After an extended period of low and stable natural gas prices, prices have become extremely volatile in the past several years. This is only one of the challenges the operating companies of galvanizing lines are now facing.
Worldwide competition is forcing companies to produce more steel strip product using fewer work staff. Uptime of the lines must increase while the number of furnace operators and maintenance staff is reduced. In addition, emission requirements are getting tighter and future possible carbon-dioxide tariffs are unknown. All of these challenges are also related to the radiant tube heating systems of the strip line furnaces. Strip lines with outdated technology will not be competitive in the future. On the other hand, a lot of effort was put into the development of new radiant tube designs, and there is also new technology out on the market, which can be adapted for strip line furnaces.