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Category Archive: Sigma Thermal Products

Why Sigma Thermal?


At Sigma Thermal our commitment to providing exceptional customer service is what sets us apart from the competition. Each step of a client’s project, from inception to installation, is managed by a qualified team of professionals who focus on planning, executing, monitoring and controlling all aspects of the project until completion. Guided by a set of principles, including responsiveness and a customer-focused mindset, the Sigma Thermal team works continuously towards ensuring an effortless experience for all clients.

Better Than Perfection

While Sigma Thermal is by no means flawless, the company takes full advantage of every opportunity for improvement and will put in the time and effort necessary to enhance their services to suitably fulfill every customer project.

Customers trust us not because we are perfect, but because we are committed to striving towards perfection. 

It’s All About Our Clients

As much as we believe that providing the highest quality equipment and services, it is equally important that we provide our clients with a positive customer experience from procurement, to commissioning, and throughout the life of the equipment. Thoroughly dedicated to this effort, all Sigma Thermal employees hold fast to the following principles:

Responsiveness

Responsiveness is fundamental to a positive customer experience.

Quality customer service is about more than interacting with a client during key points of a project.  It’s maintaining communication with the client and letting their voice be heard, sticking to an established schedule, and providing reliable support.

Prioritizing the Customer

Every project starts with the identification of the customer’s key goals. Those goals can be driven by schedule, design, cost, or any number of other factors. In some cases it may be necessary to compromise one of these goals in order to meet another. Understanding the hierarchy of these goals is critical to decision making throughout the duration of the project. Our project team strives to understand these goals at the beginning of the project and to continually communicate to ensure that those goals haven’t changed.

Effortless Experience

Our goal at the end of every customer interaction is to have each customer feel that it was easy to do business with us. We judge every interaction by that simple standard because that is the experience we expect from our own vendors.

Providing Guidance and Expertise

As the process heating systems experts, we must become partners with our customers. We must fully understand their process requirements and provide the right direction for the integration of our equipment into their application. Only through this understanding and proper integration can a system installation be completely successful.

TIPS FROM REAL PROJECT MANAGERS

5 tips from Sigma Thermal project managers

Organization

As a project manager (PM), you need to operate in an organized manner to successfully manage your project and team. The project manager must keep up with the details of a project. A PM should give guidance and encourage adherence to internal procedures and processes to maintain organization. Conformity to polices and procedures promote consistency with the way team members accomplish tasks.

PMs should systematically organize information and the way it is stored, so they or others on the project team can locate it when needed. Staying organized ensures you are referring to or relaying the latest information. When a PM, project team, and customer consistently exchange accurate information quickly, this builds trust and reliability and moves the deliverables and the project forward.

Communication

PMs need to make sure everyone involved in the project is communicating. They should be checking in with customers and expect customers to regularly check in with them. A constant flow of communication both internally and externally is important and required for the success of a project.

You don’t want the project team or customer to be blindsided by the information that is delayed or not communicated. No matter what a PM has to convey, whether it’s good or bad, it’s best to share it as soon as possible. It’s particularly important to relay bad news quickly; therefore, you can work through the issue with the customer.

Also, if you (the PM) or other team members are absent from the project at any time, it is critical that others on the team are informed and can pick up from where you left off. The team must have the latest information so that the flow of project can remain accurate and consistent.

Be a leader

As manager of the project, the PM must lead the team. We have to guide the team through all aspects of the project to meet the project scope on time and within budget. The onus is on us to make the ultimate decision as to what is best for the customer, company, and project. Lead the project in the direction you want it to go. Put on your engineering hat, and your leadership hat, and represent the customer. Lead by example. Take charge.

Patience

Patience is critical for all who are a part of the team (including the customers). No matter what’s going on or how stressed situations may become, a PM must understand and accept issues and be able to respectfully manage team members to progress forward.

It’s not necessary to always rush tasks. If a customer is upset with a deliverable, allow them to express their frustration—sometimes that means you’ll have to take the punches. Listen to their concerns and remind them there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Negotiation

Learn to negotiate with your customers about deliverables and dates that are unreasonable. Use the negotiation tool to offer alternative options; this will allow you to stand strong in your role as a PM, while still allowing the customer to play a role in the decision-making process.

