|Johnson Controls Metasys building management system has been installed in the facility
Buckman Laboratories International, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of specialty chemicals. The company’s products and materials are applied in the pulp and paper, water treatment, leather, coatings and plastics, wood and agriculture industries. At its corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, Buckman called on Johnson Controls, Inc. to maintain its existing building automation system. The service contract will save Buckman approximately 18 percent in HVAC operations and maintenance costs, protect existing assets and provide a migration path to newer technologies.
In 1945 Buckman Laboratories started with one product, one 50-gallon process vessel and four employees in a small house in Memphis. Recently, the company is a global business producing more than 700 different products and employing more than 1,300 people in 90 countries. Buckman now works with industry worldwide to provide advanced chemical treatment technologies and extensive technical service to resolve a variety of complex industrial problems. The company’s expertise spans a broad range of specialty chemicals including microbicides, scale inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, polymers, dispersants and defoamers.
Buckman’s corporate headquarters comprises more than 300,000 square feet of traditional offices along with research and development space, including laboratories. The building’s mixed environments require efficient and effective operation of HVAC, fire and security equipment and controls to ensure the comfort and safety of building occupants.
No longer satisfied with the costs associated with maintaining its existing equipment and controls, Wendell Rose, senior project manager – operations, for Buckman invited Johnson Controls to submit a proposal for maintenance and repair of these systems.
“We also wanted to upgrade our aging Honeywell system without spending a large amount of capital for a new system,” says Rose. “Johnson Controls presented a solution that provided service for the existing system while allowing us to integrate newer technologies through an organised plan of replacement.”
“Quick response time in these situations is critical and Johnson Controls provides that”
Service strategies protect assets and budget
While Buckman wished to upgrade the existing controls system, it was necessary to maintain, support and repair this system until a planned replacement could be budgeted. Under a five-year planned service agreement, Johnson Controls is responsible for repair and maintenance of the controls system, mechanical equipment and fire alarm and security systems.
“Johnson Controls third-party service capabilities played out very quickly, proving we were no longer locked into a proprietary service situation. And, their service strategies provided more than an 18 percent savings in HVAC operations and preventive maintenance costs over our previous provider,” says Rose.
Under the service agreement Johnson Controls technicians work closely with Buckman’s maintenance staff to make sure equipment is operating efficiently. “Because of the nature of this international headquarters facility, equipment or controls downtime can cause serious problems and setbacks,” states Rose. “Quick response time in these situations is critical and Johnson Controls provides that.”
Together, Buckman and Johnson Controls monitor equipment performance to determine whether replacement should be considered.
An organised plan of replacement for older equipment and controls is already underway. “The plan will allow us to carry the replacement costs over years instead of months,” states Rose.
Integrating newer technologies
To accommodate new equipment and controls, a Johnson Controls Metasys® building management system has
Johnson Controls Web-based Metasys system provides increased monitoring and control capabilities
been installed in the facility. The system allows the seamless integration of new equipment over time while maximising the life of existing systems.
The building’s HVAC controls, fire alarm system and a new Johnson Controls Cardkey security system have already been integrated with the Metasys system. “A chemical release alarm has also been integrated with the system. In the event there is a chemical leak in the processing plant adjacent to the headquarters building, the system will shut down the building’s air handlers,” explains Rose.
The Web-based Metasys system provides increased monitoring and control capabilities along with enhanced data analysis, reporting and trending. Graphic displays have already been developed to represent the remaining Honeywell system. “We are able to operate both systems from a single-seat platform and remotely as needed. Greater flexibility and control provide improved performance, even of third-party equipment,” says Rose.
According to Rose, plans are being put in place for additional upgrades as they make sense financially and with respect to the life of equipment. “I am happy with what we’ve accomplished and what we are working towards. Working with Johnson Controls has been a good experience. We value the relationship and have found their service staff to be experts at their jobs,” says Rose.