Project Synopsis

Troubleshoot control issues and recommend improvements on a rented package steam boiler at an independent petroleum refiner and producer of specialty lubricating oils and waxes.

Project Summary

The client, an independent petroleum refiner and producer of specialty lubricating oils and waxes, contracted Process Engineering Associates, LLC (PROCESS) to troubleshoot control issues on a rented package boiler.  The client had utilized a rental boiler unit to fulfill part of the refinery steam requirements.  The smaller rental boiler often tripped when one of the other larger plant boilers tripped.

PROCESS performed an assessment of the boiler backpressure and level controls.  PROCESS re-tuned the rental boiler backpressure PID controller using a loop tuning method recommended by PROCESS.  Boiler level controls were completely inaccessible for re-tuning and program analysis due to the client’s rental agreement with the boiler vendor.  PROCESS’ assessment of the boiler level controls concluded that the boiler would benefit from three-element boiler feed water control.  PROCESS recommended that the client work with the vendor to implement and tune three-element control.

PROCESS summarized the re-tuning and control strategy recommendations in a letter report to the client.  The report included trends with detailed comments describing the loop test and comparing loop responses before and after re-tuning.

Industry Type

Petroleum Oil Refining and Lubricants Manufacturing


Utilized Skills

  • Process controls design
  • Process controls tuning
  • Process troubleshooting.

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