Archive: May 2018

Sigma Thermal Purchases a 100 Kilowatt Solar Installation from Renewvia

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MARIETTA, Ga. — In keeping with their company-wide dedication to optimized efficiency and innovative energy savings, Sigma Thermal has installed a 100 kW solar energy array at the company’s facility in Marietta, Ga. This advanced, eco-friendly technology will supplement roughly half of the manufacturer’s electricity needs during peak consumption times, and nearly 100% in lower consumption periods.

Crafted by renewable energy expert Renewvia Energy, the solar panel installation was completed in December 2017. With a projected generating capacity of up to 144,000 kWh per year, the investment will reduce Sigma Thermal’s carbon footprint by 106 metric tons. The company expects to see a complete return on the solar investment in three years or less.

Renewvia specializes in the development of rooftop, canopy, and ground-mounted solar arrays, providing partners with clean, reliable, and cost-effective power. With expertise in investment-grade commercial real estate and structured project financing, Renewvia offers highly innovative, financeable renewable solutions for companies across a range of industries.

As an energy systems company fully dedicated to increasing efficiency — and efficient energy use — for their clients, this solar investment was a logical step in aligning their energy stewardship with the products they produce. Their specialists create systems that generate heat energy with the best available technology, allowing their customers to reduce emissions and conserve resources on a daily basis.

“We spend quite a bit of time making sure that our technology works efficiently, effectively, and with the lowest possible emissions levels. We want every ounce of our customers’ energy to be maximized. By working with Renewvia to install solar technology at our facility, we start the process — and the impact — from the ground up.” said Jeff Ackel, of Sigma Thermal.

Sigma Thermal offers two distinct technologies for clients looking to reduce waste and renewables: biomass-fired energy systems and waste heat recovery systems. Sigma Thermal also incorporates the best available emissions technologies into its fired process heater products to ensure compliance with any client’s environmental targets. As a renowned industry leader, the heat management experts at Sigma Thermal provide complete packaged systems and parts, plus all aspects of design, manufacturing, and installation.

To learn more about Sigma Thermal and their ongoing commitment to enhanced energy efficiency, reach out to the team today.

Flaretec Merges with Sigma Thermal, Inc. to Expand Middle East Operations

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Companies Will Offer Industrial Process Heating Equipment and Services on Global Scale

(MARIETTA, GA., May 18, 2018) – Sigma Thermal and Flaretec are excited to announce that the two companies have joined forces, and Flaretec will now be a part of the Sigma Thermal group.

“We are excited about the new partnership between Sigma Thermal and Flaretec, and the opportunities it will bring to the industrial businesses in the surrounding region,” said Flaretec Managing Director Scott Brewster.

This merger will allow industrial process heating equipment and services to be provided on a global scale, ensuring higher efficiency, enhanced cost-effectiveness, and extended local market support. With international customers increasingly seeking single-point sourcing for process heating design, engineering, manufacturing, and aftermarket support, the new partnership comes at an opportune time, allowing for the delivery of complete system solutions.

“Uniting our two teams will not only expand and streamline our capabilities but also allow us to provide enhanced solutions to prospects and customers on a global scale,” said Scott Brewster. “Both teams are eager to begin this new venture together and open up new possibilities for growth.”

Over the coming months, the new partnership, under the name of Sigma Thermal Middle East, will be opening an office in Dubai. Local sales, projects, and aftermarket staff will support regional customers, while the original Flaretec office in Chesterfield, England, will remain in operation to serve the European marketplace.

Flaretec has been designing, manufacturing, and servicing direct and indirect fired heaters since 1979. The company has an installed base of over 2,000 fired heaters and ancillary process systems worldwide, with a heavy concentration in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

With more than 70 years of combined engineering experience, Sigma Thermal has engineered and manufactured countless process heating systems — including thermal fluid systems, indirect process bath heaters, biomass-fired energy systems, and electric process heaters — used across diverse industries worldwide.

About Sigma Thermal

Sigma Thermal, a privately held Georgia corporation, was founded on the belief that exceptionally deep engineering knowledge, applied practical field experience, and real customer service are the keys to successful system design and project execution. These principles form the underlying framework of the company and are tightly held by all Sigma Thermal employees.

The company designs, engineers, supplies, and services process heating systems for industry, including thermal fluid heating systems, indirect process bath heaters, electric process heaters, biomass-fired energy systems, direct fired process heaters, system automation, parts, retrofits/upgrades, and support services.

About Flaretec

Since Flaretec’s formation in 1979, Flaretec has become a global market leader for the design and manufacture of quality specialist products related to API type, direct and indirect fired heating equipment across a variety of industries including the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical, Marine, Power, and Pharmaceutical industries. The company continually forges global business relationships through delivering cost-sensitive, innovative engineered solutions to meet clients’ specific needs and strives to deliver a quality and reliable product and service every time.



