News

The Five Levels of Manning

Read more...

Triumph Of Coal - Free Day

Read more...

Technical Director becomes Chairman of the Combustion Engineering Association (CEA)

Read more...

Acquisition of Gestra for £160 million

Read more...

Observation of a BOAS Assessor

Read more...

Brexit and The Machinery Directive - 'Game of Change'

Read more...

Keeping the lights on or "I wouldn't start from here"

Read more...

4 Key Measurements For Optimal Boiler Control

Read more...

Byworth Boilers - Case Studies

Read more...

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

Read more...

Spreading the CEA message to Hong Kong

 

During the summer of 2016 Cochran were asked to provide independent advice and guidance following a reportable accident in Hong Kong. To provide this independent advice Cochran asked Derry Carr (CEA Chairman) to attend site and investigate.

The Investigation highlighted a number of areas where systems and operation could be improved. As a result, a number of initiatives have been put in place with the Hong Kong government Electrical & Mechanical Service Department.

In 2017 it is planned for Derry to carry out further Technical Risk Assessment training to engineers locally in Hong Kong, along with Bill Higgins(Cochran Training manager) providing International Boiler Operation Accreditation Scheme training (I-BOAS) for the operators and maintainers. 

To read more click here

 

 

   CEA_Logo.jpg              Cochran_Logo.jpg

Permalink

The Five Levels of Manning

 

Fully manned

  • A competent boiler operator in the boilerhouse whilst the boilers are operating.

Local manning

  • A competent boiler operator on site whilst the boilers are operating.
  • Must be within earshot of alarms and able to attend within 7 minutes.

Unmanned (level 1)

  • A competent boiler operator must attend the boilers on a daily basis.
  • A trained person must be able to attend an alarm in the absence of a competent boiler operator to ensure that the boiler/boilers are shut down safely and be able to summon a competent boiler operator if required.

Unmanned (level 2)

  • Automation on the boilers must follow guidance and be such that the boilers shut themselves down safely in the event of an incident.
  • A competent boiler operator must attend the boilers on a daily basis.
  • The boilers must be monitored from a remote monitoring centre all the time the boilers are operating and who has the ability to summon a competent boiler operator in the event of failure.

Unmanned (level 3)

  • Automation on the boilers must follow guidance and be such that the boilers shut themselves down safely in the event of an incident.
  • A competent boiler operator must attend the boilers at least every 72 hours.
  • Increased monitoring must be incorporated and monitored from a remote monitoring centre all the time the boilers are operating and who has the ability to summon a competent boiler operator in the event of failure.
 
 
 
To download a PDF version click here.


Permalink

Triumph Of Coal - Free Day

The announcement by the National Grid that no coal-fired power was produced in Britain yesterday has been widely covered in today's national news. BBC TV showed the National Grid "meter" with coal at zero. This has been seen as a triumphant step on the way to meeting our climate change obligations. 

What has NOT been highlighted in this coverage is that, at the same time as using no coal, the weather has been largely windless and cloudy. This morning, wind generation was contributing about 4% of our requirements and solar about 5%. At the same time, we were importing 10% of our needs on the interconnectors from the continent. The backbone of our electricity supply was from gas, almost half of the total.

Nuclear power accounts for a fifth of our generation and it is a tragedy that the next generation of nuclear stations is mired in so much uncertainty, most recently the financial problems of Toshiba putting at risk the project in Cumbria. It is of fundamental national importance that we secure an ongoing nuclear generation baseload. 

In talking up the achievements of Britain in building renewable generation, we MUST recognise that its variability is inescapable. Secure and affordable gas supplies are vital. Importing gas is less beneficial than domestic output. It really IS time for the public to be educated in the whole story and to consider the well-regulated development of shale gas as a national priority. For too long, opponents have been allowed to promulgate scare stories and whip up opposition to exploration and development of shale gas. 

Permalink

Technical Director becomes Chairman of the Combustion Engineering Association (CEA)

After 3 years acting as Vice Chairman for the CEA, Adrian Rhodes becomes the official Chairman. 

ARhodes.pngTaking place at the association's AGM on Thursday 16th March 2017 which is held in the House of Lords, Adrian's predecessor, Derry Carr stepped down from his role as Chairman and fondly reminisced about his last three years in the position. 

