10 Tips To Increase The Performance Of Your Gasketed Plate Heat Exchanger
Maintaining the performance of your gasketed plate heat exchanger can be a difficult task if you are unsure of where to start. A plate heat exchanger uses metal plates to transfer heat between two fluids. The corrugated plates of a gasketed plate heat exchanger are designed in a way that optimises heat transfer through a large, yet compact, total surface area. This means that the heat can be moved from one liquid or gas to another, easily and efficiently. Gasketed plate heat exchangers are readily utilised for numerous applications across industries. These industries include agriculture processing, air conditioning and heat pump solutions, bacterial and fungus processing, beverage and breweries, dairy, biotechnology, and much more. A gasketed plate heat exchanger is suitable for all types of industries and applications from heating, cooling and heat recovery, to condensation and evaporation. At Matrix Process Solutions, we want to help you optimise the performance and lifespan of your gasketed plate heat exchanger while decreasing any unnecessary costs.
Servicing To Increase Performance
Regularly servicing your heat exchangers can be the difference between hassle-free, functional operation, and running into continuous, laborious problems. A poorly functioning heat exchanger can have a heavy impact on safety measures, product quality, and energy costs. Additionally, it may lead to costly downtime or a major loss in production – all of which is incredibly risky for your business’ performance.
It is normal for all heat exchangers to decrease in performance over time, and therefore, it is important to ensure that you are sending your units off for reconditioning on a regular basis. As a master distributor of the Alfa Laval product range, we have undergone extensive ongoing training allowing us to offer Alfa Laval product range to the Australia market – while also being able to provide the same service and support you would receive from Alfa Laval. This process will allow us to reset the status of your equipment to a condition which is almost as good as new. Replace your gaskets, upgrade plates, or repair any damages by contacting a qualified engineer at Matrix Process Solutions. We can make servicing for performance, planning for downtime and ensuring the reliability of your heat exchanger a lot easier.
10 Hot Tips For Gasketed Plate Heat Exchangers
- Make sure that the operating conditions comply with the design specifications
Checking for temperature and flow rates is incredibly important in optimising the performance of your gasketed plate heat exchanger. Ensuring for chemical compatibility between your heat exchanger and your process liquids is integral as this will indicate whether your gasketed plate heat exchanger will perform at its optimal level.
- Take care upon start-up
When starting up your heat exchanger, make sure to vent it by opening and closing the valves slowly. This will help to prevent pressure surges and water hammer. Avoid excessive pressure or temperature changes and take the necessary precautions to avoid situations where pressure spikes can occur. If this is not done properly, then you may suffer the consequences through leaks and a blown-out elastomeric gasket. At Matrix Process Solutions, with assistance from Alfa Laval, we can help if this situation were to occur by providing remedies through relief valves, rupture discs, pulsation dampers, and arrestors.
- Utilise upstream filters and strainers
Using upstream filters and strainers during start-up can remove particulate fouling and protect the heat exchanger. During the working process, it’s common for first, weld beads, and other debris to get sucked into the tanks piping and consequently get pumped through the system. Suppose this debris finds its way into your heat exchanger. In that case, it may get trapped, which will result in an increase in pressure drop and a decrease in heat transfer efficiency – comprising the overall performance of your gasketed plate heat exchanger. Therefore, it’s important to keep large particles out bypassing your liquids through a strainer or separator before it enters the exchanger.
- Check for any changes in temperature, pressure or any signs of external leaks daily
It’s easier to prevent a heat exchanger from leaking than is it to stop the leak when it actually occurs. Therefore, it’s best to take the necessary measures needed to maintain the temperature and pressure of your gasketed plate heat exchanger. Usually, the manufacturer that you’re getting your gasketed plate heat exchanger from will provide you with a total dimension of the plate pack based on the number of plates and grids in the unit. The distance measures between the inside of the head and the follower. Hence, it is recommended that you check the dimensions at least once a year and tighten the unit if necessary. Additionally, you must ensure that you keep an eye out for corrosion or any further damages which could have been caused by leaks. If you’re unsure, our team at Matrix Process Solutions is happy to help.
