Boiler House Rules

EP Editorial Staff | March 14, 2011


We’ve all heard that “knowledge is power,” and it truly is with boilers. But how does this phrase apply from a business perspective?  

To begin with, an average high-pressure steam boiler consumes four times its initial cost in fuel the first year of its operation. Sound amazing? Then you also need to understand that the average cost of fueling a boiler operation in an average process industry already exceeds $1,000,000 per year. This is real money—which adds significantly to the operating cost of the business.

Additionally, given the fact that boilers are the heart of a process: If they fail, thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars can be wasted in product loss or extended downtime.

Remember, too, that boilers are a key safety concern. If compromised, they can cause substantial harm to life, limb and property, thereby driving capital and insurance costs to the extreme, to say nothing about the physical and emotional human impacts that responsible businesses strive to avoid.

On top of all this, as the cost of fuel continues to escalate, your already high fixed and variable boiler-system operating costs are growing. Note, however, that you can substantially reduce such costs (by as much as 15-20% on average)—that is, if there is the knowledge and desire to implement necessary change(s).

Where does that type of knowledge and desire come from?
Soundly constructed and professionally delivered training programs aimed at various levels of operating personnel can make a dramatic difference in reducing costs and exposure by simply raising the awareness level of operating personnel.  We are looking for behavioral changes here, and it begins with heightened awareness of the boiler, its supporting accessories and their impact on the costs associated with energy, sustainability, reliability and safety.

The heightened awareness then blossoms into understanding and appreciation of the importance of boiler-room knowledge and the key role that the individual plays in effective use of this knowledge. This includes having an understanding of the nuances of boiler operation, as well as the cost impacts that boilers, accessories and systems have on a business if they’re not operated and maintained in the best way possible. Here is where the behavior change begins to occur—with a favorable shift in attitude once people understand and appreciate what they are responsible for.

That’s why comprehensive, effective training is so important. Whether delivered over the Web, in open regional courses, at dedicated training facilities or through specifically tailored on-site programs, it can positively impact the bottom line.

Isn’t it time to get serious about a boiler training program for your company (and begin capturing the economic benefits it will surely power)? MT

Cleaver-Brooks is a world-renowned provider of efficient boiler-room products and system solutions for any size application. As the pioneer of packaged boilers, we’re the only manufacturer in the world to offer an entirely integrated boiler-room solution backed by a world-class representative sales and service network. Learn more at

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