K 2019 in review

They had an enjoyable week hosting many visitors to the stand from all over the world. Of course, they no doubt missed our presence it seems we were replaced!

This is what Friedr Freek had to say:

“Although we have greatly missed our friends from Ireland, K-show has been a big success. We had more contacts than ever before and among them are many companies which are looking for solutions for specific heat tasks. Furthermore, a new blanket order from our well-established customer Otto Hofstetter AG has been sealed with a handshake and celebrated on our stand together with “Friedrich Otto”, a hotrunner for PET preforms made by Otto Hofstetter AG and equipped with energy efficient nozzle heaters from Friedrich Freek GmbH”

We are happy we could share our stand with “Friedrich Otto” in Düsseldorf for eight days. He was rather quiet but very attractive company.”

If anybody missed their chance to visit the Friedr Freek stand during K, please visit their website https://freek.de/ or email them [email protected] with any queries you may have.

11 Common Myths about Infrared Heat

Ceramic element heat test
  1. Infrared energy can be harmful: Myth. Infrared energy is naturally occurring from the sun, travelling to the earth in wavelengths, and absorbed by all objects. Every object emits and absorbs infrared naturally without harmful effects – even us.
  2. Infrared radiation is heat: Myth. Infrared radiation is electromagnetic energy that can be used to generate heat.
  3. An infrared system is only concerned with heating: Myth. There are three considerations when dealing with infrared: Absorption, Reflection, and Transmission. Infrared systems emit electromagnetic energy and an effective infrared system will deal with these 3 issues as efficiently as possible.
  4. To control temperature is to adequately control an infrared emitter: Myth. Radiation is generated by source temperature. The adjustment of temperature changes the infrared wavelength, hence the reason systems operate within a waveband output and not a wavelength output.
  5. Infrared absorption of a target material is dictated by a single spectral analysis at ambient e.g. 20ºC: Myth. The spectral analysis and spectral absorption characteristics change as the target material temperature changes. It’s important to consider the use of waveband rather than wavelength to ensure the infrared output from an emitter or system is capable of meeting the spectral absorption characteristics of the material.
  6. Emitters can be set at full values without thermocouple watch control: Myth. There’s a significant difference between starting the emitters (heaters) at an ambient temperature e.g. 20ºC and starting emitters in an ambient temperature of 400ºC. Turning on the heater at higher ambient values could result in burn out of the emitter.
  7. The design and manufacture of infrared ovens, oven controls, and the application variables are separate, independent, components of an infrared system: Myth. All of these are important elements/components. They’re essential to each other in order to create effective and successful heat work process.
  8. Temperature control systems can typically set the performance of infrared systems: Myth. This method of operation is a poor way to control radiation because temperature and % control are not developed with radiation in mind. However, these are the current and typical choices available – but should be used advisedly.
  9. Infrared emitters can be used like furnace elements: Myth. The materials used to build effective infrared emitters don’t lend themselves to being used in a furnace-like environment. If used in this way, the transmission, absorption, and reflection, together with the resulting directional qualities, are not being adequately dealt with and will lead to heat up and burn out of the emitters.
  10. Radiation can be treated in a similar fashion to conduction and convection: Myth. There are no circumstances where conduction and convection are comparable to radiation. These are three separate methods of heat transfer that do not relate to one another in any way.
  11. Environmental conditions, such as weather, have no impact on the use of Infrared: Myth. These have a huge impact. The conditions of the surroundings, such as humidity, will have a big effect on the transfer of infrared radiation.

October Festivities

Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31st  October to 1st  November, this also coincides with Halloween so we take this opportunity to remind all our customers and friends that this years October bank holiday is on October 28th and our offices will remain closed until 8am on Tuesday October 29th.

Patsy Bear has been getting in on the action helping set up a festive display in our foyer.

Friedr. Freek at K Show 2019

Ceramicx will be represented by our German Distributor Friedr. Freek at this week’s K-Show. This is the first time in many years Ceramicx will not be sharing the stand with Freek. We encourage you to visit their stand and discuss any enquires you may have about infrared heating.

