A North American petrochemical plant routinely cleaned a large number of water cooled heat exchangers each year as part of the normal maintenance practice. The plant had no metrics or performance data available to make precise heat exchanger performance evaluations. Without sufficient data to determine whether an exchanger needed to be cleaned, numerous exchangers were cleaned unnecessarily.
By the 5th year of the HEAT programme, heat exchanger cleaning costs had been reduced by 80% annually - $600,000 in physical cleaning cost savings alone.
Working closely with the customer's operations team on heat exchanger monitoring, a team of technicians and engineering consultants conducted a comprehensive cooling system audit on site, collecting and processing flow, temperature, inspection, and mechanical data using HEAT's digital platform. Based on the findings, rectifying actions were taken and the teams agreed to keep heat exchanger monitoring as a routine service.
The customer reliability department kept historical maintenance records for 67 exchangers, with more than half scheduled to be cleaned each year as a preventative measure, regardless of if they were clean. After starting the comprehensive heat exchanger analysis, Nalco Champion was able to remove unnecessary cleanings from the cleaning list and reduce the cleaning costs by over 80% annually ($600,000 in physical cleaning cost savings alone) by the 5th year of the HEAT programme.
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