“If you can design a system where you can identify problems before they happen
and not have to wait for a crisis—that’s a game changer.”
—Andrew Wiley, Director of Engineering
The critical nature of this specific boiler modernization project was triggered by a state mandated annual inspection requiring the site to take its primary boiler offline. The boiler had several notable limitations including it struggling in cold weather due to its outside location, inefficiencies related to its overly large size, and the fact that there was no working backup ready to go on-line! There had been a desire to get the secondary boiler to a more reliable and efficient state for some time; however the annual inspection ended up dictating everyone’s timeline, turning this into a very fast track project. While this project fits perfectly into the plant’s overall modernization agenda, Experitec was additionally challenged with the modernization of the secondary boiler controls and enabling that boiler to run more efficiently and reliably…in record time.
“My role is to assist in leading the digital transformation of our facility by defining and running projects for the upgrade of control systems around the site. This particular project involved the upgrade of our secondary boiler, which is a crucial utility asset in running our plant.”
—Irénée Strack, Process Control Project Manager
Experitec, Emerson and Pennakem partnered to get the secondary boiler on-line ‘the first time’. Pennakem was ecstatic that the boiler lit reliably, and that Emerson’s control logic would allow it to run through its paces. Experitec exceeded all goals! Before they left the first startup, it was running up and down its entire load pattern. This gave Pennakem the confidence that they would be able to run on only the secondary boiler with the assurance that they were not going to trip the plant due to unreliable steam. The fact that it ran so well offered them a level of confidence that they would not need to overstaff the control room, and immediately won the overwhelming approval of their previously skeptical operators.
Andrew Wiley, Director of Engineering comments, “Our overall strategy is to standardize with Emerson, allowing us to adopt a unified ‘look and feel’ for process controls across our site. Regarding the boiler project, we embraced the Emerson algorithm to gain more fuel efficiencies, but also needed the capabilities to tie into the historian, connect with the chart builder/troubleshooting tool, and gain visibly into any problems, mechanical or otherwise. The ‘faster speed to troubleshooting’ that we now enjoy allows us to move into a predictive maintenance mode and improve reliability for our entire operations. With Experitec and Emerson as our partners, we together have a perspective that anticipates issues and sustains the operation.”