North Central / Regional Reports

Preferred Utilities Upgrades Boiler Controls at Ford Motor Co.

Local Representative D.J. Conley Assoc. Inc. Helps Upgrade Several Multi-Burner Boilers

January 13, 2014

DANBURY, Conn. — Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corp., with the support of local representative D.J. Conley Assoc. Inc., successfully assisted Ford Motor Co. with the upgrade of its burner management and combustion control systems at its research and engineering powerhouse in Dearborn, Mich.

At Ford Motor’s powerhouse, Preferred Utilities upgraded several multi-burner boilers from a manual control to an automatic firing rate control within the guidelines of NFPA 85. Replacing Ford Motor’s four-burner manual system firing natural gas, Preferred Utilities’ programmable logic controller-based burner management system, with its 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.

Ford Motor’s new burner management systems are dedicated to safe boiler operation. Preferred Utilities said these new control systems provide prevention of faulty operation of and damage to the fuel preparation and fuel burning equipment. The controller, when married with proper fuel and combustion airflow regulating elements, assures accurate and repeatable combustion control.

With the burner management system, operators can choose between 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 Utilities also provided several additional upgrades for Ford Motor, including dual 15-inch touch screens, “igniter only” mode, and sequencing flexibility for operators. A fully-metered, cross-limited fuel-air ratio control with a forced draft fan with variable speed drives and an oxygen trim control, which minimizes excess air and saves fuel, were provided for improved combustion efficiency. Three-element feedwater and two-element draft controllers were also provided for reliable operation.

For more information, visit

Publication date: 1/13/2014

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