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Boiler Controls Upgraded for Efficiency, Flexibility, and Reliability


Ford Motor Company sought to upgrade its burner management and combustion control systems at its research and engineering powerhouse in Dearborn, MI.

With the support of local representative D.J. Conley Assoc. Inc., Preferred Utilities upgraded several multi-burner boilers from manual to automatic firing rate control within the guidelines of NFPA 85.

Originally a 4-burner manual system firing natural gas, Preferred’s PLC-based BMS, PCC-III controllers, and DCS-III Controllers now allow for successive burners to be automatically lit-off or stopped based on load demand. Sequencing of burners is now made by way of a burner firing order” selection screen.

Furthermore, operators can now choose either Warm-up or Hot Standby mode. Warm-up mode holds one or two burners at low-fire until the boiler reaches its minimum flue gas temperature. Once reached, the firing rate and additional burners will light-off or shut down based on load demand.

Hot Standby holds one or two burners in the same manner, but once the flue gas temperature is met, the burners shut down and the boiler is tripped.

Preferred provided more upgrades, including dual 15-inch touch screens, “igniter only” mode and sequencing flexibility for operators. A fully-metered, cross-limited fuel-air ratio control with FD fan VSD and Oxygen Trim control provides for improved combustion efficiency. 3-element feed water and 2-element draft controllers provide for reliable operation.


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