BMS cooks up savings for specialty chemical manufacturer
In 1945, Buckman Laboratories started with one product, one 50-gal process vessel, and four employees in a small house in Memphis. Today, the company is a global business producing more than 700 different products and employing more than 1,300 people in 90 countries. Buckman now works with industry worldwide to provide advanced chemical treatment technologies and extensive technical service to resolve a variety of complex industrial problems. The company's expertise spans a broad range of specialty chemicals including microbicides, scale inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, polymers, dispersants, and defoamers.
The company's corporate headquarters is comprised of more than 300,000 sq ft of traditional offices along with research and development space, including laboratories. The building's mixed environments require efficient and effective operation of HVAC, fire and security equipment and controls to ensure the comfort and safety of building occupants.
No longer satisfied with the costs associated with maintaining its existing equipment and controls, Wendell Rose, senior project manager of operations for Buckman, invited Johnson Controls to submit a proposal for maintenance and repair of these systems. "We also wanted to upgrade our aging system without spending a large amount of capital for a new system," said Rose. "Johnson Controls presented a solution that provided service for the existing system while allowing us to integrate newer technologies through an organized plan of replacement."
Optimizing the existing BAS while allowing for expansionWhile Buckman wished to upgrade the existing controls system, it was necessary to maintain, support, and repair this system until a planned replacement could be budgeted. Under a 5-yr planned service agreement, Johnson Controls is responsible for repair and maintenance of the controls system, mechanical equipment, and fire alarm and security systems. Through these strategic solutions, Buckman saves more than 18% in HVAC operations and PM costs.
Johnson Controls technicians work closely with Buckman's maintenance staff to make sure equipment is operating efficiently. "Because of the nature of this international headquarters facility, equipment or controls downtime can cause serious problems and setbacks," said Rose. "Quick response time in these situations is critical."
Together, Buckman and Johnson Controls monitor equipment performance to determine whether replacement should be considered. An organized plan of replacement for older equipment and controls is already underway. "The plan will allow us to carry the replacement costs over years instead of months," Rose said.
Integrating newer technologiesTo accommodate new equipment and controls, a Johnson Controls Metasys® BMS has been installed in the facility. The system allows the integration of new equipment over time while maximizing the life of existing systems.
The building's HVAC controls, fire alarm system, and a new Johnson Controls Cardkey security system have already been integrated with the Metasys system. "A chemical release alarm has also been integrated with the system. In the event there is a chemical leak in the processing plant adjacent to the headquarters building, the system will shut down the building's air handlers," explained Rose.
The Web-based Metasys system provides increased monitoring and control capabilities along with enhanced data analysis, reporting, and trending. Graphic displays have already been developed to represent the remaining elements of the previous system. "We are able to operate both systems from a single-seat platform and remotely as needed. Greater flexibility and control provide improved performance, even of third-party equipment," said Rose.
According to Rose, plans are being put in place for additional upgrades as they make sense financially and with respect to the life of equipment. "I am happy with what we've accomplished and what we are working towards," he said.