Freek with novelties at K 2019

German-based heating element specialist Friedr. Freek presents three novelties at K-Show from 16. to 23. October in Duesseldorf. Their square cartridge heaters, alternative nozzle heaters as well as their systematic selection and optimization procedure for IR heat work applications convince by numerous mechanical, economic and ecological advantages (hall 11 / A01).

Energy savings through systematically selected infrared heaters and optimized heat work set-ups

Energy efficiency is a particularly important topic for infrared emitters. If an unsuitable emitter is selected, zoning is not appropriate or distance to target material too far a large part of the energy input could easily left untapped, hence be wasted.

To thoroughly understand the significant influence those and other parameters have on the effectiveness of infrared heat work, IR heating specialist and long-term Freek partner Ceramicx back in 2015 developed and utilizes their unique IR test robot HERSCHEL, besides other useful test rigs. How such a selection and optimization procedure is gone through and which further adjusting screws Ceramicx has discovered in their scientifically accompanied IR research and what’s more, how all this found its way into Ceramicx’ products, Freek is happy to show and demonstrate by the example of products and test reports on their K show stand, hall 11, A01.

We wish them a successful and enjoyable exhibition!

Please contact Freek or visit their website for more information on their stand and team.

Website and logo development marks a new chapter for Ceramicx

Ceramicx logo

In the last issue of our in-house magazine, Heatworks 20, we told you all about our newly constructed facilities here at Ceramicx. While they’ll keep us at the forefront of the advancement of infrared heating, our update and expansion plans continue as we get ready to launch our new look website and logo.

Giving a clear identity

Over the last 25 years, our logo has evolved with us, and we’re now ready to add a new version. But as we’ve been working on the website, logo, and general refresh of our online presence, we’ve made the distinction between our customer and market differences.

Ceramicx logos

As our infrared heating solutions become a more prevalent part of our business, we want to share more of our engineering and infrared capabilities, together with case studies of our systems. Just as importantly, we also want to continue to be your one stop shop for all infrared components, parts, and systems well into the future.

Ceramicx logos

As such, we’re launching two new websites with new logos and fresh straplines, giving both a clear identity: Ceramicx infrared for industry with its green logo, and Ceramicx infrared industrial solutions with its red counterpart.

Brand evolution

The site and logo changes now give a clear distinction between the core areas of our business. But they also show our brand evolution and growth as a company and underline our commitment to giving customer satisfaction in every area.

Of course, we couldn’t have done it all on our own. Working alongside our in-house design and marketing team, the team at D2 Creative design agency did a fantastic job for us. Together with the websites, you’ll also see all the new branding online and offline in our advertising, packaging, and everything Ceramicx related over the next few months.

The main purpose for this post is to tell you about the new changes, so you won’t be too surprised when the websites look a little different on your browser. We’re really pleased with the results and we hope you like them as much as we do.

Ceramicx logos

Ceramicx. Sun. BBQ.

A day that started with rain and fog turned into blue skies once Abacus Catering arrived to set up.

By 1 o’clock everyone in the factory gathered outside in the sun for a feast of burgers, chicken, salads and of course a sneaky bit of apple tart.

While some opted to sit in the shade (near the drinks conveniently) others enjoyed the heat of the sun sitting at the table long enough to rival The Last Supper.

Patsy Bear kept an eye on the proceedings hoping between the drinks in the shade and the leftovers in Abacus’s van before finally settling by the speakers to digest his food.

Thanks to Frank and Gráinne for a lovely afternoon!

Prioritising performance of an IRP4

IRP4 Infrared Heater

Recent enquiries presented our research department with the following question:

“Could we improve the aesthetics of the IRP4 without sacrificing performance?”

IRP4 Infrared Heater

This led to lengthy discussions within the department. As in the question, the performance of the IRP4 is of utmost importance, along with its structural integrity.

We contract manufacture this product for Herschel Infrared in the UK. An Advantage IRP4 consists of four 650W FTE fixed on two aluminised steel reflectors. These are housed in a robust stainless steel body, suitable for withstanding the high temperatures. The IRP4 is designed for use in large open spaces such as a warehouse or garage, where it is to be mounted facing downwards, at a height of approximately 3 meters.

