5 Easily Avoidable Tunnel Oven Problems

Avoid Tunnel Oven Problems

Potential problems with tunnel ovens can start off as something minor, often manifesting itself as something else and then escalating into something bigger, decreasing efficiency and halting production.  Here Michael Birts, Project Manager for SpoonerPlus gives five tunnel oven problems that could be avoided by having regular oven inspections and audits.

Bonus PDF: Download 10-Point Checklist of Easily Avoidable Tunnel Oven Problems. We have added another 5 factors that could be causing your tunnel oven to run less efficiently and waste you money! Find out more in this checklist.


1. Burner Condition and Settings

There are many components that are essential to the burner’s operation, if just one of these components becomes faulty it can affect the efficiency and operation of the burner. Safety is also a massive issue with burners, if they are not in a good condition and regularly maintained they could potentially become unsafe.


2. Tunnel Oven Airflow Problems

The air flow in the oven ensures that there is an even heat distribution.  If the heat in the oven isn’t evenly distributed this could lead to inconsistent product quality, colour, moisture content and weight.  This can negatively affect your bottom line resulting in  lost profit due to the product being of a substandard quality.


3. Equipment out of Calibration

Measuring equipment such as thermocouples, pressure transmitters, humidity sensors and vibration monitors are all essential to the efficient running of your tunnel oven.  Running this equipment out of calibration will lead to false readings, giving inaccurate impression of production settings.  Standard operating procedures will not be maintained with instrumentation out of calibration and settings will need to be adjusted to suit the faulty instrument. You may not be fully aware of the conditions the product sees as the equipment reading the measurements is giving false information.


4. Motor/Fans/Drives Running Problems

If these components are not running properly then the operating costs can increase, it can lead to poor performance, decreased reliability and ultimately wasted energy.  This can cause failure and unplanned downtime.  When fan motors are not running correctly it can cause issues and poor product quality.


5. Inefficient Thermal Insulation

It is estimated that 6% of the energy used during the bakery process is lost through the  walls and roof of the oven.  This is more likely to occur in older ovens if they haven’t been repaired and maintained properly. The pressure relief panels used on the roof of an oven are particularly susceptible to heat losses.  In ovens thermal insulation is used predominantly to prevent heat loss through conduction.  Ovens that are poorly insulated will be wasting energy and costing you money.


I hope you have found these tips useful and have taken something away that you can put into practise.  If you know someone who may be experiencing tunnel oven problems please feel free to share this post.

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