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Giving Back When the World Needs it Most

In a time as challenging as what we are facing today, giving back is more important now than ever. Non-profits are being hit hard; annual fundraisers are being cancelled or postponed and donations are lacking due to the financial struggles of the economy. In fact, the team at Nationwide Boiler had to make the unfortunate decision to postpone the 40th Anniversary of our Charity Golf Tournament, an event that now raises an average of $50,000 each year. In 2019, the total raised was split between the ABMA Scholarship Fund and Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area.

Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area is one of the largest and most productive chapters nationwide. In 2019, they granted 347 wishes for local kids with critical illnesses and assisted with a record-breaking 110 wishes for kids from across the world. Since March, the organization has had the painful task of communicating to families that over 80 wishes are on hold until it is safe to commence.

As CEO Betsy Biern stated, “We’re far from alone in experiencing unprecedented challenges during this global pandemic. In a way, the entire world has become a wish family—we’ve received a terrible diagnosis and must put ordinary concerns aside as we face a new and sometimes terrifying reality. During a time like this, I take even more inspiration from our wish kids and their extraordinary resilience. Like them and for them, we will move forward with as much courage and grace as possible under the most difficult of circumstances. There simply is no other option.”

While the organization is currently postponing wishes, they are still taking and processing wish referrals and have definite plans to grant those waiting wishes. They are even looking into ways to grant children’s true wishes virtually.

With the tournament cancellation a reality, we at Nationwide Boiler were determined to find a way to continue our tradition of giving back. Two months after the original scheduled event and time spent analyzing the effects of the pandemic on our business, Nationwide Boiler is excited to be in the position and able to donate $10,000 to Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area. Furthermore, three companies who committed early on to sponsoring our tournament have also chosen to contribute their funds, bringing the final endowment to $12,000. A big thanks to Alzeta, DJ Conley, and Wilkinson Companies! If you are interested and able to help support the cause, too, visit www.sf.wish.org.

Nationwide Boiler’s 40th Annual Charity Golf Tournament is now scheduled for May 6 – 7, 2021 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. We will resume with our “Back to the Eighties” theme as planned, and all funds raised will be in support of both the ABMA Scholarship Fund and Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area.

If you are interested in attending our tournament next year, contact our Tournament Chair, Chelsey Ryker, at golf@nationwideboiler.com to be included in our invite list.

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Can a Boiler Rental Company Work From Home?

The tragic events of the COVID-19 pandemic have affected many, placing people and businesses out of their normal operating procedures. Individuals typically have routines consisting of a normalized work schedule, personal or family responsibilities, and hobbies or other choice activities, in addition to the drudgery like laundry and cleaning the bathroom. All these activities fall into day to day life. Businesses have routines as well. Monday morning sales meetings, Thursday weekly training sessions, safety meetings, sales calls, purchase order acknowledgements, payroll and other various activities that make the work world turn.

What should be done during an “upset” condition?  Risk management in both our personal lives and work obligations needs to be a frequent topic. We must combine the worlds of our personal lives and our work lives because the reality of this “upset” condition impacts both.

As a rental boiler and related equipment supplier, in addition to a full-fledged engineering and procurement company, Nationwide is essential to keeping North America operating at survival capacity.  Our customers producing food, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and heat for hospitals and correctional facilities need us to be ready and available to continue to operate.

We also have the fiduciary responsibility to our employees to keep them healthy. In the office we are maintaining the required distance between people. We are washing down high contact areas; employees are even working from home. In the shop, where we work on the equipment that generates steam, feedwater and emissions control, the team is twice as vigilant. Management must lead the team to help them do the job while maintaining their own health and safety. Good planning of where equipment is placed for maintenance while rerouting higher foot traffic areas for items like parts, welding machines, tools, etc. are all considerations thought through to keep the machine turning and our people safe.

So, the question, “Can a boiler rental company work from home?” is not that simple.  Yes, sales, engineering, marketing, and accounting can do much of their work outside of the building. Boiler mechanics, testers, painters, QA and safety, in addition to leadership, needs to be hands on. There are gloves on those hands and masks on those smiles, but even in Silicon Valley there is no app for that.

