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Something Should Be Known About Proper Operation And Maintenance Of Plate Heat Exchangers

Something Should Be Known About Proper Operation And Maintenance Of Plate Heat Exchangers
Plate heat exchangers are heavy duty machines capable of handling strenuous workloads. However, no matter how rugged and resilient these machines are, proper handling and operation must be observed to keep them running at full efficiency. Broken plate heat exchangers would definitely cause problems in your manufacturing process, and when left unchecked, might even cause collateral damage to other instruments. This would result in losses in profit brought about by a disruption in productivity, and the additional cost of repairing damaged machines.
When operating and maintaining plate heat exchangers, there are several questions that could be asked:
Is it better to eliminate problems after they occur or prevent glitches from happening in the first place?
When problems do arise, is it better to deal with it in-house or seek qualified off-site service facilities for a higher price?
When seeking replacement parts, is it acceptable to use third-party products than branded pieces?
The answers to these questions primarily depend on whether the company is willing to shell out additional costs in maintenance, or just stick to low-cost but still adequate solutions. A company must look at cost-benefit relations when ultimately deciding the maintenance plan of its plate heat exchangers.
Maintenance strategy could either be reactive, or pro-active. Reactive repairs could save the company time and money by only focusing on problems when it arises, freeing up resources to be invested in other aspects of production. However, if not immediately responded upon, the damage done to the plate heat exchangers might be severe enough to actually cost a considerable amount. Proactive maintenance, on the other hand, invests in the regular check-up of operating machines, and making sure they are at optimum condition. This may be more labor intensive, but would go a long way in preventing serious harm to the plate heat exchangers at little to no additional cost. Here are some tips in the proper operation of plate heat exchangers.
Starting up
The unit must be first closely inspected for integrity. Make sure that no defects already exist that might hinder in the operation of the machine.
If initial visual check already reveals underlying problems (leaks, fouling, plugging, etc.) Do not attempt to operate the machine anymore as it may cause further degradation.
If the plate heat exchanger has been off-line for an extended period of time, ensure that the inflow pipes are free of deposits and other contamination that may clog the passage of fluid.
Make sure the inlet and outlet connections are tightly sealed to prevent leakage and ensure maximum transfer of heat.
Open the vent valve to let air escape
Start the pump
Slowly open the feed valve, to let the cold fluid flow.
Let several minutes pass before opening the valve for the hot fluid.
Shutting down
Slowly close the input valves for the hot fluid.
Turn off the feeding pump.
Close the outlet valves
Completely drain the unit to avoid fouling and unwanted residue.
Repeat the steps for the cold fluid.
Properly maintained plate heat exchangers could cause years of trouble-free operation, and would do well in maintaining the productivity of your manufacturing process. No machine is perfect, and repairs are bound to happen, and if costly interruptions and product loss are to be kept at a minimum, a pro-active maintenance solution for plate heat exchangers is definitely viable.

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