The Benefits of Automation

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In the past, manufacturing and industrial companies implemented only basic instrumentation to run processes and create products, with primary focus placed on effective measurement and reliable control. During this time, material and energy costs could remain fairly stable throughout all processes, and automation was viewed as a mere prerequisite to operations; its value was tied solely to the operations themselves.

But as material and energy costs began to fluctuate more widely, operational efficiency became more of a concern, and companies began seeking the most energy- and material-efficient production processes available. Automation came to the forefront, and no longer was its value tied only to operations; now it was tied directly to profits.

Allowing for maximized throughput and reduced energy and material consumption, automation is now being used across a wide range of industrial and manufacturing sectors to ensure optimal production safety, efficiency, and value.

Types of Automation Technology

Below are three of the most popular business process automation (BPA) methods.

  • Extending an existing IT system — Expanding upon automation already in place can be highly convenient and often seems very cost-efficient upfront, but integrating new components can be costly, and training employees to use the updated system can be extremely time-consuming.
  • Purchasing process-specific BPA software — Programs with ready-made, process-specific tools can reduce or even eliminate the need for bringing in IT to assist with implementation and in-house tool development. However, not all industries are able to make use of all available built-in features, while other sectors may require functionalities that are not available — making this a potentially cost-inefficient solution for many companies.
  • Purchasing adaptive BPA solutions — Adaptive BPA solutions are essentially a combination of the two methods listed above; using this method, companies purchase new, highly customizable process automation software while also making use of their existing infrastructure in order to create highly efficient, application-specific solutions.

The Advantages of Automation

Automation offers a range of benefits for all types of industries and applications. For instance, throughput can be efficiently maximized with job scheduling software that automates production batches, thereby eliminating lag time between jobs and reducing the need for operator intervention. Once a job schedule is determined, automation software operates in a precise sequence, eliminating the risk of operator errors. This naturally increases productivity and reliability, as jobs cannot be forgotten or run out of sequence.

Automation also minimizes energy and material consumption with the same precision that enables flawless scheduling, allowing for significant cost savings and streamlined operations. And, when recovery systems are automated, there is reduced risk of accidental damage to operating systems due to human error. Allowing for environmentally friendly operations and enhanced reliability, automation has proven to be highly effective in preventing failure and maintaining smooth production processes.

Since the economic impact of failure can be easily calculated, it’s equally easy to pinpoint the potential cost benefits of implementing a BPA system. But, since determining the risk of failure is probabilistic, industrial companies are less likely to consider failure-event prevention a valid economic benefit of automation. This is why throughput, energy, and material consumption are the main factors used to measure the overall value of automation systems.

It’s also worth noting that, like any other piece of equipment, automation systems can become outdated, leading to decreased efficiency and higher costs. Regular upgrades will allow for consistently high return on investment (ROI) while ensuring optimal safety and operations, as well as a smaller environmental footprint.

The Disadvantages of Automation

BPA does have its downsides, however. For instance, employees are often resistant to change, and a new automation system could be easily misconstrued as a complete replacement for manual labor. And even if they don’t resist the change, training a workforce to properly implement automation systems can be time-consuming and challenging.

To deal with these issues, first reassure employees that automation still requires human presence and operation, and that their role will actually be more specialized after the introduction of automation equipment; in many instances, this may even mean higher wages. Also, the reduced interaction between humans and machines means fewer injuries and less time lost on the job. That said, some reduction in staff will likely be necessary.

The initial costs involved in adopting BPA may seem counterintuitive at first, especially for companies resistant to change, but the long-term cost and energy savings far outweigh any initial roadblocks.

Automation Solutions From Sigma Thermal

Sigma Thermal Automation is proud to offer customized automation solutions for clients across a wide range of industries and applications, and our skilled engineers, designers, programmers, and fabricators can meet all types of project specifications and requirements — no matter how complex.

Sigma Thermal also offers sophisticated multiple burner management systems (BMS) and combustion control systems (CCS) to accommodate various customer requirements and environmental conditions in the industrial and manufacturing sector.

Comprehensive field service is available for all new and existing installations (even for other company’s equipment). Our expert technicians can provide the following services:

  • Firmware upgrades and system configuration
  • Process tuning, optimization, and validation
  • Network configuration and setup
  • Programming and troubleshooting
  • Commissioning and training

We also hold the following certifications and compliances:

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • S. and international certified hardware (CE, UL, FM, CSA, ANSI, ATEX, IEC, etc.)
  • S. and international compliant system design (CE, FM, NFPA, and CSA, IEC, ISA, API, SIL)

To learn more about our automation solutions or discuss how we can help with your next project, reach out to the team today.

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