Blackburn Chemicals Ltd

Blackburn Chemicals Ltd, a world leader in foam control and antifoaming solutions, has installed a range of Babcock Wanson process heating systems into its Lancashire factory as part of a major expansion programme.


Process Heating Solutions Supports Chemical Plant Expansion

Blackburn Chemicals is a family run company, founded in 1972, supplying a wide range of industries, including paper, food, paint and textiles, in over 50 countries. The company has been expanding production on site and most recently, since 2015, has invested over £8m on new plant and equipment which will help double production in different sectors.

As part of the expansion programme, Blackburn Chemicals has installed an EPC1000ES Thermal Fluid Heater to heat process vessels, a 2500kg/h VPX Rapid Steam Generator to heat storage vessels and an HEB 850 Hot Water Boiler to heat the process water, all from Babcock Wanson.

The Client Reaction

A long standing customer, Blackburn Chemicals has benefitted from a range of Babcock Wanson process heating systems over the years, including most recently in 2012 an HEB 300 Hot Water Boiler. Blackburn Chemicals’ Factory Manager Nicola Lord comments: “We have found Babcock Wanson equipment to be efficient and reliable and we always receive a good service from them.”

The Babcock Wanson EPC ES is a fully automatic coil type, multi-pass Thermal Fluid Heater which provides optimal distribution of the heat, high fluid velocity in the exchange tubes and continuous flow monitoring to ensure long fluid life and the highest level of safety. The EPC ES precisely matches fuel input to plant energy requirements and include their own in-built exhaust gas to combustion air economiser for highest practicable operating efficiency. With lower energy input demand also comes lower total exhaust emissions, so there are also environmental benefits.

The VPX vertical coil Steam Generator from Babcock Wanson features three full gas passes, plus an in-built combustion air pre heater to give high operating efficiency. With availability of steam from cold start in as little as three minutes and a low volume of water under pressure the VPX Steam Generator combines efficiency with safety, even at very high working pressure. The VPX is rugged in construction and very compact, requiring no additional devices normally associated with fire tube boilers which in turn means less boiler house manning demands.

The HEB Hot Water Boiler used at Blackburn Chemicals is a forced-circulation, fully automatic, oil or gas fired packaged unit, specifically designed for high efficiency and long working life. The reverse flame design provides optimum furnace loading and the radial firetube assembly minimises material stresses. A reversible front door allows simple and quick access for inspection of the combustion chamber and reversal tubes without the need to remove the burner.


Customer Testimonials

Loucas Antoniou, Engineering Manager at Bakkavor Meals London

“The Thermal Oxidiser is the most efficient way of removing any smells and it’s also very straightforward to use.  We have been a customer of Babcock Wanson for many years and have always enjoyed a good service.”

Carbon Trust Annual Report 2009/10

“A major carbon footprint reduction will be achieved when the scheme currently in progress to change the main boiler fuel from heating oil to gas is completed in summer 2010. This £900k project will reduce our carbon emissions via energy usage by around 15% by removing the need to use heavy fuel oil, as the new boiler plant will use natural gas as its main fuel source.”

Webster & Horsfall

“What we hadn’t expected initially though is the level of control the new system provides us with; it’s amazing. It alerts us to any potential issues, is easy to maintain (no annual statutory inspection is required) and is quick to respond. All that and it doesn’t take up much room.”

Peter Connolly, Production Engineer at Vacu-Lug

“The ESM 2000 installation, together with an ongoing programme of process plant lagging and steam trap maintenance, has enabled us to significantly reduce our gas usage and cushion the company against rising gas prices.”

Dave Scrivens, Facilities Manager at Plastic Omnium

“Babcock Wanson’s expertise and ability to provide a whole package made them the leading contender for this project. On further investigation, their proposal was also commercially viable, which sealed the deal.”

Denis Kelly, Engineering & Construction Manager at Stolthaven Dagenham

“The Thermal Fluid Heaters themselves were ideal for this project as they are based on mature technology and are well proven in the field. They are robust and also require very little maintenance.”

Ian McQuarrie, Engineering Manager at Puredrive

“During my three years here, the Steam Generators and Thermal Fluid Heaters have worked flawlessly. Babcock Wanson carries a good name in the business for both quality and equipment longevity. Their knowledge, company wide, is exceptional and the whole package from installation through to service is managed professionally.”

Jason Hall, J&A Young Engineering Manager

“We had estimated our steam requirements, but Babcock Wanson had the experience to understand that we had underestimated this. In fact, the erratic nature of the steam loads would have been impossible to meet under our existing spec. Babcock Wanson was able to identify this as well as provide a very energy efficient solution with a number of enhanced features”.

Lee Bullen, Corrugated Services Manager at Board24

“It’s running very well, both easy to use and efficient. The service from Babcock Wanson has also been very good.”

Peter Shrimpton, Engineering Projects Manager at Bridgnorth Aluminium Ltd

"We were unfamiliar with Babcock Wanson, but we’ve had no problems with it whatsoever; you simply switch it on and it works – simple as that! The service we have received from Babcock Wanson has also been great.”

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