What Does a Furnace Engineer Do?

Amy Rodriguez

A furnace engineer oversees the functions, repair, and productivity of an industrial furnace, commonly used in manufacturing facilities. Many industries use furnaces, such as coal and glass production, for generating a final retail product. The furnace must be regulated for overall safety of the employees and company efficiency.

A furnace engineer may work closely with a construction project manager to ensure a facility is equipped adequately.
A furnace engineer may work closely with a construction project manager to ensure a facility is equipped adequately.

The furnace's operating conditions are monitored directly by the furnace engineer. Interior furnace temperatures must remain within a safe zone, as determined by the furnace engineer. The furnace operator and engineer work closely together to maintain a constant temperature, generating the best product efficiency.

An operator may notify the furnace engineer if any repairs are required. The engineer decides if the furnace can run until a scheduled shut down period or if the repair is serious enough to warrant an immediate power down. As unscheduled shut downs can cut into business profits, an engineer must be able to balance the needs of the company with safety regulations.

Repairs are performed by the furnace engineer as well. Extra repair technicians may be brought in to assist or replace the engineer's repair work, depending on the company's policy and business pace. The engineer may have multiple furnaces requiring attention, necessitating the work of many technicians to spread the repairs out fairly and in a timely manner.

Working with high temperatures involves using probes and sensors for reporting any heat fluctuations. The engineer must have good attention to detail for calibrating sensitive sensor circuits. The furnace operator and engineer may work together to calibrate a furnace, or a group of furnaces, to ensure that each assembly produces the same product quality.

Constant heat within industrial furnaces requires periodic rebuilds over the assembly's lifespan. The furnace engineer plans the design and pricing estimations for the most efficient and sturdy rebuild possible. During the rebuild, the engineer will supervise the progress and solve any issues that arise. The rebuilding workers normally report directly to the engineer for any questions and guidance necessary.

A furnace engineer may be required to travel. Many companies have multiple facilities in different cities or countries that need consistent furnace monitoring for a cohesive production line. An engineer with the ability to speak different languages is an asset to many international businesses.

Most furnace engineers are required to have a four-year degree in engineering. Some companies promote from within by training a furnace operator to become an engineer. Extremely complicated furnace operations may require an engineering degree at the graduate level.

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