- Regularly clean tightening bolts and keep them well-lubricated
Keeping the components of your gasketed plate heat exchanger clean is integral to maintaining its lifespan and performance. Ensure that tightening bolts are regularly cleaned and properly fitted. It’s also important for your tightening bolts to be well-lubricated. These are all preventative measures that will protect your tightening bolts lifecycle, and hence, the overall gasketed plate heat exchanger. Tightening bolts, like other pieces of equipment, are prone to corrode over some time in operation, therefore, keeping them well-lubricated or covered in grease will ensure that your tightening bolts perform effectively for as long as possible.
- Utilise a performance audit
You can utilise a performance audit to your advantage so that you’re more aware of the issues you may be facing with your gasketed plate heat exchanger. Get a qualified engineer, expert company or an independent assessment of your operations and evaluate the performance of your equipment. Professional companies who specialise in gasketed heat plate exchangers and other forms of industrial equipment, such as our team at Matrix Process Solutions, can evaluate your equipment for you. We know what a well-functioning, premium gasketed plate heat exchanger looks like and can help you maintain yours to keep it in optimal condition.
- Utilise Cleaning-In-Place (CIP)
At Matrix Process Solutions, we’ve teamed up with Alfa Laval who specialises in Cleaning-In-Place (CIP) methods. CIP refers to utilising a mixture of chemicals, heat, and water to clean your machinery – in this case, your gasketed plate heat exchanger, without the need for dismantling your equipment. Instead, the machinery can stay in one place – allowing you to save money, energy, and water with having to open the heat exchanger for cleaning. Work with our team at Matrix Process Solutions and reduce your water and energy consumption by 25% over the next three years.
- Always keep stand-by units clean and dry
It’s important to keep all stand-by units in the best condition possible – this includes ensuring that they are clean and dry. When a heat exchanger is taken out of service, you must flush it with freshwater and drain it completely. Decreased efficiency in heat exchangers is due to old gaskets that cause external leaks and deposits which lower heat transfer and clog the channels. Therefore, cleaning and reconditioning your heat exchanger is needed for better performance and keeping stand-by units on hand will help solve this problem quicker.
- Protect heat exchangers from water splash and rain
A range of sources can negatively impact a gasketed plate heat exchanger. Excessive exposure to water splash or rain can harm your heat exchanger. Additionally, ultraviolet rays and other electrical sources may also harm your heat exchanger’s performance. To keep your gasketed plate heat exchanger in the best condition possible, ensure the surrounding environment won’t be harmful to the machinery. Therefore, store your spare gaskets in a sealed bag and place it in a dry, cold, dark place, away from other forms of equipment like machines or light armatures.
- Work closely with your heat exchanger supplier
Proper preventive maintenance can be the difference between your gasketed plate heat exchanger having a longer lifespan and optimal performance or it being readily replaced due to constant erosion and wear and tear. Working with your heat exchange supplier to better understand the life cycle of your equipment can be highly beneficial. At Matrix Process Solutions, and our heat exchanger manufacturer Alfa Laval, we can help you maintain the effectiveness of your gasketed plate heat exchanger for boosted performance over a longer period of time.
MPS Offers Genuine Spare Parts
One of the most important tips that our team can give you is to ensure that you purchase genuine spare parts from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Here at Matrix Process Solutions, we offer genuine spare parts for the Alfa Laval product range. Increase your productivity and maximise your uptime with genuine quality parts from Alfa Laval. These are long-lasting and high-quality spare parts that can lower the total cost of ownership for your product while also preserving the value of your equipment through its entire life cycle.
As with most products, there is a range of third parties out there that are willing to provide you with discounted items as an incentive to buy from them. However, choosing to buy your equipment from these companies can be detrimental to your system and processes as they could potentially be faulty or be void of any warranty. Purchasing from an original equipment manufacturer, such as Matrix Process Solutions, will allow you to avoid any warranty issues and be satisfied with your equipment.
Contact Us Today
Increasing the performance of your gasketed heat plate exchangers is simple when you follow the 10 tips that our team of experts have put together. For more information on gasketed plate heat exchangers, our partnership with Alfa Laval or any of our other services, contact us today.