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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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Boiler Basics 101: What is Steam?

To kick-off our ‘Boiler Basics 101’ series, we are starting at the very beginning. The extremely useful resource, produced by the commercial and industrial boilers that we rent, sell, service and maintain… that resource is steam.

Our business, and the boiler industry as a whole, revolves around steam. We provide boilers and related equipment for both temporary and permanent applications; equipment that works together to produce the valuable resource of steam, utilized in an abundance of processes across many different industries. So, what exactly is steam and what is it used for?

Let’s start with the chemical composition of steam. Water can exist in three physical states; solid, liquid, and vapor. These physical states, in more common terms, are referred to as ice, water, and steam. When water is heated at atmospheric pressure, its temperature rises until it reaches the highest temperature at which water can exist at this pressure. This temperature, 212F or 100C, is the saturation temperature, or boiling point. As water boils and temperature continues to increase, water particles begin to form small bubbles that rise to the surface and vaporize. This is how steam is formed.

Traditionally, steam was associated with locomotives and the Industrial Revolution. However, now steam is an integral part of modern-day technology. Not only is it an excellent source of energy and heat, but it is also sterile, which makes it ideal for use in the food, pharmaceutical, and health industries. Many other industries also utilize steam for processing, petroleum refining, utility and power, and manufacturing.

Steam has become an invaluable part of our world.  Without it, many of the advances and technologies in today’s time would not be as effective or efficient as they are now.

Stay tuned for the next article in our Boiler Basics 101 series to learn about the basic anatomy of a boiler system.

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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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First of Three 200,000 lb/hr Boilers Headed to the Middle East

First 200,000pph Boiler Ready to Load the Ship at the Port of Houston

Nationwide Boiler is pleased to announce that we recently secured our largest rental project in our fifty one year history! This long-term rental includes three (3) 200,000 lb/hr, 750 psi / 750F superheated steam, skid-mounted package Babcock & Wilcox watertube boilers. We are also supplying a plant master work station and one (1) deaerator with pumps for the duration of the rental. The equipment will support the start-up of Saudi-Aramco's 106-square-kilometer refinery and terminal in Jizan, Saudi Arabia.

The first boiler was loaded at the Port of Houston over this past weekend, beginning a six week journey to the Port of Jizan. The other two boilers, along with additional equipment, will be coordinated in a phased shipment process.

Take a look at the time lapse video below to see the first boiler being loaded on the ship, and read our press release for additional details on this major rental project.

Great job to all involved and we look forward to a successful project!

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