In this paper, we develop an energy-focused model of an industrial roller hearth heat treating furnace. The model represents radiation heat transfer with non-participating gas and convective
heat transfer. The model computes the exit temperature profile of the treated steel parts and the energy consumption and efficiency of the furnace. We propose a dual iterative numerical scheme to solve the conservation equations and validate its efficacy by simulating the dynamics of the furnace during startup, as well as for steady-state operation. A case study investigates energy consumption within the furnace under temperature control. We first consider a heuristic control strategy using simple linear controllers. A response surface approach is then used to find
the optimal set points which minimize energy consumption while ensuring desired part temperature properties are met when processing is complete. With optimized set points, 4.8% less energy per part is required versus the heuristic set points.