NEWS RELEASE December 2018
Subject Matter Ultra-Experts become the Foundation of the CFT Industry
Designers will become the foundation of the combust, flow and treat industry thanks to a radical change in the business environment. The term “designers” is being used in a narrow sense: “decision maker for each system component”. The purchase decision is the most important in the life of the component. If one aeration blower is sized for wet weather flow in a wastewater treatment plant rather than two blowers, the energy cost of the large inefficient blower will substantially impact treatment costs.
The FGD scrubber designs differ. One type requires twice the slurry but less pressure drop than the other. The spray tower flow is so large that only a few pump companies can supply the slurry pumps. The rod deck design can utilize less expensive pumps while not impacting fan cost. So it is important to understand the capabilities of pump and fan suppliers. A new breed of designers will be able to accurately make these decisions.
This new breed is the subject matter ultra-expert (SMUE) who will make not only the initial purchase decision but advise the purchaser throughout the life of the component. How is this possible? It is through the Internet of People (IoP). This is a term we attribute to Uwe Seebacher of Andritz. Someone in the Andritz pump group can communicate to the Andritz FGD system group at the time of the pump initial sizing and then provide expertise throughout the life of the pump (if Andritz has remote monitoring and maintenance support contract).
This Andritz SMUE will obtain and maintain his superior expertise by taking advantage of the mass of data available on each subject. This IIoT and IoP combined with organized information creates the Industrial Internet of Wisdom (IIoW).
In the U.S. power and wastewater plants have traditionally been designed by AE firms. In the rest of the world (ROW) the tradition has been for combined design and supply. Examples of large system suppliers in ROW are MHPS Sumitomo, Itochu-NAES, FLSmidth, Hitachi Zosen, GEA, Andritz, Durr, Valmet and Doosan. Two suppliers, GE and B&W are U.S based. China has created some of the largest system suppliers. Several even own the operating entities. The two largest are Shenhua–Guodian and Sinopec
Itochu-NAES has an immediate opportunity to recreate the SMUE value presently provided by Primex at two NAES plants. This third party has created IIoW around power plant dry scrubber systems. It has remote access to the OSIsoft process systems and is making major contributions to improving operations of the dry scrubber systems.
There are large companies who focus on components. They include Filtration Group, Colfax Howden, ITT, Metso, Parker Hannifin, Rockwell and Emerson. Historically these companies have been more profitable than the system suppliers. Presently GE and B&W are generating losses while many of the component companies are showing record profits. This disparity will change due to the SMUE and IIoW. GE has been a leader in IIoT but has not fully leveraged IIoW. Much of the expertise residing in the original Combustion Engineering relative to power plant processes has not been retained.
Other system suppliers are recognizing the power of IIoW. MHPS combines Mitsubishi and Hitachi power plant knowledge. Mitsubishi has a history of collaboration among diverse groups ever since it was split after World War II. The company has a 24/7 remote monitoring center in the Philippines to operate and maintain coal fired power plants in Asia.
Component suppliers will be at a disadvantage in the future unless they collaborate with system suppliers or merge with them. Colfax Howden has purchased a software company which controls mine ventilation for safety and health optimization. Howden now sells an O&M package rather than just the fans.
Mogas remains a valve manufacturer but is sponsoring the bi annual autoclave conference on High pressure Acid Leaching ( HPAL) along with Ekato and Koch-Knight as co-sponsors. These companies then obtain and maintain a high level of process knowledge even though they do not provide systems.
Hillenbrand is concentrating on highly engineered products with core technologies differentiated by applications expertise. It has acquired Abel Pump, Red Valve, Jeffrey, Gundlach, and Pennsylvania Crusher. The products are used in coal fired power, mining and other applications. It is tasked with shaping a business strategy to deal with a SMUE centric decision process. Should it buy some system companies or should it enter collaboration agreements or should it just take the Mogas approach and create special IIoW systems?
The SMUE centric decision process will increasingly impact initial purchases and O&M. Component companies will need to either merge with system companies, collaborate with them, or develop special IIoW systems.
Details on this development are found at N031 Industrial IOT and Remote O&M