Continual improvements in furnace temperature and atmosphere capabilities offer increased precision control and process consistency.
Furnace technology, economics and part quality influence the decision on whether to use a continuous or a batch operation. The economics questions center around cost of ownership, which can include initial cost, operating costs, repair costs, product yields and return on investment. Quality issues often are associated with process stability, product quality and consistency, while technology focuses on ease of operation, process definition, thermal cycles, temperature requirements, atmosphere conditions, weight of product and desired throughput. The questions and their relative importance vary from industry to industry, company to company and person to person. But a universal set of questions always concern continuous furnace design.