Crematoriums are a part of human history, and human societies have been burning the remains of their deceased for almost as long as there have been societies.
These days, the process has become decidedly modernized, with crematory manufacturing and services looking increasingly high-tech and sophisticated.
While the cremation process can seem straightforward, the equipment involved is increasingly state-of-the-art.
What is a crematory?
Though the words are often used interchangeably, a crematorium and a crematory technically differ. The crematorium is the physical location where the cremation occurs, whereas a crematory is a furnace or machine in which the body is placed to burn.
Many funeral homes now include cremation services but rarely is there a separate crematorium facility. Instead, the crematory equipment is added to the existing building, perhaps in the basement.
Though cremations have been performed in open fires and pyres throughout history, a modern crematory “hearth” is an enclosed space capable of heating up to 2000° F (human cremation requires temperatures of at least 1400° F). Most of the latest crematories have electric controls with digital screens. They are also capable of holding multiple bodies at once.
The crematory fuel
While human remains have been burned using wood and coal for generations, in a modernized crematory, the fuel of choice is either natural or propane gas. This fuel allows the fire to burn hotter and longer meaning that in many cases, a body will be completely cremated in two hours or less.
A fully equipped crematorium
While the crematory is the most important piece of equipment for cremation services, it’s hardly the only thing necessary to provide a full service. In a crematorium, before the actual cremation can take place, the bodies have to be stored. For this reason, there are body coolers capable of holding multiple bodies at once.
In the coolers, you will find roller shelves to make the storing and moving of bodies easier. The bodies themselves are kept on body trays (usually stainless steel), and when it is time to move a body from the cooler to the crematory, bodyboards are used for simple transfer.
After a body has been cremated, the remains (also known as “cremains”) will be put through a cremated remains processor. The initial burn doesn’t completely reduce the body to ash, and usually, there are remaining bone fragments. The cremated remains processor pulverizes the cremains to powder, which is what is placed in the urn.
A state-of-the-art crematorium
As more and more funeral homes and their clients are looking to expand their options for memorializing the deceased, crematory manufacturing and services are in increasing demand. A fully equipped crematorium allows families to respect the wishes of their deceased loved ones in a technological advanced and safe environment.