Automation Of Steam Boilers

Horner XL6e - Automation of Steam Boilers

Boiler Factory Sefako S.A. is one of the largest boiler producers in Poland.

During its almost 40-year history it has produced more than 8000 boilers.

For several years, Sefako has been a Certified Partner of ASTOR - the result of the cooperation is the steam boiler control system.

What was the need?

Why did we decide to use a controller in the steam system?

"First of all, because this solution limits the space required in the control room. In the steam boiler there are several control systems, including water level, vacuum exhaust, salinity etc. To monitor all of these parameters we would need either separate regulators for each of them, or (like here) only a small Horner controller with built-in multiple PID controllers" - says Paweł Mrówka, the automation engineer from Sefako.

New technology

The first such application (connecting a steam boiler to Horner equipment) was implemented in 2009. Since Sefako's goal was not only to control the boiler automatically, but also to create a user friendly system, it was decided to use the integrated solution from Horner, equipped with a color touch screen - XL6e. This way the operator has seamless access to all measurements made ​​during the operation, and accurate data on the processes.

"And again, we're back to the use of space. If you want the same information displayed on the synoptic board, you would need to take a lot more space on the cabinet. When using a panel such as XL6, then all alarms and measurements (about 20 different ones) can be clearly shown on one compact screen. Total cost of the investment is also a key aspect, fortunately XL6 is one of those solutions having a very attractive value to cost factor. Also the programming/configuration software (Cscape) is completely free. "- adds the engineer.

What's important, Horner XL6e is equipped with two serial, two USB, a CAN and Ethernet ports. The above plus the fact that the serial ports have the possibility of operating more than twenty different communication protocols make the XL6e a central hub that can communicate with all parts of the automation system (even located remotely). Open communication such as this greatly simplifies service and makes the installation process almost seamless. Remote programming/debugging and datallogging (MicroSD port included) functionality helps maintaining the system every day.

Keeping the exact work history of the system is very important - both for users and system integrators. Having it stored in a proper format gives us the ability to read all the parameters of the boiler (steam flow, grid load, fuel parameters) with high accuracy over the chosen period of time.


Over the last three years Sefako Boiler Factory has already implemented 11 such solutions - each works flawlessly. The end users are mainly smaller companies - garden plants, district heating plants, breweries, processing plants or feed manufacturers. The creation of the first application took Sefako about a month, now each new system is made in a day or two. Only minor modifications are necessary, these are due to the customer needs and technical details, safety, etc.

"Our system for boiler control, which we have designed, works well in many installations. The demand for such solutions is growing and this is because of its reliability as well as the increasing prices on the energy market."


Polish companies are increasingly turning to new technologies, which provides them with control over production processes as well as convenience. With the ability to remotely monitor and control the system it is possible to set up a SMS notification, so that in the event of alarm (or multiple alarms) the selected phone owners get the news as soon as the situation occurs. The owner of the company can easily go on vacation without constantly worrying about the situation at the plant.

"For us, as a manufacturer of steam boilers and control system security, the use of Horner's XL6 has so many advantages: archiving process data allows us - in case of warranty claims - to discover the true cause of the fault and determine who was responsible. This saves not only money, but also time that can be invested in developing new business projects. "- sums up Paweł Mrówka at Boiler Factory Sefako S.A.