26 Jun

The Benefit of Holidays for Plants and Industries

Energy PatriotThe 4th of July is almost here and numerous plants will take some down time, or at the very least reduce their operation to the bare essentials, so that employees can celebrate pride in their country with their families. While the 4th is a great time to set aside political differences and embrace unified pride, it also provides a great time for plants to perform maintenance work on the plant.

An article from Control Engineering specifically points out computer numerical control (CNC) maintenance, noting that scheduled down time provides an opportunity to make sure all equipment is performing optimally and all batteries have enough power in them. A complete memory back up can also be done during this period and is essential if it has been a while since the last backup. We’ve been talking a lot about cyber security this year and one of your best tools to protect yourself is having a backup in place. Then, regardless of what happens, you have something to fall back on.

In addition, the holiday may be the perfect time to perform a boiler assessment to identify areas where production could be improved. While this is something that can be done at any time, holidays tend to provide at least a couple days where demand at a boiler room or plant is relatively low. Since activity is as low as it ever is, an assessment can be carried out with extremely low impact on the overall function of the plant for that day.

In the spirit of American pride, consider also looking for way in which your energy use can be optimized. Those who take great strides to lower the electrical load and pollution generated by their plant are recognized by Synergy as Energy Patriots. In the past, we have awarded plants with an Energy Patriot pin for their achievements. The Energy Patriot Pilot program is not just about the conservation of energy, but about reducing energy demand as a whole so that a day may come when America is energy independent.

19 Jun

CSIA Certification Progress

The Control System Integrators Association demands a high standard of quality from those they certify. We have been discovering the true complexity of the certification standards as we move further along on our path to certification.

While we have our marketing and technical writing personnel working every day to optimize our policies to CSIA’s standards, it is truly a group effort. Engineers and project managers are consistently consulted as we move beyond background policies to procedures that detail the quality work we provide our clients.

Our biggest challenge is working on achieving quality standards intended for companies larger than ours.  While being smaller may make obtaining CSIA Certification and greater feat, it is far from impossible. We are moving into the last stretch of improvements to our business, verifying the high standards we expect out of our engineers comply with the standards of the Control System Integrators Association.

CSIA operates on the idea that technical proficiency alone is not enough to guarantee quality book. A control integrator should also have excellent business and management skills. To that end, they demand high standards in the following areas.

  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing and Business Development
  • Financial Management
  • Project Management
  • System Development Lifecycle
  • Service and Support

The road the CSIA Certification may not be an easy one, but it is worth the effort to ensure our clients continue to receive the highest quality service.  We believe that any small integrator can put in the effort it takes to receive this high quality certification and continue to optimize our business in order to do so. When it comes to our business, it is more than just providing quality to our clients today. We want to make sure we are constantly seeking improvement so we can also ensure quality throughout the future.

12 Jun

An Artifact of B&W Legacy

An Artifact of B&W Legacy

Our technical writer, Susie Sentevski, happened to be at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio this weekend. While there, she got a look inside Steamship William G. Mather. The freighter was built in 1925. While viewing the restored vessel, she happened upon the ship’s boiler, built by our ally Babcock and Wilcox.

She took the above picture of the B&W boiler in ship. The museum has great pride in the vessel, as the website proclaims the freighter “the ship that built Cleveland.”

“It seemed only natural to find B&W a part of what is widely considered an engineering triumph,” said Susie.
She was happy for the opportunity to discuss B&W’s legacy in the shipping industry with her friend, whose career involves working on ships.

The boiler of Steamship William G. Mather has gone through some changes since it was first installed.  The original coal-fired boiler was replaced by a B&W oil fueled boiler in 1954. In 1964, the ship became the first Great Lakes vessel to have fully automated boiler controls. So successful was the modification, that other ships began to do the same to their controls. The increase in safety and efficiency were not to be passed up.

The ship was designated a historic landmark in 1995 by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Steam Production Optimization



05 Jun

The Numbers behind Safety, Efficiency & Reliability

The Numbers behind Safety, Efficiency & Reliability

We are always ready to discuss how our various solutions and services save clients time, money and resources. The fact that our work is often customization to client demands gives us a significant edge in the control systems industry. Perhaps even more impressive are the numbers behind all we have to offer. From average savings to return on investment, our solutions boast substantial benefits.

Boiler Optimization and Burner Management
Improved controls result in reduced air and fuel flows, allowing for an improved boiler turn down ratio. Synergy clients see a return on investment within a year. By year two, the savings is significant.

Economizer Solutions
Our economizer solutions provide the fastest return on investment. Often ROI takes little more than six months and increases the efficiency of a boiler by 3 percent. This is achieved through the economizer’s purpose of recovering waste heat and cooling the temperature in the stack. For every 40 degree drop in temperature, clients see a one percent increase in efficiency.

Combustion Air and Burner Management Solutions
When there is unnecessary oxygen in the stack, the combustion formula in a boiler is inefficient and may be wasting energy and fuel.  For every 15 percent decrease of oxygen in the stack, fuel efficiency is improved by 1 percent.

Water System Solutions
Operational constraints can create parasitic electrical loads that waste money. With a variable frequency drive, of VFD, adjustments can be made based on demand, saving money overall. Most clients see immediate savings in electrical cost and receive return on their investment in less than a year. VFDs can also be used to control air flow and result in similar savings.

The above are some of our most popular solutions, and with such rapid return on investment, it’s not hard to understand why. Significant improvements can be made in plant efficiency that translates quickly into monetary savings.  If you are curious about how much you have the potential to save, have one of our experts perform and boiler evaluation. Uncover the hidden savings in your plant.