Category Archive: Sigma Thermal Products

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

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...


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...