It’s also key to negotiate with vendors who provide quotes that don’t align with your budget, which can also protect you from vendors who are trying to price gauge. Construct your conversations with vendors so that they clearly understand the need and cost you’re trying to meet for your project. Good reasoning skills can help you negotiate to reach common ground so that the end result is favorable to your team and overall project scope.

Introducing Our Flaretec Direct Fired Heaters

Sigma Thermal recently merged with Flaretec to further improve our ability to provide top-quality heating solutions for industrial applications. Together, we have further strengthened our direct-fired heater experience and product portfolio.

We design and manufacture three types of direct-fired heaters:

  • Radiant-convective heaters: A direct-fired heater that uses both radiant and convective heating zones
  • Convection heaters: A direct-fired heater that uses only a convection zone, which may be advantageous for certain low-pressure or temperature-sensitive products
  • Radiant heaters: A direct-fired heater that uses only a radiant zone, which is typically used for ultra-high-temperature applications

API 560 is a commonly referenced design code for direct-fired heaters. Flaretec direct-fired heaters can be designed and manufactured with full or partial API 560 compliance as required by the customer.

Direct Fired Heaters

Many industrial applications use direct-fired heaters, including:

Direct Fired Heater

  • Natural gas heating
  • Crude oil heating
  • In-line liquid heating
  • Regeneration gas heating
  • In-line gas heating
  • Thermal fluid heating
  • Other direct process heating
  • Process air heating

Direct-fired heaters provide several advantages over indirect-fired heaters, which tend to cost more, require more maintenance, and use greater amounts of electricity. The precise radiant zone design and row-by-row convection coil design allow for optimal distribution of heat transfer throughout the heater. Sigma Thermal can work with clients to design for all types of process mediums and process conditions. A few common examples are:

Indirect Water Bath Heater

  • Multi-phase fluids
  • Viscous hydrocarbons
  • Suspended solids
  • Gaseous mixtures

Direct fired heaters, like indirect fired heaters, enjoy several customization options when it comes to their fuel source and burner flexibility. Clients can choose between standard and engineered burner configurations that use both traditional and alternative fuel sources as well as natural draft and forced-draft units. We also offer low-emission burners that meet emission requirements including Low NOx and Best Available Control Technology.

Direct fired heaters can exceed base efficiencies of 90% on an LHV basis depending on the process inlet temperature, and when an optional economizer is added, they can achieve as high as 93% efficiency. We also build all units with complete control systems that optimize safety and performance. We supply simple and cost-effective standard panels as well as full process automation and PLC-based combustion controls and BMS.

New Partnerships Enable Global Reach

The Sigma Thermal and Flaretec merger has allowed us to provide industrial process heating equipment and services on a global scale, ensuring higher efficiency, enhanced cost-effectiveness, and extended local market support.

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 heavy concentrations in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Flartec Heater

Now under the name of Sigma Thermal Middle East, we have opened a regional office in Dubai U.A.E.. Local sales, project support, engineering, and aftermarket staff will support regional customers, while the original Flaretec office in Chesterfield, England, will remain open as Sigma Thermal UK & Europe to serve UK and European clients.

With This New Merger, Business Is Heating Up

Capitalizing on Flaretec’s 40 years of industry experience and brand recognition, we’ve rebranded all of our direct fired heaters as Flaretec Direct Fired Heaters.

If you would like to learn more about our heating solutions and how we can design new systems to your precise specifications, talk to one of our Application Engineers or request a quote today.

Select the Right Process Heater for Your Application

If you have a requirement for heat energy but are not sure what type or size process heating system you need, let our engineers assist you! Our team of professionals can walk you through the decision process and provide guidance that will aid you in selecting the best process heater for your application. Sigma Thermal designs and manufactures a full range of standard and custom process heaters that are suited for all types of applications. Take a minute to contact us and discuss your requirements today!

Enlarge the below graphic to see which process heater is typically utilized in your application.

Industrial Heaters | Sigma Thermal

Click to enlarge.

