Actuator Upgrades on Coal and Gas Fired Boilers have saved in maintenance and fuel costs

PPG Industries, a specialty chemical company instigated an initiative to reduce fuel and maintenance costs associated with its boilers. As part of this initiative, PPG planned to re­place their pneumatic actuators over the next few years. The pneumatic actuators had been operating many of the forced draft, induced draft, and over-fired air dampers, as well as fluid couplings and various valves. Since these applications are crucial to a boiler’s efficiency, it was important that the actuators could control with precision and reliability. The existing pneumatic actuators lacked these capabilities.

Beck precision elec­tric actuators were chosen as the replacement with the first installation taking place on the Mill Cold Air dampers. Beck’s 100% continuous duty actuator had an immedi­ate impact, providing superb control capabilities along with the durability and reli­ability required for boiler applications. Four years, and nearly forty actuators later, PPG sums up the qualitative and quantitative benefits realized so far with the new Beck installs:

“Not only do we have better control of our coal and gas fired boilers (which by itself has saved us an estimated $250,000 per year in fuel costs), we are also able to eliminate thousands of dollars in PMs (preventative maintenance work orders) that to date has saved us $174,000 in parts and labor over the old pneumatic positioners that required continuous maintenance.”

Figure 1

Beck 11-209

Coal Mill