Miura Boilers Deliver The Right Blend Of Consistent, Economical, "Green" Steam For RFI Ingredients
ATLANTA, April 23, 2013 – RFI Ingredients, a leader in custom extracts and nutritional supplements, touts the slogan “From Field to Formula®.” RFI’s commitment to its slogan is seen in its sourcing of a myriad of raw materials from its own sustainable farms and a global network of growers and other providers. Precision is essential for RFI’s processing of these carefully gathered ingredients, which is why the company recently took delivery on three LX-150 gas fired boilers made by Miura, the world leader in ultra-low NOx modular on-demand steam solutions. One Miura LX-150 is installed at RFI’s Loveland CO facility. Two more LX-150’s were recently delivered to the company’s Broomfield CO plant.
“We do quite a lot of work for our customers,” explains Ryan Ricketson, RFI Plant Manager. “When we originally researched boilers, we knew we needed one that could maintain a level, consistent steam pressure during normal operation as well as from a cold start. We use steam to heat our dual-drum dryers, in which we dry cereal grasses such as wheat, barley, oat, and alfalfa. Steam is also used for the heat exchangers in the heating loops used for making liquid extracts, and for the fully jacketed tanks used for fermentation, batch pasteurization, and/or liquid blending. As a result, the pressure of that steam versus its temperature must be very precise for what we do.”
Miura boilers are microprocessor-controlled for precision operation, and employ a unique “once-through” fin-tube design that heats a smaller volume of water more efficiently than other boilers. This design enables Miura boilers to generate full steam from a cold start in five minutes or less. This on-demand steam capability enables Miura boilers to be turned on or off as needed to efficiently manage changing load conditions, as opposed to idling in stand-by and consuming energy. The combination of microprocessor-control technology and on-demand steam also conserves fuel, saving an average of 20 percent annually on energy costs over other boiler designs for typical installations.
“You can shut the Miura boiler down at the end of the day, turn it on the first thing next morning, have a quick recovery time and be up to full steam, and it will run all day,” Ricketson adds. “That said, lately we’re so busy that we are running two full shifts Monday through Friday in Loveland, and our Miura boiler there stays on seven days a week.”
Long Warranty, Low Emissions
“As a new company that had never used a boiler, we did a lot of research before we bought our Miura LX-150’s,” Ricketson advises. “We found that not only is Miura a popular brand in our area with breweries and hospitals, Miura boilers have a seven-year warranty. Had we chosen a traditional fire-tube boiler the warranty would have been good for maybe 30 days – or at most a year. Also, Miura’s footprint is so compact we were able to build a much smaller boiler room, which gave us more production space for larger blenders and other equipment. When you’re a growing company, space is incredibly valuable to you. There’s no way we could have fit a horizontally configured fire tube boiler into our Loveland facility.”
In addition to the on-demand steam and energy-conservation benefits of Miura boilers – as compared to conventional boilers – Miura also outputs reduced levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a major contributor to air pollution, as well as carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent of greenhouse gases. Miura boilers achieve low-NOx performance by reducing the temperature of the boiler’s flame, which in turn reduces the amount of excited nitrogen atoms available to bond with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides. As a result of this, NOx emissions are reduced to around one-quarter of what traditional fire-tube boilers emit. This enables Miura boilers to comply with even the most stringent air-quality regulations. With regard to reduced CO2 emissions, Miura’s technology leverages superior operating efficiency to contribute significant carbon abatement with a payback.
“I call Miura our ‘green’ boilers,” Ricketson notes. “Colorado has strict emissions rules, and that is another reason why Miura boilers are so important to us. You don’t see a giant plume of gas coming out of the stack on our roof, which is great because we also have to maintain the look of our building. From the outside, you can’t tell what kind of work we do in here. That’s why we’re proud to show off our Miura to all of our tour groups.”
Further contributing to its green, energy-saving performance is Miura’s innovative BL Micro Controller Boiler Control System. This built-in precision computer technology constantly measures multiple individual monitoring points and provides operational status on pressure, temperature, and other factors on an easy-to-read built-in control panel. A self-diagnostic feature, it identifies any problems that might arise and suggests solutions displayed as plain, descriptive English on an easy-to-read LED screen. The control panel also includes a green/yellow/red light display for immediate, at-a-glance status updates seen easily from a distance.
“We have a window that looks into the boiler room, so you can actually check the status as you’re walking past,” Ricketson notes. “As a company that hadn’t had a boiler before this, it is very important to have one that’s user-friendly. Any time I have had a caution or a warning, the boiler has clearly defined what it was. The machine communicates all cautions and warnings via the control panel in a simple, easy to understand format, thus eliminating guesswork. I can call out a repair tech and provide them with a diagnosis of the issue before they are even on site. It’s an incredible time and money-saver, and for a guy like me who doesn’t want to watch a boiler all day long, that’s priceless.”
This BL Micro Controller Boiler Control System can also be accessed via the Internet using Miura Online Maintenance (MOM) for remote monitoring and diagnostics. MOM comes standard with every Miura boiler. “The ability for this machine to dial call out and report any problems is, I think, just brilliant,” Ricketson says. “I’m working with Miura on establishing this ability 24/7 via the Internet.”
“Overall I’ve been very happy and pleased with Miura boilers, and the Miura support people in Dallas are outstanding,” Ricketson adds. “They are accessible when I need help. We are committed to Miura because of the workability of their boilers and their customer service, which is what counts. I’m in the business of nutritional supplements and natural extracts, not the business of making steam. With Miura, we can leave that to the boilers, and they do that very well.”