drum to be continued through the manufacturing process. Once emptied, the operator pushes a button to automatically convey the empty drum back to the loading end to be refilled. The equipment is located in an electrically classified area and therefore is rated for Class 1, Division 1, Group D service.

According to LEWOC's Senior Applications Engineer, Lou Schaefer, "This project is the perfect example of LEWCO's integrated material handling and process heating capabilities. The customer realized their production bottleneck and came to our [LEWCO engineers to solve it. We gave them exactly what they needed. No other company could have done it as effectively as us."

*Due to the sensitive nature of this industry, neither the customer name, nor its employees could be mentioned.

LEWCO, Inc. manufactures a wide variety of industrial ovens and furnaces.  Products include batch ovens, conveyor ovens, composite curing ovens, annealing ovens, and hot boxes, as well as high temperature furnaces.  LEWCO products are employed in aerospace, automotive, primary metals, chemical, and numerous other manufacturing industries.  At LEWCO, Inc. we focus on customer value; quality products, on-time, at a competitive price.  To speak with a LEWCO Applications Engineer for more information, please call 419-502-2780 or email us at

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