Derry remains an active member of the Combustion Engineering Association as the Immediate Past Chairman. The CEA have conferences throughout the year where both Adrian and Derry are keynote speakers, along with other very experienced presenters from all across this sector.

After the initial proceedings, and during the prestigious dinner served in the House of Lords, Adrian unconventionally sparked a discussion amongst the members. His technical knowledge has earnt him the authority of a recognised expert within the industry, but Adrian wanted to raise a matter that's often overlooked yet one he feels strongly about. "Awareness".  

To read the full article click here. 

Permalink

Acquisition of Gestra for £160 million

RNS.png

Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc (Spirax Sarco), which specialises in the control and efficient use of steam, and in peristaltic pumping and associated fluid path technologies, announces that it has signed a conditional sale and purchase agreement to acquire Gestra AG and associated businesses (Gestra) from Flowserve Corporation for a cash-free, debt-free consideration of €186 million (£160 million). 

Gestra, which has its headquarters in Bremen, Germany, is a technology leader in advanced industrial boiler control systems and specialises in the design and production of valves and control systems for steam and fluid process control.

In 2016, Gestra recorded revenues of €92.5 million (£79.7 million), EBITDA of €16.6 million (£14.3 million) and EBIT of €15.2 million (£13.1 million).  Approximately 80% of the company's revenues are in Europe with the balance spread roughly evenly between the Americas and Asia Pacific. 

To read the full article click here. 

Permalink

Observation of a BOAS Assessor

During my review of the evidence packs and oral examination of the candidates, it became clear that the site have not been operating in accordance with best practice. However, largely as a result of their learning and that of their manager on the BOAS courses, they are now committed to actively addressing the areas of concern. This is a great "win" and the Training Provider is to be congratulated on bringing these issues to light and helping the staff find a route to getting them fixed - exactly what we are all here for! 

The candidates have all been employed in various engineering and plant operational roles for most of their careers since leaving school.  They were all suffering somewhat from “groupthink” but this recent phase of BOAS training should result in staff working more in line with best practice in the future. 

The following comments appear on each of the candidate’s assessment forms.  A copy of these comments have been sent to the Training Provider with the suggestion that he might like to forward them to the engineering manager at the plant as an aide memoir of improvements to be made. 

The candidates described their position on the organisation chart and explained that their role as a shift engineer covered boiler house operation as well as other areas of work on site.  Some tasks within the boiler house (e.g. monitoring of water treatment) had, until recently, been undertaken by an in-house support services team but this department has been disbanded and the tasks allocated to shift engineers. 

During the assessment, the candidates explained that recording of boiler house activities (daily tests, weekly tests, evaporation tests, water quality checks and noting of observations or actions taken etc.) have not been consistent with best practice.  The candidates explained that a new system of carrying out and recording checks is currently being trialled.  This new system uses a proprietary Log Book; consistent adoption of this new system should bring the site in line with industry best practice.  The relatively sparse original log sheets the candidates provided have, however, been accepted as adequate evidence of their experience of operating boiler plant (Ref BOAS Handbook V7, Section 6.3.5. page 82).

The candidates explained that site does not carry out a safety audit as such but shift engineers do complete a “Workplace Inspection check sheet” periodically and that this covers some safety aspect comments.  The candidates also explained that site management recently employed a third party to carry out a formal Boiler House Risk Assessment and that this is expected to be available soon.

The candidates explained that the site has one operational waste heat recovery boiler (WHRB) and three shell boilers.  The site heat load can often be met with the WHRB and/or one shell boiler alone.  One of the shell boilers has repeatedly had to have tubes replaced. As a result of learnings on this course, the management of ‘out of service’ boilers will be reviewed with the engineering manager.

Permalink

Brexit and The Machinery Directive - 'Game of Change'

Warren Spiers, Managing Director at Spiers Engineering Safety, looks at the possible changes that may come, following our exit from the EU.

Synopsis: 

The machine safety industry should be watching the Brexit process with baited breath. Nobody truly knows what the outcome will be. In fact, all we know is that our relationship with the EU will never be the same again and in this 'game of change' nobody knows the outcomes for sure. The purpose of this article is to explore the changes that could occur to the Machinery Directive and the machinery safety industry. 

