Industry Insights

Together We Can: U.S. Water and Ethanol Industry Exports

Expansion of the volume of ethanol exported to the rest of the world is critical to profitability and expansion of the industry. Exports continue to set records (927 million gallons in the first seven months of 2018) but can be limited by challenges created by inconsistency in quality specifications and the methods used to guarantee them. U.S. Water has stepped forward in the last two years to help our [...]

Boiler Feedwater – Making the Case for Reverse Osmosis

Boiler feedwater is comprised of two very important, and increasingly expensive resources, steam condensate return and city (or well) makeup water. The condensate is valuable due to low electrical conductance, purity and high temperature. The makeup water is valuable because it is being overused and under conserved in many parts of the country, making the cost of water rise in almost all parts of the United States. [...]

Protecting Your Power Plant from Corrosion During Downtime

In the Power industry, every minute is critical. A smooth plant start-up is vital to operations, and directly linked to lay-up procedures. A thorough understanding of critical lay-up and start-up strategies & procedures, paired with a proper corrosion control protection program can prevent unscheduled downtime, reduce operating costs and increase plant reliability. In the gas fired combined cycle market, [...]

An Emerging Dichotomy in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)

Despite industry utilizing the internet for communications to “things” far before the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) terminology, much focus was put on the consumer market as the general IoT began to develop. This could be due to innovators focusing on the perceived higher volume of “things” required for the consumer market or the ability for the average innovator to have a deeper [...]

Considering an Ethanol Plant Expansion?

Many biofuel plants are expanding operations to increase ethanol production. Often when plants move forward with expansion efforts, the adverse impact on system efficiencies, such as cooling, is overlooked. Without proper evaluation of the existing cooling system operation, plants could spend additional capital on an unnecessary cooling tower expansion or experience an increase in operational costs if the existing [...]

A Closer Look at Food & Beverage Industry Certifications

Food & Beverage (F&B) facilities make products that are intended for human consumption, therefore food safety is always an area of major concern. For over a century, compliance with the rules and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have  been a driving force in the F&B processing industry, and it’s their regulation that guides [...]

Custom Plant Controls Upgrade Optimizes Aging Ethanol Facility Performance

Multiple Midwestern ethanol facilities within the same organization were experiencing controls failure due to aging PLC and HMI equipment. Current plant control equipment was more than ten years old and had reached end of life. The outdated equipment caused plant shutdowns and a loss in production, which can cost up to $10,000 per hour. U.S. Water recommended an integrated controls upgrade solution to prevent future [...]

Networking 101

For decades now, the ubiquity of the internet has been essential to modern life. Services like email, Google, and Amazon have connected us to each other, the vast collective knowledge of humankind, and brought literally whatever we desire to our doorsteps with just a few motions of our fingers. Like any widely adopted technology, the internet’s popularity relies on the principle that users need not know how it [...]

An Introduction to Industrial Use of Technology for Non-Techies

It’s increasingly obvious to me that the gap in the general understanding of technology is continuously increasing with those that are not working in the space every day. I am referring to industrial technology versus the general consumer technology market. The consumer technology market has made our lives easier, simplifying tasks and adding entertainment with intuitive technology that most [...]

Options for Industrial Water Reuse

Every day in the U.S., more than 355 billion gallons of water are withdrawn from surface and ground water sources to serve industry and the public, according to a 2010 report from the U.S. Geological Survey. As the strain on water sources steadily increases, it is critical for all water users to work towards water conservation. The primary drivers towards water recycling and reuse practices are environmental [...]

Water Softener System Maintenance & Troubleshooting

A water softener system is one of a facility’s the best methods of defense against scale formation due to hard water on heat transfer surfaces, such as heat exchangers and boilers. In addition to a savings in energy, water and chemical costs, a well maintained softener can extend piping and equipment life. Some of the most common issues an operator may experience when maintaining water softener equipment is [...]

Boiler Automation Programs Ensure System Protection & Reliability

Monitoring and controlling a boiler’s internal treatment program is one of the best ways to prevent system downtime and avoid major repair costs. Common equipment problems, such as corrosion, scale and deposition can result in over $60,000 in repair costs and 2-3 days of downtime. Implementing a boiler automation program offers facilities the system protection and reliability required to run efficiently and [...]