SAVINGS CASE STUDY: GLASS & CERAMICS – Combustion Optimization


A North American container glass manufacturer, using MMI high temperature oxygen sensors, reduced fuel consumption by $120,000 in the first year. This is a twelve-fold Return On Investment on an installed cost of less than $10,000.

Over the past several years, as fuel costs have increased and emissions requirements have become more stringent, industries world-wide have struggled with methods for reducing their fuel expense and emissions. Within the glass industry, several major glass manufacturers have looked to MMI high temperature oxygen sensing technology to help control fuel usage and emissions in their container and float glass furnaces.

One company, a container glass manufacturer here in North America, installed MMI OxyFire sensors and controls in one furnace. This manufacturer operates a reversing, end-fired furnace with two re-generators. They placed one sensor in the centerline of each regenerator. The sensor’s' outputs were tied to an MMI instrument. The instrument uses the sensor signals to calculate oxygen concentration and allows the supervisory system to adjust the fuel/air ratio as needed. After more than 14 months of operation, the customer has seen significant reduction in fuel usage. By using the MMI oxygen sensors to trim the fuel/air ratio they have achieved fuel cost savings in excess of $120,000 per year. This customer was able to reduce fuel consumption by 2% for every 1% reduction in excess O2. With an acquisition cost of under $10,000 for the MMI equipment, the company'’s investment has been returned more than twelve-fold and they have begun installing the sensors on other furnaces.

Prior to installing the MMI products, oxygen levels had been monitored by periodic manual sampling. The MMI OxyFire sensors allow for continuous, accurate oxygen measurement and control in the combustion zone. Reduction in excess O2 will reduce emissions of combustion by-products such as SO2, NO2 and CO. Since installation, the MMI products have performed with little maintenance. Sensor endurance in the aggressive environment of a container glass furnace is typically 18 months. Replacement is a simple process which can be performed by on-site personnel. UPC’ Applications Engineers can assist customers in selecting the proper oxygen sensor technology and sensor placement within the furnace for optimal usage.

For more information about how UPC can help you save money in your glass furnaces please contact us.