Any business that relies on combustion equipment in its production processes has an obvious imperative to ensure that ovens and furnaces are operating as efficiently as possible. This is true whether the process is baking, drying, curing, smelting, melting, heat treating or cogeneration, and regardless of the industry — food, die casting, glass, steel, automotive, mining, chemical or petrochemical. Significant savings and risk reduction can be achieved by improving the performance of the combustion equipment being used. A company that uses ovens or furnaces in its industrial processes cannot be a best-of-class company if it does not have best-of-class efficiency in those systems.
Oven and furnace retrofits typically result in annual energy reductions of at least 30 percent. That may sound high, but it is a conservative estimate, and many energy reductions are higher. These savings can be achieved because when combustion equipment ages, it usually is far from as efficient as it should be — and many companies have not improved their systems in decades. Company leaders and engineers who were around when these furnaces were installed are often long gone, and the furnaces and ovens have essentially been operated as is. Maybe they have received some minor tweaking to improve them, but more than likely, most of the attention they receive is costly, frequent maintenance just to keep them running.