Steam boilers play a crucial part in the manufacturing and processing sector. The safety of boilers and process plants is essential as ignoring them may be hazardous and led to life-threatening consequences. Steam boilers, if left without regular servicing and maintenance, have the potential of exploding like a bomb. Following standard guidelines ensures the safety of the process plant and the working staff. Yet, there are some of the boiler and combustion issues that are overlooked. It leads to boiler breakdown, accidents, or in extreme cases, loss of property and lives.
Listed below are some of the commonly neglected boiler and combustion issues that may pose a threat to the safety and health of process plant operators:
One of the primary reasons for boiler failures and explosions is the lack of maintenance of the combustion system of a steam boiler. Many process plants do not train their operating staff about the combustion equipment and its maintenance, start-up and shut-down procedures, and emergency shut-down of boilers. In such an unanticipated situation, the staff remains unaware and uncertain of the steps to take that inevitably result in boiler breakdown or accidents in the processing unit.
Regular Safety Inspections:
Many times, process plant managers believe that merely following the standard guidelines is enough to prevent mishaps. Although it is important to follow the guidelines, manufacturing facilities must also ensure regular servicing and maintenance programs for boiler safety and longer life. Boiler-related services such as energy audits, steam trap assessment, annual maintenance programs, etc., helps to assure a healthy and productive work environment of a process plant.
Outdated Equipment and Accessories:
Many industries assert operating and complying with safety codes and standard guidelines. However, if the equipment and accessories used in manufacturing units date back to 50 years ago, then following the rules and regulations does not contribute that much to assuring plant and boiler safety.
Regular Testing of Valves and Pipes:
Valves and pipes are essential to ascertain proper combustion in a steam boiler. Boiler problems such as carryover, foaming, corrosion, scaling, erosion, etc., tend to negatively impact the performance of safety valves and pipes and tubes of a steam boiler. Therefore, it is prudent to maintain a proper and periodic inspection schedule of the valves and tubes.
Despite every precaution and safety arrangement, steam boilers are at risk of failure or breakdown due to inevitable human errors. It has been found that most of the boiler accidents are caused due to improper handling of the steam boiler by the operating staff. With the advancement in technologies, many manufacturing and process industries are turning towards automation control systems in the boiler to minimize the possibility of manual errors in process operations.
Even with the automated control systems, operating staff needs to be trained on the appropriate handling of the various equipment in the manufacturing unit. It is undoubtedly necessary to train the plant operators about proper operational techniques for effective functioning of the boiler system and thereby, optimal productivity of the process plant.
Safety Equipment and Emergency Plan:
Regardless of complying with every precaution and maintenance schedule, the chances of boiler accidents cannot be eliminated. Therefore, it is necessary to equip the process plant with every safety requirement such as a first aid kit, proper safety gear like helmet, gloves, shoes, and coveralls, fire extinguisher, fire alarms, and so on. It is also advisable to allocate pre-determined and ample workspace for different operations, inform the operating team about fire exits, and prepare an evacuation plan for any emergencies.
Advantages of Inspecting Boiler Issues Frequently:
Timely maintenance and detailed inspection of the boiler and its equipment leads to prevent the issues that may hinder the combustion process and increase the requirement of resources. Leakages, sediment accumulation, dirty burners, corrosion, etc., are some of the causes that may reduce the thermal energy in a steam boiler.
Fewer Breakdowns or Failures:
With the regular evaluation of the boiler system and its accessories, any harmful issues are brought to the notice of the plant manager sooner and consequently fixed before it causes any loss or damage and prevents the failure or breakdown of the steam boiler.
Health and Safety of the Operating Personnel:
The operating team is vulnerable to injuries and long-lasting harm if the boiler system remains unchecked for a long time. Frequent maintenance and fixing any boiler issues as soon as possible ensures a safe and healthy work environment for the personnel.
Longer Lifespan of Boilers:
Proper and scheduled maintenance programs of the steam boiler ensure its longer lifecycle and higher efficiency and productivity. As a result, it increases the profit of the manufacturing industry.
With our 38+ years of experience, Rakhoh Boilers have a clear understanding of the potential issues faced by a process industry and the best remedy to enhance its efficiency. We have been manufacturing efficient steam boilers for more than 20 process industries as well as providing the best boiler services such as boiler automation, energy audit, steam trap assessment, annual maintenance contract, customer training program, etc.
Know more about our products and service on www.rakhoh.com