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Steam: The Most Effective Way to Transfer Heat or Energy

With the COVID-19 pandemic upon us, there has been a lot of talk about essential businesses. What is it that actually deems a business essential? In short, businesses that people rely on in everyday life are essential, while nonessential businesses are generally recreational in nature.

Many consumers may not understand the necessity of steam in everyday life, however, steam plays a major role in many industries including hospitals, food processing, refineries, and pulp and paper manufacturing. Let’s dive into exactly how steam is used in some of these processes.

Hospitals
One of the most obvious groups of essential workers right now are those in a hospital, and steam is utilized extensively in all hospital settings. There are five major uses of steam in a hospital: comfort heating, humidification of air, sterilization of surgical instruments and medical waste, laundry, and food preparation.  

Food Processing
Steam used by food processors commonly falls into two distinct categories: Clean Steam or Utility Steam. Clean Steam, also known as “sanitary” or “culinary” steam, is typically used for direct injection into a product or to clean and sterilize product contact surfaces. Utility Steam, also referred to as “plant” steam, can be used in most applications that do not involve direct contact with food products or the surfaces that the food might contact. It is often utilized to supply energy for heating, cooking, or mechanical work. 

Some other examples of where steam is typically utilized in food processing is the tomato canning process, deodorizing cocoa butter, puffing up cereal, and sanitization of yogurt cups.

Electricity Generation
Most of the electricity generated in the United States is from electric power plants that use a turbine to drive electricity generators, and many of these turbines are driven by steam. Steam turbines use high-pressure steam to rotate the blades of a turbine and create mechanical or rotational energy. As the steam turbine spins, the generator spins and creates electricity.

Pulp & Paper
Steam is used heavily in the production of paper products because energy drives the papermaking process. In fact, it is estimated nationally that steam accounts for approximately 43% of the total energy demand at a paper facility.

Most paper mills have a steam turbine to generate electricity. Steam is also used to cook wood chips and cook fibers for improved sheet strength, to evaporate moisture from pulp, to heat rotating dryer drums to dry the paper stock, and to heat chemicals for other processes. The steam from a boiler is also commonly used in other locations of the mill, like heat exchangers, steam-traced piping, and stock chests. Due to its usefulness, steam is the primary input used to evaporate moisture from a sheet, allowing for desirable and profitable sheet characteristics to be created.

Petroleum Refining
Petroleum refining is an energy-intensive process, with energy accounting for approximately 50% of refining costs. Steam is used in many ways in a refinery and is necessary to keep plants running.  Some uses include:

  •   - Steam turbines for electricity generation and running pumps and compressors.
  •   - Steam tracing and jacketing to keep viscous processes fluid in pipes.
  •   - As a heating source to break up oils and distribute for the manufacturing of different products.
  •   - As a heating source for lube oil systems for large pieces of equipment.
  •   - As a heating source for reboilers.
  •   - Plant cleanup.
  •   - Stripper column injection to aid in stripping separation of different processes.
  •   - Minor leak suppression by use of steam lances.
  •   - Steam flares to aid in complete combustion of processes.

Chemical Processing
Steam also plays a large role in chemical processing and is used as both a process fluid and a utility. Common uses include process heating, power generation, atomization, cleaning and sterilization, moisturization, and humidification. Because it is so versatile, there are some major advantages to using steam in chemical processing:

  • Control. By controlling the pressure of steam, you can control the temperature at which the heat is released. Having good control over the temperature is necessary in a number of chemical processes.
  • Efficiency. Steam is an efficient heat source because it has a high output per mass of utility at a constant temperature.
  • Safety. It is non-flammable, non-toxic, and inert to several process fluids.

Although steam is often hidden from our daily lives, it is the most effective way to transfer heat or energy and offers unique features that you just cannot duplicate with other systems. The simplicity and adaptability of steam makes it a reliable medium and first choice for many processing operations.

Nationwide Boiler takes pride in supporting many essential businesses with a reliable source of steam, whether for temporary or permanent use. As our own Walter Heussmann put it, “The heartbeat of America is driven by steam. The power industry, oil and gas, chemical, hospitals, food and beverage…. We are here to keep America going.”

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