As a professional in machine safety and as a machine safety consultancy business owner responsible for the livelihood not just of my own family, but also of the families of our employees, I am keenly focussed on what contingencies I might want to put in place to protect us all from the effects of the Brexit process.

To read the full article click here.

Warren Spiers will be delivering a one-day machine safety workshop at Cannock on Tuesday 21st March 2017. 

To view all of Spiers  Engineering Safety conferences and workshops for 2017 please click here.

Permalink

Keeping the lights on or "I wouldn't start from here"

A personal assessment by Kenneth Fergusson, Honorary Vice President of the Combustion Engineering Association.

In London, 23rd January 2017 dawned windless, foggy and frosty. 100 flights were cancelled at Heathrow. The BBC reported that the conditions were widespread across the country.  Looking at the weather map, I remembered an article written back in November 2003, when major UK wind generation capacity was only an aspiration, but RWE in Germany already had 13GW in service. 

In 2001, I retired after four years as Chief Executive of the Coal Authority. I was invited to become President of the Combustion Engineering Association, a role which I relished for four years. During that time, UK energy policy was being reformulated and for the first year, I acted as a consultant to DTI on the subject of "clean coal" for which carbon capture and storage (CCS) was prerequisite and the appropriate and the appropriate generation technologies were "ultra-supercritical"(USC) or "Integrated gasification combined cycle"(IGCC). 

In 2009 I was invited to write an article on UCG for "Modern Power Systems" for which I prepared a comparison of generation cost or offshore wind, nuclear, USC and IGCC, gas CCGT and UCG all the fossil fuel cases included 90+% CCS.

To read the full article click here

Permalink

4 Key Measurements For Optimal Boiler Control

The purpose of boiler control is to achieve safe operation, reliability and optimised performance with respect to load change response, fuel cost and emissions.

In most control applications, repeatability or measurement is more important than absolute accuracy. Accuracy can be adjusted for software, but erratic readings cannot.

Drum level is critical for safety and reliability. Inaccurate drum level control can result in safety issue and equipment damage. High levels can cause water carryover that lowers heat transfer efficiency and possibly damages downstream equipment such as steam turbines.

To read more on this article click here

Permalink

Byworth Boilers - Case Studies

Jura, in a world of it's own - Find out more about Byworths journey to this famous distillery.

One road, one distillery, one pub, one shop and one community; but with over 5000 deer, Jura is an island with a unique spirit.
The Isle of Jura, nestled off the West Coast of Scotland is only 60 miles from Glasgow but takes a wee while to get there. A land where myths, legends, superstition and the craft of whisky making has been handed down from generation to generation.
Byworth went to the Isle of Jura to meet with Andy Jardine to get his perspective on business with Byworth; the benefits of better boiler life; improved efficiency; uptime and improved customer satisfaction.

 To view the video click here.

 

Animal Feeds plant reduces operating costs.

Watch our video where Animal Feeds company, GLW Feeds talk about the benefits of more efficient boilers and technology in the plant...
Byworth Boilers went to visit GLW Feeds at their site in Leicestershire to meet with John Kettle and get his perspective on business with Byworth and the Yorkshireman steam boiler.

In this video we learn more about the Yorkshireman steam boiler and how this has saved GLW Feeds nearly 25% on their running costs from switching from a coal fired boiler to a new state of art gas fired boiler.

To view the video click here.

Permalink

Birmingham Heartlands Hospital

From a serious boiler explosion in Hong Kong to a fact finding and training visit to the UK, The CEA's Chairman Derry Carr with Cochran's David Branch was involved with helping the authorities in Hong Kong investigate a serious boiler explosion.

Then it was on to visit a very well run and organised NHS Estates department at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. Heartlands have been a member of the CEA fro several years, attending conference workshops and other initiatives such as the MCPD, Technical Boilerhouse Risk Assessment, BOAS and I-GAS. 

To read the full article click here.

 

 

CEA Logo     Cochran_Logo.jpg

Permalink

Request for Membership Details

Membership is available in several categories. Please fill in the form below and full details of membership and costs will be forwarded to you.