Best Practices: The Engineering Approach for Industrial Boilers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Natalie Blake   
Tuesday, 08 June 2010 11:08
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Best Practices: The Engineering Approach for Industrial Boilers

Natalie R. Blake, ONDEO Nalco


A plant’s boilers represent a large capital investment, as well as a crucial portion of overall plant operations. It is important to have systems and procedures in place to protect this investment, as well as plant profitability. Boiler best practices represent “The Engineering Approach for Boilers”— a way to examine mechanical, operational and chemical aspects of the systems (pretreatment through condensate) to ensure reliable boiler operations with no surprises.


All industrial plants have boilers of one type or another, often more than one type. Whether the plant in question has one small boiler, or many large ones, the boilers are an essential element of every plant, regardless of plant size or of product produced. With skyrocketing fuel and energy costs, maintaining both boiler reliability and consistent system performance while minimizing energy costs can be a challenge and an opportunity for any utility operation. The Engineering Approach provides a framework to examine all aspects of boiler best practices to optimize system performance, and total cost of operations.

Implementing the Engineering Approach assists in gathering information to measure and track progress, to initiate further improvements, and to allow benchmarking and norming of systems across corporations and within industries. There are several steps in the effective implementation of the Engineering Approach, or best practices for boilers. This article will discuss the philosophy of the Engineering Approach, as well as examples of its implementation, and the benefits received from it both in terms of system operation, and in terms of total cost of operations.


The Engineering Approach represents the formalization of ONDEO Nalco’s approach to serving our customers. It is fundamentally a customer-centric method of doing business that permits the management of knowledge of the customer’s water system, and knowledge of the impact that water systems can have on process operations, environmental performance, and overall costs. This engineering knowledge is used to significantly build value for the customer.

The fundamental elements of the Engineering Approach are mechanical (M), operational (O) and chemical (C) considerations. This provides a system that:

  • Is independent of personnel movement to new assignments (customer or consultant).
  • Focuses on results.
  • Is proactive in the prevention of problems.
  • Identifies opportunities to reduce total cost of operation (TCO) for the plant.

The Engineering Approach represents best practices for boilers in that it provides a benchmark for continuous improvement of our customers’ systems. With the Engineering Approach we provide recommendations for optimizing total cost of operations (TCO) by considering all relevant factors.


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