Industrial Furnace recently completed a process training package for a Wastewater Treatment Facility in Toronto, ON, CA. The main purpose of this training was to provide the operations staff with a better understanding of both the overall process as well as the finer details of operating the furnace from a hands-on perspective. It is was also important throughout this session to outline how the process, when operating optimally, removes pollutants from the sludge and flue gas streams and ultimately provides the environment with now cleaned elements in process water and off-gasses.

Starting with a bird’s eye view of the overall process helped to break down the individual subsystems later in the training, so fully illustrating via P&IDs the mapping of where the process flows was extremely critical. From there, an in depth look at how subsystems should work in conjunction with each other to balance the process breaks the overall process down a bit more. Finally, understanding the intricacies of each subsystem, including its strong points and faults, alarms, and operating parameters brought the entire training together.

The final element of this training was an operator walkthrough on the plant floor. This provided to be a very insightful activity because, as with any plant, the operators have some of the best information regarding how their individual site runs. From the first out of five trainings, we identified some major bottlenecks in the overall process as well as how those bottlenecks affected the process within the Multiple Hearth Furnaces themselves. This not only aided the operators in how to alter their process for better throughput, but also pinpointed some trouble points for the management staff to look into when trying to improve the overall system. The operator walkthrough ultimately brought all the information outlined in the classroom session together.

These types of training sessions are great because they get everyone, from operators on the process floor to senior engineers in the office, sharing information to improve their site as a whole. Getting these different perspectives on the same page is critical in creating a fluid process and positive work environment.