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A client asked Hough Associates, Inc. to work on a problem on their PLC Networks.  The project was a turn key project by others in which there was trouble with startup.  Within one week of access to the site, Hough Associates, Inc. had identified all network problems.  Subsequently we were asked to do a safety analysis of the projects hardware/software and checkout to bring it up to the client’s safety standard.  The work was a success and helped client avoid losing market share.
Batch Process
A client’s project that was designed and installed by others, was already over one year in trying to start the process.  Hough Associates, Inc. was asked to look at the entire scope of project, make recommendations, and finish the project through startup.  In this case Hough Associates had to revamp some process items, reprogram PLC functions, rework electrical controls, and provide safety systems to bring the project up to the client standards and maintain required accuracy.  Cost savings on this work was deemed to be greater than our total fees.

Classified Areas
A new client asked Hough Associates, Inc. to take a look at a fire and explosion on their site.   We were able to identify various hazardous conditions which lead to the incident.  We worked with the client and their insurance investigator to recommend a cost effective and code compliant solution for this project.

Hough Associates, Inc. was asked to investigate a fire on an existing dow vaporizer.  In reviewing the project, that had been installed one year earlier, we determined that the design and installation were not per code.  It was resolved that the construction and design errors were the cause of the incident.  Hough Associates, Inc. did a complete redesign and assisted with construction management enabling the client to bring the unit up to meet their customer’s demands, in a timely fashion.

Environmental Upset
A client called Hough Associates, Inc. regarding an existing installation in which they had an instantaneous phase reversal in a product decanter.  Their original request was to look for instrumentation that would work to identify the phase reversal and stop the flow of hazardous material to the environment.  After an engineering investigation Hough Associates, Inc. was able to identify a spare process vessel that could be used as a secondary decanter, allowing time for the identification of any phase reversal.  Hough Associates, Inc. reworked the process and instrumentation providing for an environmentally safe installation.

Reactors Autoclaves Pelletizers
After providing complete engineering and design for the reactors and autoclaves for this client, Hough Associates, Inc. was asked to interface pelletizers to the process.  Our process/mechanical staff was quick to identify the insufficient flow and hot water problems associated with our client’s process and was able to provide solutions, saving our client yearly expenses.  This was accomplished by cutting the actual water requirements by 40% and also cutting energy requirements, at the very same time.  Our staff also engineered an automatic ingredient calibration system which mimicked the process.  Our instrument engineers were able to work with our client in minimizing the thermal effects caused by cold ingredients injected into a very hot process vessel.  Using advanced control strategies, our integration staff was able to provide cost effective solutions in order to maintain precise hot water flows and temperatures required by the process for providing quality product.  Our staff rewrote the code for both the PLC equipment and operator interface to integrate the newer process requirements.

Cost Savings

Hough Associates, Inc. provided mechanical, electrical, instrument, and integration designs for this project through the checkout, startup and commissioning for the system. Our staff engineered the switching and control logic to safely switch between fuel oil and multiple waste streams, automatically.  They did this while maintaining strict EPA limits for the different category waste feeds using “Override” switching control strategies.  Operators are able to modify the primary feed up to specified limits to maximize the cost benefits.  Strategies for back calculating waste fuel  heat content was provided using the incinerator itself as a calorimeter for approximate determinations for these values.  By maintaining the tight control over their process, cost savings well over and above our total fees were achieved by the client and continue to add value every year in fuel savings.

Waste Conveyor
Hough Associates, Inc. was asked to provide operational and maintenance access to six (6) glove boxes and a maintenance area.  Requirements included horizontal motion of a trolley and vertical motion of a drop bucket at each station.  The conveyor had interlocking of the motions using only five busses providing forward and reverse trolley motion and up and down bucket motions, all synched and interlocked with three safety switches on the five buses.  The conveyor was programmed to allow the operator to call or send the trolley to any of the drop stations.

Analyzer Sample System
Hough Associates, Inc. was asked to provide a design for the gas heaters for an analyzer and sample system.  Hough Associates, Inc. also recommended an auto flow control system for up to twenty sample lines, enabling the client to switch multiple gases without having to re-calibrate each time a different analysis was run.  We also fabricated and checked out the analyzer in our facility.  These features saved the client in waste gas and analytical time in setup and recalibration.

Matrix Full Spectrum Project
Hough Associates, Inc. along with other companies in our matrix worked putting an R & D, high pressure and temperature autoclave in service within eleven months from estimate and front end loading, through startup.  All equipment was specified and installed using the matrix organization.  The autoclave was in an extremely hazardous area.  This was an example of how well our matrix team worked together to bring a grass roots project from fruition to completion in a timely and cost effective manner.

Katrina Recovery
After Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf region, Hough Associates, Inc. was contacted by a client to assist in getting their plant back on line, quickly.  Besides providing manpower to the site, Hough Associates, Inc. rebuilt many of their analyzers in order to get the plant back in running mode.  A couple of the analyzers were shipped up to our shop in New Castle, repaired and later shipped back down south and installed.

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