The Importance of Effective Heating for Natural Gas Purification in Amine Plants

We are in the midst of a U.S. shale revolution: advancements in shale oil and gas extraction techniques have led to greater natural gas production levels and a renewed demand for natural gas in industrial and power applications. Because of the increased level of competition in the industry, process efficiency is paramount. Bringing natural gas to market cost effectively hinges on the optimal design and operation of the natural gas sweetening process.

STeBookNatural gas produced from reserves in almost never pure; rather, it contains acid gases such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. One way to remove these impurities is amine gas treatment. An amine plant (also known as a sweetening plant) is used to remove the carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the gas solution so that pure natural gas can be efficiently transported to end users via pipeline.

Our latest white paper, Effective Heating Helps Amine Plants Purify Natural Gas, describes how to improve the natural gas purification process with effective heating. It also reviews the optimal conditions and system settings for controlling the amine regeneration temperature and optimizing the efficiency of the process.

The process works like this: the natural gas mixture and amine are combined in an absorber, where the carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are removed. Pure natural gas exits from the top of the vessel and the amine is sent to a regeneration system (consisting of a still and a boiler) where it is filtered for reuse.

Usually, control and bypass valves are used to maintain a constant flow through the thermal fluid heater in the regeneration process. Moreover, the temperature of the system is typically controlled using overhead temperature measurements in the reboiler. There are a few problems with this standard procedure, which are described in detail in the eBook. If these problems are not addressed in the design of the control scheme, the process will not run optimally and the control systems could destabilize.

Using thermal oil as an indirect heat source can significantly increase the life of the amine solution and increase process efficiency. Typically, system operators manually set the flow of thermal oil through the reboiler. This is a convenient solution that prevents any need for frequent fine-tuning, but this conservative approach wastes energy. The eBook discusses the thermal fluid system specifications required to optimize the operation of amine plants.

Sigma Thermal has a long history of providing highly engineered process heating systems and fine-tuning services for existing systems. To learn more about Sigma Thermal’s expertise with amine reboilers, visit our website.

Download your free copy of the full eBook here or click on the button below.

Learn more about Thermal Fluid Heaters in Amine Plants

Why You Should Stock Spare Parts for Your Heating System

Industrial facilities rely on a variety of equipment to support their vital processes. Factors such as increases in customer demand and exceptionally harsh applications can be taxing on the equipment, causing equipment malfunction or failure that takes production off-line.  For this reason it is imperative for facilities to keep the most crucial spare parts on-hand, preventing costly interruptions or shutdowns.

IMG_9674Many professionals tend to avoid the practice of stocking parts, but there are numerous benefits to this method. One such benefit is cost savings.  Assuming your plant is operating around the clock, you could potentially save thousands of dollars by having critical items readily available.

You should check to make sure that all the components of your Sigma Thermal heating system are in good working order for maximum performance and minimized interruptions. Part failures are common throughout industrial facilities; these issues often lead to extensive equipment downtime, which can range anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

skid-blogSigma Thermal warranties cover most damaged components, but due to the wide range of components we source, it’s difficult to have every item in stock.  Many of the parts have lengthy lead times—in some instances it may take up to ten weeks to receive the desired part. Our warranty can cover the replacement cost of the spare part, but what if you have start up technicians on-site? If you don’t have the necessary parts in stock, you will have to bear the cost of having technicians on standby until the replacement part is received.

Even if you are outside the warranty period, consider having spare parts on hand to help keep your heater running at optimal levels. If we have the part you need on the shelf, our team will gladly ship it via small package or freight service—next day or same day service is available in many cases.

No one wants to be held responsible for costly shut downs, so be sure to keep an adequate inventory of spare parts on hand.

Contact us today to make sure the spare parts you’re looking for are in our inventory.

Contact Sigma Thermal About Ordering Spare Parts

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Our Blog

Why Sigma Thermal?

At Sigma Thermal our commitment to providing exceptional customer service is what sets us apart from the competition. Each step of a client’s project,...

READ MORE

Introducing Our Flaretec Direct Fired Heaters

Sigma Thermal recently merged with Flaretec to further improve our ability to provide top-quality heating solutions for industrial applications. Together, we have further strengthened...

READ MORE