Industrial Heating Equipment, Systems, and Methods


At a Turkish archaeological site, lead beads about 8,500 years old proved that an ancient genius had discovered the smelting process and invented the first industrial heating method.

With the advent of the industrial revolution, heating techniques became more sophisticated to meet the demands of mass production. From forging and heat treating to curing and drying, commercial heating systems are essential for achieving precise temperatures and creating high-quality products. In this guide, we’ll explore the different types of industrial heating methods and systems, their applications, and the benefits they offer to manufacturers.

What is Industrial Heating Equipment?

Industrial heating equipment refers to any equipment or system that provides direct heat to industrial processes or facilities. 

The heating industries have developed specific equipment, including furnaces, ovens, kilns, smelters, melters, and high-temperature generators. Other industrial processes include external heaters, suction heaters, and immersion heaters that maintain the heat inside storage containers and tanks. 

How Many Types of Industrial Heating Methods Are There?

There are several industrial heating systems available. We will break down the categories by the three primary fuels, electricity, steam, and fossil fuels like natural gas or propane. 

Electric Process Heating

  • Electric process heating uses electric heating elements to heat air or liquids. These systems are easy to control and maintain for applications that require precise temperature control.
  • Induction heating systems use an electrical current to generate an electromagnetic field within a coil, creating enough heat to melt steel, gold, and other metals.
  • Microwave heaters and dryers work on an industrial scale to heat liquids rapidly. They work the same way as a household microwave oven, except with larger and more powerful magnetrons.

Electrical systems are typically easier to set up than steam or gas.

Steam Process Heating

The heart of any steam system is a boiler. A boiler is a large tank with many tubes inside where water is heated past the boiling point, creating steam. The live steam moves through insulated pipes into heat exchangers like steam-jacketed kettles, where the heat transfers into the product.

Direct-Fired Gas Heating

Direct-fired gas heating systems use natural gas or propane to heat air, other process gases, or liquids in a heat exchanger like a boiler. Gas is an efficient and cost-effective fuel, making it a popular choice for many industrial processes.

Most industries require custom heating solutions designed around the location’s most reliable or economical fuel source. 

Now that we understand the importance of the different types of industrial heating, let’s take a closer look at central heating systems and explore the four different types available for industrial use.

What Are The 4 Types of Central Heating Systems?

Unlike process heating, which directly heats a product or a process, central heating systems heat entire buildings or facilities. Central heating systems distribute heat throughout the building via ducts or pipes.

There are four main types:

  1. Wet systems use hot water to heat radiators or underfloor heating.
  2. Electric systems use heating elements to heat radiant tubes or radiant plaque heaters suspended from a roof or ceiling.
  3. Warm air systems use a furnace and ducts to distribute warm air throughout a building.
  4. Heat pumps or hybrid heat pumps work by transferring heat from the surrounding air to heat water.

When choosing the right central heating system for your business, consider the industrial heating methods used in your operations. Although not central, space heaters work well for heating many smaller areas of large commercial buildings.

Specific Uses For Industrial Heating

Industrial heating equipment typically falls into one of these three categories.

  1. Freeze Protection – A freeze protection system, usually a heat trace, prevents pipes and other equipment from freezing in cold temperatures. These heat trace systems use various methods, including electric heating cables and steam heating, to keep equipment at a safe temperature.
  2. Process Temperature Control – Process temperature control systems maintain a specific temperature range in industrial process heating. These systems are essential for many industries, including gas processing, chemical and petrochemical, power generation, aerospace, food and beverage, agriculture, and general manufacturing. 
  3. Flow and Viscosity – Flow and viscosity control systems maintain a specific flow rate and viscosity in fluids. These systems use a variety of methods, including temperature control, to achieve precise viscosity.

Industrial heating systems provide high accuracy and control.

Benefits of Industrial Heating Systems

The benefits of these systems include:

  • Improved product quality and consistency
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Reduced downtime and maintenance costs
  • Enhanced safety and regulatory compliance

By selecting the right heating system for your specific application, your company can experience these benefits and ensure the manufacturing processes run smoothly and reliably.

Expert Tips for Selecting the Right Industrial Heating System

When selecting any industrial process heating equipment or system, keep these expert tips in mind:

  • Consider the specific requirements of your application, including temperature range, heating rate, and uniformity.
  • Calculate the energy efficiency and effectiveness of the heating system.
  • Choose a system that is easy to maintain and repair.
  • Ensure that the system meets all safety and regulatory requirements for your industry.

Always seek professional advice from experienced installers. They have the tools and training to calculate the optimal performance temperatures and match them to the proper equipment.

Revolutionizing Manufacturing Processes with Industrial Heating Techniques 

Installing the correct industrial heating equipment can optimize manufacturing processes requiring precision heating. By utilizing the latest technology and equipment, manufacturers can lower energy costs and achieve higher efficiency and quality in their operations. Industrial heating techniques offer many benefits, whether through induction, infrared, or other methods. 

Explore Custom Solutions: When you need a custom temperature control solution, call the experts at Powerblanket. With over 30 years of experience, we can solve any heating dilemma.

When you need a custom temperature control solution, Powerblanket is the company to call. With over 30 years of experience, we can solve any heating dilemma you have.


Jen Reyes

Jen Reyes is the Business Development Director for Custom Solutions at Powerblanket. In this role, she works with custom products in all industries to deliver the best possible solution for her clients. With an extensive background in construction and electricity, Jen has a focused knowledge that makes her an invaluable asset to the Powerbanket team. When she's not working, Jen enjoys spending her free time golfing, working out, and spending time camping, fishing, and playing card games with her family.

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