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My New Baby Plate Heat Exchanger

Since I've work as a process engineer, I continuously learn a lot in the plant. The learning never stops. However, when it comes to heat exchanger I get very excited. I don't know why. Maybe because it is such a very important piece of equipment. Maybe because I have a lot of them in my plant. Maybe because it deserved such attention from a person like me!!! Well, there are hundreds of reason if I have to list it down.

Sometimes, I thought I already know and understand heat exchanger. I thought my knowledge and comprehension on a heat exchanger is good enough. I'm wrong!!! Yes, maybe I know about it, but there are still more to learn and explore.

I have justified and ordered one set of plate heat exchanger (2 in series) from Schmidt Breten earlier this year to be used in my plant. I nearly ordered the wrong set of heat exchanger. I checked and checked the details and specifications of the plate heat exchanger. The purchase requirement reached the procurement department and they asked tonnes of questions. I understood why they asked a lot and requested me to thoroughly justify the reason of the purchase - because the plate heat exchanger is very expansive (almost similar to a brand new E-Class Mercedes Benz). I never expected the procurement executives to go line by line reading the heat exchanger specifications. After a series of discussion, I realized something was not right. I called the supplier, asked for more explanations. I discussed with my superior and found that we just ordered a wrong heat exchanger. I was scolded for ordering the wrong heat exchanger. I swiftly canceled the order and corrected the purchase requisition.

Last week, the plate heat exchanger set arrived from German. I have patiently waited for its arrival. I have to wait for almost half a year after my request. I was so excited and happy after being informed that the heat exchanger has safely landed in the store at my work place. I immediately went to the store and looked at the new shiny plate heat exchanger. I touched it and embraced it (i looked like an idiot that time!!!).

Today, the plate heat exchanger have been positioned at the installation point. It's not easy to mobilize the heat exchanger as it is very heavy. 6-8 maintenance fitters work together to erect one of the heat exchangers. I took some photos to record the historical moment. I knew this is not a very big deal to other people, but to me, I'm totally responsible for the entire purchase, justification, planning, coordination, and most importantly plant process.

This new set of heat exchanger will improve my plant production back to our maximum capacity. Our old heat exchangers have suffered severe scale and fouling and resulted in slower flow rate and poor heat transfer. The overall heat transfer coefficient is very bad. The older plates need to be dismantled and replaced. Well, that's in the process. I hope everything will be silky smooth. I shall update the progress later.

Ops....don't forget to check out the new www.chemical-engineering-forum.com.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 8:53 PM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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