PFR’s History in Providing Thermal Services

PFR was founded in January 1972 to provide advanced thermal engineering services to the energy industry, specializing in software simulation of equipment used in the oil and petrochemical fields. Our software roots began with a program used to simulate air-cooled heat exchangers in the oil and utility industries. This program was well received, allowing PFR to expand its software offerings to include more complex simulations, namely fired heaters and furnaces.

In 1975, PFR began marketing the FRNC-5 mainframe program, initially developed by PFR for the Chevron Research and Development Company. The FRNC-5 program was originally developed to simulate fired heaters, furnaces, and boilers, and that continues to be its primary application to this day.

The 1980s brought an expansion to our product offerings. PFR developed and released two additional mainframe programs: FURCRAK (which models high temperature cracking furnaces like ethylene furnaces) and REFORM-3 (which models Steam-Methane Reforming furnaces). These programs expanded the furnace modelling capabilities of the PFR software suite.

Following the advent of the desktop computer, PFR released PC versions of FRNC-5PC and REFORM-3PC, their most popular simulation software products. This release, coupled with the wide availability of Windows software, brought both FRNC-5PC and REFORM-3PC to a multitude of engineers, designers, and program users that had previously not had access to such powerful tools. This allowed for rapid adoption of these programs across all areas of the oil and petrochemical industries. Today, these software programs have become the industry standard for fired heater and furnace rating, utilized by the top fired heater manufacturers, EPCs, and oil companies around the world.

In 2009, PFR was acquired by Petro-Chem Development of Heurtey Petrochem. Subsequently, Heurtey Petrochem was acquired by Axens, a wholly owned subsidiary of IFPEN. Today, PFR is a wholly owned subsidiary, but we continue to run the business with the same independence as we always have. In addition, having the support of a global entity such as Axens has allowed PFR to focus on software development and customer engagement, improving our ability to create value for our customers and the industries they support.

PFR continues to be focused on providing industry-leading fired heater simulation software and unparalleled service, training, and support for our customers worldwide.