While we are satisfied with the IRP4’s current performance, the need to constantly refine our products is essential to stay ahead in this ever-competitive market.

 “Curiosity is the basis for successful innovative development. Structure to this is completion”
– Frank Wilson, Managing Director

For this study, modifications were considered for two components which directly influence the radiative output of the heater; the reflector and the front face grill. While numerous other changes could be made, these were the current focus.

The Reflector

IRP4 Infrared Heater

IRP4 Infrared Heater graphThe standard reflector used by Ceramicx in almost all applications is aluminised steel. This is a cold rolled sheet of mild steel clad with an aluminium layer on either side, one side of which is highly reflective. Numerous reports have been produced to date by Ceramicx detailing the impressive reflective properties of this material. The performance of this reflector was compared with that of a stainless steel reflector, and a heat treated stainless steel reflector which appeared bronze. It was unanimously agreed that this bronzed stainless steel was very aesthetically pleasing.

The results, as expected, highlighted the superior reflective performance of the aluminised steel reflector. As a result, no alterations to the reflectors were made.

The Front Face Grill

IRP4 Infrared Heater grill

The front face grill used in the IRP4 is a stainless steel mesh. For comparison, one grill was heat treated like the reflector to produce a bronze finish, and one was covered in a black powder coat. While all grill styles were found to reduce the performance of the IRP4, it is necessary to include a grill to adhere to safety standards. The results found no difference between the original and heat treated stainless steel grill, while the powder coated grill performed poorly. The higher emissivity of the black powder coat resulted in the grill absorbing an undesired amount of the thermal radiation emitted by the elements.

A heat treated (bronzed) stainless steel grill could be used on request, without having any adverse effects on performance when compared to that of the standard stainless steel.

IRP4 Infrared Heater graph

Modifications can always be made to a product in order to meet customer demands. However, the performance of the product is paramount. Ceramicx strives to constantly improve and refine all products, as well as producing highly efficient bespoke pieces on request.

Full report is available to read and download here: CCII 00152 – IRP4 performance evaluation

Projecting a new look

Ceramicx made in-house reflector body

Improved Brackets

PAS’s are predominately mounted to a wall where they distribute heat at a 45-degree angle. The brackets required for this were previously narrower. For added peace of mind we have designed a larger bracket to improve the stability when the product is wall mounted, this is most prominent on our larger variations of PAS products, but we have changed it across the line to keep the design uniform. Mounting positions are still the same to minimise disruption to the end user.

New Louvres

We have adopted a new design louvre for the back of our parts, this is mostly an aesthetic change, but we feel that it has improved the overall appearance of the part. This is mostly down to the purchase of our new Trumpf punching machine which has allowed us to experiment when various designs along with the help of Craig Letty from Mate Tooling who helped us test out a few different designs and come to our decision on the shape.

Ceramicx made in-house reflector body

We have increased the number of louvres on the body of each part to improve air flow and have a better overall appearance.

Any PAS we produce contains Ceramicx made in-house reflector body and endcaps along with the inclusion of our 2P ceramic terminal blocks from our dust press machines.

All these parts together ensure a top-class product to provide the heating you need for years to come.

Ceramicx made in-house reflector body

PAS’s are available in 5 different lengths supporting FTE/ FFEH/ FFE ceramic emitters. For additional costs these products can be fitted with TcK or non-TcK elements, please contact [email protected] for more information.

Max Wattages (PAS 1- PAS 5): 650W- 3250W

Chinaplas 2019 Review

Chinaplas 2019

Guangzhou is very far away. It is in the far east, the very far east, I’m not sure if you’re allowed to say that but…. it’s definitely a very long way from Ballydehob to Guangzhou. We departed Ballydehob at 04:00, departed Cork at 07:20, then Heathrow at 12:20, departed Hong Kong at 01:55 the next day (07:55 local time) and finally arrived in Guangzhou at 08:55 local. This is a city and region of over 25 million people, very different from the relative quietness of Ballydehob that’s for sure!

