ML 100 Awards
lockheed.png“The upgrade achieves state-of-the-art NOx emission reductions, along with a monitoring system that provides accurate and reliable emissions records.” —Mike Packer, Production VP, Lockheed Martin



A breakthrough software-based approach to emissions monitoring saves the aerospace company $1 million

When the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently issued regulations requiring manufacturing companies to use continuous monitoring systems that provide reliable and accurate emissions data, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics decided to search for a software remedy rather than replace its existing predictive emissions monitoring system (PEMS).

The result was a breakthrough neural-network prediction model, developed using Rockwell’s Software CEM (Continuous Emissions Monitoring) application. The project saved Lockheed Martin $1 million in upfront and ongoing maintenance costs.

At Lockheed Martin’s Air Force Plant 4 in Fort Worth, where the company produces military aircraft for the United States and a number of foreign governments, three large industrial boilers at the central boiler plant had recently been upgraded to emit extremely low concentrations of mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) gases by employing Ultra-Low NOx burner technologies. The neural-network prediction model was custom tailored for these new burners.

The CEM software offers a model-based approach to monitoring and testing emissions for natural-gas-fired boilers. The standardized software application does not require the use of calibration gases and is not exposed to corrosive elements.

Software CEM uses a sensor validation system to detect sensor failures and set appropriate alarms. It then uses existing sensors to generate a model of all sensors in the process. This allows for data validation during a sensor failure so that accurate emissions predictions can continue for near-100% uptime.

Once the upgrade was completed, Rockwell Automation adapted the world’s first software-based PEMS to meet monitoring standards for Ultra-Low NOx boiler emissions at Lockheed Martin.

“The recent boiler upgrade has provided Lockheed Martin Aeronautics with boilers that achieve state-of-the-art NOx emission reductions, along with an emissions monitoring system that provides accurate and reliable emissions records at the lowest possible cost,” says Mike Packer, production VP at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin saved up to $1 million in the total cost of ownership versus installing, operating, and maintaining a hardware-based CEM. It also reduced the risk of fines associated with monitor downtime and compliance costs. Lockheed Martin also saved $500,000 by not deploying a hardware CEM, with an additional $50,000 per year maintenance savings on a 10-year lifecycle.