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Tag Archives: comic strips

It’s Not Alive!

It’s common for an industrial plant to have openings to in the roof, especially when these plants have furnaces or ovens. A vent line allows excess combustible gases to exit to atmosphere, and a flue might allow the same for products of combustion inside the furnace chamber. Placement of these vents and flues should be Read More

Don’t Choke Your Furnace

Industrial furnaces require periodic maintenance to ensure efficiency and continued operation. Much of this maintenance can be performed by properly trained plant technicians, rather than relying on outside support. Depending on size and design, your furnace probably has two main input lines: one for natural gas (or some other combustible gas), and one for air. Read More

How Low is Your Purge Time?

The purge sequence is essential to the safety of personnel and the continued integrity of equipment. Purging the furnace of combustible gases from the furnace atmosphere considerably reduces the risk of an “event.” Safety should always come first, but it’s not uncommon to find purge timers in old panels with the dial pegged at zero. Read More

Commissioning Shouldn’t Take a (Literal) Lifetime

In the past, everything took forever. Lifespans were shorter, the world was larger, and mysteries were everywhere. We’ve progressed to the point where we can hardly stand to wait for anything, and yet, one still hears stories of excruciatingly lengthy furnace commissioning. The progression from construction to useful production on your new industrial furnace should Read More

The Proper Way to Light a Burner

Something we share in common with most other animals in nature is a drive for individual survival and the survival of the species. If your environment happens to include industrial furnaces and/or ovens, employing the proper way to light a burner is key to the safety of yourself and those around you. Our ability to Read More

The Mysterious Art of Burner Tuning

Burners should be tuned on a regular basis to capture peak performance and efficiency. Referencing the manufacturer’s literature and keeping a log of past settings makes tuning the modern burner a straightforward and scientific task. Once you know how to tune burners, watching the uninitiated try their hand at it can be amusing at best, Read More

Heat Rises?

There’s a common misconception that heat rises. It does not. Heat radiates equally in all directions. The misunderstanding comes from the true and observable statement that, relative to cooler air, hot air rises. That’s why hot air balloons work, also why many politicians have excellent posture. For commercial and industrial heating, knowing that heat and Read More

Don’t Choke Your Furnace

Baron von Olsträd’s Sketchbook #7 In today’s illustration, the Baron attempts to appeal to our humanity by depicting a personified furnace, suffocating for want of oxygen. Combustion furnaces should be equipped with filters, both on the gas and air lines, which must be checked periodically for blockage. The job of a filter is to strain Read More

How Low is Your Purge Time?

Baron von Olsträd’s Sketchbook #6 The Baron’s latest doodle imagines a dangerous game where irresponsibility is rewarded. For those of you who might not know, “purge time” is a phrase commonly used to refer to the length of time given to changing the atmosphere in a furnace, prior to lighting the burners. This is a Read More


Baron von Olsträd’s Sketchbook #5 The Baron’s new comic illustrates the flaws of doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. In one example, the only impacts to this behavior are frustration and a lingering thirst. In the other example, frustration certainly plays a part, though the additional consequences can be Read More


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