Asphalt Plant Burner Controls Give Operators Ability to Use Two Fuel Sources Simultaneously


A recent innovation in burner technology from the Vulcan Asphalt Group now allows asphalt plant operators to use more than one burner fuel at the same time, and adjust how much fuel is coming from each source.

How MINDS’ BurnerControl plant software helps operators maximize profitability while minimizing costs

How MINDS’ BurnerControl plant software helps operators maximize profitability while minimizing costs

MINDS Inc. is in a unique position to be able to help its customers take advantage of an unprecedented development in burner technology, with its innovative asphalt plant burner control software.

Plant operators have always needed the ability to change up the fuel source for their asphalt plant burners. With burner fuels — including liquid fuels like diesel and waste oil and vapour fuels such as liquefied natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas — often varying in their cost and availability based on market forces, plant operators need asphalt plant burner controls that allow them to toggle between fuel sources.

Many burner manufacturers have combination fuel burners that allow plant operators to use their asphalt plant burner controls to toggle between two fuel sources, usually by first stopping the burner, flipping the fuel source switch, and starting it back up again on the new fuel. But a recent innovation in burner technology from the Vulcan Asphalt Group now allows asphalt plant operators to use more than one burner fuel at the same time, and adjust how much fuel is coming from each source.

“One of the things that happens in different areas of the country is a customer may be able to get a gas supply, but can’t get enough gas — especially during certain times of the year — to run the burner at maximum capacity,” says Len Newton, who does field service work with Reliable Asphalt Products and is the U.S. eastern seaboard project manager for MINDS. “Now they have the ability to operate with multiple fuels, use whatever gas supply is there and supplement it with another supply like oil, waste oil, fuel oil of any kind, and to adjust how much of each they’re using on the fly.”

This is an unprecedented development in burner technology, Newton says, and asphalt plant operators are interested in adopting the new burner. MINDS Inc. is in a unique position to be able to help its customers take advantage of it. MINDS’ BurnerControl process control technology — which can be integrated into a complete plant control system or installed as a standalone piece of software — has been adapted to allow asphalt plant operators to optimally control the Vulcan burner.

“As soon as I found that burner, I approached MINDS about modifying its asphalt plant burner controls to allow it to use the burner’s capabilities, and it was pretty easy for them to do it,” Newton says. “Right now, nobody’s burner controller — and I mean nobody’s — has that capability other than the MINDS BurnerControl.”

This means operators will have more opportunities going forward to maximize their profitability while minimizing their costs, by keeping up a production level that’s viable. “It allows you to use what fuel is available without impacting your production capabilities.”

In addition to being the only asphalt plant software on the market with this unique ability, BurnerControl is a versatile, advanced system that offers four analog or digital channels for an easy retrofit of any burner. The controls can be finely tuned and profiled with separate air/fuel ratio control points, twice as many as what’s currently found on the market and allowing for maximum efficiency.

BurnerControl has the same internet capabilities and 24-hour support as MINDS’ automation software. “You can get offsite support literally at any time.”

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