Reusable Packaging News No. 3, 2019 Bulk Container Special - Page 16

Innovative WarmPro IBC Base Heaters

At the heart of every WarmPro heater is a unique carbon heating element. Brought to North America in the mid-1970s this new approach to converting electric current to heat energy offered an alternative to the hot wire elements commonly used.

Generating heat from 100% of its active area it offered significant advantages over the serpentine hot-wire approach which even at it’s tightest spacing only approaches 50% area coverage. Thin, flexible and easily made to specific heat outputs, carbon elements are a large step forward in the field of heat transfer.

Product designers soon came to realize that the large heat generating areas and low mass equaled fast warm-up times and very even heat signatures not available before.

One problem facing the IBC industry in the 1980s was how to warm hard-to-heat high viscosity products that were being scorched by the wire element’s high operating temperatures and localized hot spots. A large international pooler with just such complaints approached a design engineer in Australia and the carbon IBC base heater was born.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, the IBC itself went from fiber walls with steel frames to molded plastic units with fold-down sides and recessed sumps. Companies merged and our IBC base heater went through several changes to keep pace with the changing models in use in the equipment pool. Heater enclosures changed from galvanized steel to lighter corrosion resistant aluminum.

Customer feedback indicated the most common problems encountered were damage to external controls and crushed power cords all attributable to forklift personnel, as well as thermostat failure which resulted in a full IBC that could not be emptied, common with wire units. Our engineers answered these issues by placing the thermostat controllers inside the unit, out of harm’s way, and by incorporating a replaceable power cord feature. A four-zone design allowed the unit to always have enough functioning element to ensure the IBC could be emptied.

Finding success in the Pacific region it was decided in 2011 to bring the heater designs to North America and WarmPro was formed to adapt the units to local voltages and size them to fit the common IBC models in use here. All manufacturing is done in a facility located just outside of Toronto, Canada.

In 2016, responding to customer requests for a heater thin enough to not interfere with the space-efficient folding of empty IBCs, the “Slimline” for the Buckhorn Caliber was introduced. This allowed the

16 anuary, 2012