The Answer May Be Surprising!
Russ Chapman is the president of Firebridge Inc. In this video he dives into the discussion of whether to retrofit or to replace aging equipment. Enjoy!
Is Retrofitting your Industrial Furnace a Good Investment?
When people have an aging car, they hate to put money into it. At a certain point, it becomes a money trap, and it’s time to buy a new one.
Industrial furnaces aren’t like that. They CAN be substantially improved. And their improvements last for many years.
Yet there’s nonetheless a tendency for companies to put off improvements to an aging furnace, with the idea they’ll get a new one … some day. However, besides the capital cost of a new furnace, the installation often requires substantial down time and loss of revenue. These are generally substantial barriers to installing new equipment.
In the meantime, they are losing money every day due to energy inefficiency—usually more than enough money to pay for improvements. Exactly how much will of course depend on the process and the furnace, but my experience has been that senior management is surprised at the amount of the gains that can be realized.
And remember, furnace improvements last. If you make the right improvements now, you not only stop bleeding money, you won’t need a new furnace for a long time. AND with the right equipment and engineering, you can have a furnace that’s as good as—or even better—than a new furnace.
Considering that furnace improvements typically cost only a fraction of the cost of a new furnace, with the cost of large new furnaces run into the tens of millions, it’s hard to argue against the business justification for improvements.
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