Need Help to Verify an Infrared Cure Oven


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I have a 3 stage IR cure oven that we use to powder coat small, low volume parts. I am being told by the manufacturer/assembler of this oven that there is no way to verify that the percentages that I set each of the three zones in the oven at are actually where they are set (pardon the poor grammar in that sentence - my reassessment is just over a week away :mg: just a lil frazzled) .

Although this is my first audit with this company, we have had a finding on this oven during each of the last 2 audits. Hmmmm, let's see, where do we all think he's headed first on the floor??????? :bonk:

Verification that the parameters are set correctly is performed by doing a cure check on the parts after they are coated. Each color that we coat has specific documented parameters. Even so, aren't we are letting the process control us instead of controlling the process?

Hope this is enough info for all of the Covers to get me started in the right direction on this.

Thanks in advance,
Elsmar Forum Sponsor
Have you investigated light measurement equipment? IR is invisible, but can be measured with photo-sensors. Do you have a output specification? It may be in the format nW/m2 (Watts per square metre)


We have some UV Ovens. May be different from yours but the manufacturer told us we could use a special equipment that measured amount of watts at a predetermined wavelength per square inch. Some charts are generated. Try contacting your oven manufacturer.

My 2 cents.



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Oh merry day!

I will investigate the photosensors.

Output spec? Only that the parts are properly cured. At least I think that is the question that you were asking. EDIT - I'm with you now - the output spec would be expressed as nW/m2. I shall check.

Thanks for the prompt replies - the pressure to get flawlessly through this audit is just about to break me.

Last edited:


I suppose that you use the oven to generate heat (temperature) between certain value. Then why you don't check if you have the temperature requestemd. We have IR oven on one of our painting line. I send a datalogger (datapack) trough the oven at a regular interval, and see if I have the right temperature over the zones. You can measure on part surface, air temps, and so on. Don't try to measure the input, better the output, which I supose to be temperature, or heat.I was never asked by my customer, or auditor, to calibrate the IR emission, nor heat. I do perform, adhesion, surface hardness, and other type of tests,requested by cuszomer, but it will be requested, even if I calibrate my oven. Maybe I have a wrong understanding of the problem, due to my English.

Toefuzz - 2006

How much time do your parts actually spend in the IR oven? I've never actually used one (though we do have a small oven out back we took out of an abandoned Delphi plant) but most people I talk to seem to cure parts for two to three minutes. We use good old fashioned gas ovens for our coatings lines and have always used a gloss/cure test as our monitoring device without problem. It takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour for parts to travel through our oven so I have to imagine that if we can do it you should be fine at two or three minutes... especially if you could run a sample. We continously run the same parts/colors and a change in gloss is noticable immediately... might be a little different if we were running smaller lots on an infrequent basis. We do have a data logger we run through each of our ovens periodically, but it tends to be used when we want to make changes to the oven or show the customer the actual bake cycle of their parts. I'm not sure if something like that would work in an IR but it might be worth looking into. The logger actually records part temperature which is very useful in a gas fired oven like ours.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help!


Good to measure output, but that is Quality Control. If you want Process Control and Quality Assurance you better know how your oven is performing and if your settings are maintining through time.

I'm not sure if you have a closed loop control that will adjust IR output based on the temperature you require, so you need to be sure that "HIGH" is 800F and "MEDIUM" is 500F to mention some numbers.

Don't fulfill your audit requirements, use them!.

Pablo :bigwave:


Staff member
Super Moderator
There is an ASTM test or two that require IR ovens, with a power of 5 w/nm/m3 at one meter.

The suggestion to use optical detectors is a good one to verify the wavelength, but these light sources also produce quite a bit of heat. You may conside a high temp thermocouple for the heat measurement. The optical detectors should not be left in the oven too long, unless they are built for that environment.

Of course I recommend you have the items you use receive calibration at an accredited cal lab (accredited under ISO/IEC 17025).

Hope this helps.

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