30 Maret 2011

How to Provide Maintenance

Plate heat exchanger maintenance is provided through two distinct methods:
  • Clean in place (CIP) on-site maintenance.
  • Authorized cleaning facilities off-site maintenance.
The basic difference between these two methods is not how, but where and who performs the maintenance. CIP is performed in the manufacturing plant for quick recovery and continued equipment use, and the person in charge of maintenance generally performs it.

Utilizing an authorized cleaning facility for maintenance requires removing the equipment and shipping it to a facility outside the plant where certified maintenance personnel service the plate heat exchanger.

As a consequence of the advantages of quick turnarounds in a maintenance cycle, CIP is an attractive maintenance method. It is faster, more fitting and easy. It is also a preferred cleaning method when particularly corrosive liquids are being processed.

For all its advantages, one should be careful when making CIP the exclusive method for maintenance of a plate heat exchanger. CIP has its place, but the drawbacks can be costly.

The disadvantages of the authorized cleaning facilities tend to be measured by the up-front cost and rarely for the real advantages achieved.

At an authorized cleaning facility, each plate is logged and visually inspected to determine if it merits reconditioning. The client is informed if any plate is unserviceable and why. The facility crosschecks its database to confirm the plate heat exchanger's original specifications and then conducts a close visual inspection of gaskets and contact points on the remaining plates to determine if there is any erosion or apparent change from the original specification. Then the precise cleaning and treatment process required is determined.

A properly maintained plate heat exchanger can provide many trouble-free years of operation. No piece of equipment is perfect, however every unit will eventually have problems, and if costly downtime and product loss are to be minimized, a maintenance program is one solution. (Bell, 2002).

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