Chinaplas 2019

After a short freshen up at the hotel and some lunch, we headed to Chinaplas  to be greeted by the wonderful team from GSAE who represent Ceramicx in China.  As well as being a hard-working technical sales team, Mr. Xu Shan, Mr. Pingiang Li and all the GSAE team are fantastic company. The exhibition complex was very large with over 3,500 exhibitors and 250,000 sqm of floor space in 13 buildings with 2 or more floors. Ceramicx was located in hall 9.2 under the banner of the British Plastics Federation, this was a busy location with building 9 being adjacent to the main entrance.

Following the first day, we visited the new office and location of GSAE in Guangzhou. GSAE have invested in a new office space with warehousing, testing facilities and a small assembly area for components. We were served tea in a traditional method on a carved table made specifically for tea drinking.  A social dinner followed in a local restaurant with the Chinese, Taiwanese and Irish team all present and enjoying the local food and beverages.

Chinaplas 2019

Back to real business during the second and third day at the show for Frank and myself. I started to feel normal as I had found a good supply of mid-morning coffee!! As well as meeting existing customers of both Ceramicx and GSAE and a strong representation from India we had the pleasure of meeting with the engineering team from a very important customer in China. The engineers from Bruckner visited the stand to re-iterate the feedback regarding the good quality and excellent performance of our ceramic heater in their thermoforming machines. It was great to get to meet the end users of the IR heaters face to face and discuss future opportunities.

There was a fantastic show of machinery at the exhibition, both from an IR heater user and from a process automation point of view. There were many new ideas we started to develop while at the show. The trip to Chinaplas 2019 was a successful trip where Ceramicx got to further enhance its reputation in the market and generate further interest from some new contacts.

Chinaplas 2019
(L-R) Mr. Xu Shan, Mr. Pingiang Li, Mr. Hu An Yu, Mr. Marius Xiu Qun
and Patsy Bear

“Chinaplas 2019, received over 163,000 visitors in total of which 25% were from overseas. The Ceramicx stand located C71 was located in hall 9.2 in the UK pavillion, here we received warm visiting and big support from our old customers. We also welcomed and talked with many professional new customers who were looking for heat solutions. Our cooperation with many OEM’s meant our heaters being shown in their machines in the exhibition. 

Global leader OEM, Bruckner showed their Chinese-made thermoforming machine with Ceramicx high quality SFEH 600W black coloured heaters.

The Chinese leader OEM SHANTAO AUTO, BLOOM SMART and DONGGUAN HONG HAO had on show machines equipped with Ceramicx heaters.

Ceramicx managing director Frank Wilson visited the stand of DONGGUAN HONG HAO and had a very friendly and in-depth conversation with its general manager Mr Zhang Yong about heating systems and thermoforming machine design. 

The engineers from Bruckner also visited our stand and had a warmful talking with Mr. Padraig Courtney.”

Mr. Xu Shan, General Manger, Henn Group

See more images from the trip!

Szinimpex visit Ceramicx

Szinimpex Ceramicx

This past week we welcomed Szinimpex Kft. from Hungary to our factory.

Based in Kecskemét, Szinimpex began selling our products only a few years ago and have now made it their mission to continue to grow sales of our products in Hungary and surrounding countries. They now sell the complete range of Ceramicx products and components on their webshop.

Szinimpex Ceramicx
(L-R) Marietta Tímár (Foreign Trade Manager), Fruzsina Fodor (Marketing Manager), Annamaria Sinka (Sales Manager) and Szinisa Kovács (Executive Director).

They visited Ceramicx for 2 days to learn more about our company and products. They received a tour of our factory, from production to packing and had the chance to meet everyone they have been in contact with over the past few years.

Going forward Szinimpex are also interested in acquiring more engineering project enquiries and really made the most of their time in Ceramicx learning the best way to develop and handle these enquiries.

A first trip to Ireland for many of their team, we believe they had a very enjoyable time, sampling Irish foods and enjoying the scenery. We enjoyed hearing about the Hungarian food and culture and the similarities and differences between our two countries. Of course, we seized the opportunity share some Irish phrases with our new friends and in turn learn some Hungarian too.

Szinimpex Ceramicx Szinimpex Ceramicx

We are looking forward to a successful future with Szinimpex and wish them the best going forward.

To contact Szinimpex please email [email protected]

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