Olstrad Engineering
Combustion 911

How Low is Your Purge Time?

One morning not long ago, I was taking my exercise, strolling merrily along deep in thought, when I noticed that I’d strayed from my usual path. A commotion issued from one of our grand old manufactories, from which I happened to be just across the street, and I realized that I was in the industrial sector.

I queried a sooty-faced young man who attempted to rush by me, carrying two dented pails. Despite his harried appearance, the evident excitement surrounding us, and his anxiousness to retrieve some water, he replied only that one of the furnaces within the plant had suffered an “event.”

Wise as I am in these ways, I proceeded with some little caution into the structure, even though I’d yet to breakfast. My eyes swept the premises as I zeroed-in on the source of the trouble, each step serving to awaken further the thrill of the hunt within me. I felt not unlike the title character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, and briefly thought of brandishing a magnifying glass, but refrained, as I was already wearing both monocles.

I arrived at the furnace that had evidently suffered the “event” and expertly relocated those bodies blocking my way. My investigation took nary a moment, as the first thing I noticed upon opening the control panel door was that the timing device on the purge circuit had been turned all the way down – essentially, nullified. Apparently, some self-appointed productivity wizards had decided to play a game, wherein the winner would be the chap who could light the furnace most rapidly. It surely lit faster – so fast, in fact, the lads saw fit to title it an “event”. (As my students would say, they all LOST THE GAME).

The purge sequence is essential to the safety of personnel and the continued integrity of equipment. If diligence is not observed in removing combustibles from the furnace atmosphere, the risk of an “event” increases considerably. In the situation mentioned above, all of the nearby workers were fortunate enough to escape with only a scare. However, it is never acceptable to trade safety for speed. Safety must always come first!

For a combustion system that complies with all current safety requirements, contact the sharp fellows at the Olsträd Engineering Corporation.

How Low is your Purge Time