To date, the main priority for manufacturers of heat treatment plants has been to sell new plants. However, the modernization of an existing plant may often be considerably less expensive than an entirely new furnace. At any rate, this point requires detailed consideration. Especially where plant operators introduce new products or processes under their own
responsibility or are aiming for performance improvements, modernization projects are becoming increasingly popular. These projects are frequently planned in close cooperation with plant suppliers. The operator has a specific objective in mind and the plant supplier knows a variety of ways in which this objective can be achieved. In this situation, cooperation on conceptual design is already called for before the contract is awarded.