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Enhancing BMS Safety with the use of PLC-based Controls

Combustion equipment safety is essential for the daily operation of facilities and safety of plant personnel. Safety protocols and mechanisms in industrial plants have improved drastically in the last century, but incidents still occur far too frequently. Because boiler systems are inherently dangerous, safety must be factored into the design of not just the boiler, but also the burner, combustion control, and the overall operation of the system.


The burner management system (BMS) is just one of many safety devices built into a boiler system, designed to control the combustion process from beginning to end in a safe and reliable manner. It monitors high and low gas pressure, the combustion air fan, combustion air, and water levels, in addition to monitoring safety devices and controlling the sequence of lighting the burner. If any issues arise related to pressure or water level, it will initiate closure of the shut-off valves. To automate these processes, PLC-based controls are often used as a BMS. PLC based BMS gives you much more flexibility, the ability to use analog input signals as limits, limit voting and the versatility to have almost unlimited safety limits.


A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a robust computer utilized for industrial automation. Although a PLC doesn’t physically look like a typical computer, it incorporates the very same technology seen in computers and smart devices that we use every day. The PLC receives information from connected sensors or input devices, processes the data, and triggers outputs based on pre-programmed parameters. It consists of a power supply, a CPU (central processing unit), input and output cards, and communication cards. A programming device (often a laptop computer) is utilized for writing programs into the PLC and HMI (human machine interface) which provides a visual model of the system as a whole.


Compared to traditional technologies, a PLC-based system is easier to troubleshoot, more reliable, more cost-effective, and much more versatile. In addition, PLC-based controls provide added levels of safety for the burner management system and overall operation of your boiler. PLCs are built in compliance with NFPA 85 and SIL2 requirements at minimum and can be configured to meet SIL3 standards as well. Therefore, we are seeing boiler control panels being built or updated to PLC-based systems more than ever.


Pacific Combustion Engineering has extensive knowledge and experience in the design, build, and programming of PLC-based combustion control systems. If you are in the market for an upgrade or brand-new panel that incorporates PLC, give us a call and we will design a system that fits your unique process needs.

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Northwest Food & Beverage World 2019

Next week, representatives from Pacific Combustion Engineering will be representing all divisions of Nationwide Boiler at the Northwest Food and Beverage World 2019. Located at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, this 2½ day regional conference will bring together over 400 premier vendors and suppliers from many industries, but more specifically, the food and beverage industry. In addition, the conference offers a variety of educational sessions, keynote speakers, an opening night reception, networking-related opportunities, and you guessed it… food!

So head on over to the show and stop by booth #545 to visit Mike Dorthalina and Matt Pope. Don't forget to ask about the many products and services offered by Nationwide Boiler, Nationwide Environmental, and Pacific Combustion Engineering!

For more information on the show, please visit: http://www.foodandbeverageworld.org

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Check Out Our New Logo!

We are excited to announce that we have updated the Pacific Combustion Engineering logo, as a means of clearly communicating that the company is part of the Nationwide Boiler family. By incorporating Nationwide's well-known teardrop, along with a cohesive color scheme, we are confident that both new and past customers will now easily identify that Pacific Combustion Engineering is a Nationwide Boiler brand.

cmyk LOGO pce

As the controls division of Nationwide Boiler Inc, Pacific Combustion Engineering has personnel with the experience, knoweldge, and capabilities needed to offer our customers top-quality, custom integrated control systems, specializing in PLC based burner management and combustion control systems. We build our equipment to the highest industry standards, including NFPA 85/86 requirements, as well as IRI, FM and UL. Our equipment is designed and fabricated in our UL508A & 698A recognized manufacturing facility, located in Washougal, WA.

We would love to hear your feedback! What do you think of the new logo?

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