Both concepts have their merits, and both are well suited, however for different applications.
For mainstream AA6xxx series alloys the Continuous homogenizing concept is the first choice. The majority of these billets are homogenized in one of the 125 continuous furnaces manufactured by Hertwich. All Hertwich continuous homogenizing plants are configured to meet individual requirements of clients, in terms of throughput, floor are and technical features.
Batch homogenizing is still the best suited technology for various alloys which require long holding times, e.g. 6 - 12 hours and for large-only diameter production, as well as for frequent temperature changes or intermittent production. Hertwich has in recent years supplied several batch homogenizing plants build upon latest state-of-the-art technology, which is instrumental for outstanding metallurgical aspects and productivity.
At many prominent aluminium producers, a combination of continuous and batch homogenizing systems is a common sight for ultimate flexibility. Operating labour for a combined plant is typically limited to data storage on log entry, quality control at visual / UT inspection station and billet saw.
Plant layout batch & continuous homogenizing plant