The electrical burden of each new furnace installed is starting to create challenges for heat treat companies all over the world. Strategies like storing electrical power for use in peak demand hours is a new example of the lengths to which some heat treaters are going in order to keep the lights on. Such measures might work, but they are outside the knowledge domain of most heat treat facilities and should be considered only as a last resort.
An alternative solution is to use less power on existing furnaces, and a great way to accomplish that is to use more power efficient diffusion pumps and roughing pumps. Smart diffusion and roughing pumps can be put in standby condition when not in use. They also use 30% to 50% less power during steady state processing. You could save as much as 10KW per furnace just by upgrading your vacuum system. A new furnace will use a great deal more power, so consider carefully before you add another. On the other hand, more production using less power is a win-win situation.
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