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Tag Archive: Double Tubesheet Design

  1. Preventing Cross Contamination in Your shell and tube heat exchangers

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    Cross contamination is a shared concern at all stages of the food industry. Chefs need to make sure their fresh veggies are kept away from their raw meat; storage facilities strive to keep common allergenic foods like nuts separate from other ingredients; and food production plants must ensure products sent through their process equipment isn’t affected by harmful bacteria, chemicals or other items.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are popular in food production plants as a method to pasteurize fruit, vegetable or dairy products, or to achieve a desirable consistency, as in honey or maple syrup production. Cross contamination is also a risk factor in industries like pharmaceuticals and personal care.

    It’s important that these important pieces of equipment don’t contribute to any form of cross contamination. If this were to occur, it could reduce plant efficiency, lead to a ruined batch of product or necessitate a recall. There are many different ways to reduce the chances of cross contamination in your food or pharmaceutical production facility. Here are a few:

    Work with quality equipment fabricators

    The materials used in the construction of your shell and tube heat exchangers play an important role in the quality, sanitation, cleaning requirements and lifespan of your equipment. Many food industry companies turn to stainless steel for its fouling resistance.

    Choosing a stainless steel shell and tube heat exchanger is therefore a good step toward preventing cross contamination in your facility. However, you can take this one step further by finding out what sort of environment in which your shell and tube heat exchanger is fabricated.

    Cross contamination isn’t just limited to food items; you can also cross-contaminate metals. As such, it’s worthwhile to find out if your stainless steel shell and tube heat exchanger is being made in a facility that also utilizes carbon steel. If it is, there’s always a chance that this metal, which is more prone to fouling, can contaminate your equipment.

    At Enerquip, we value the integrity of stainless steel, which is why we don’t work with carbon steel. When you receive one of our heat exchangers, you can feel confident that it hasn’t been affected by this metal.

    Strategically choose your tubes

    When cross contamination does occur in a shell and tube heat exchanger, it may be caused by the shell-side fluid mixing with the tube-side fluid. To prevent this from happening, added barriers or an adjusted tube design can help.

    Enerquip’s high purity shell and tube heat exchangers are fitted with double tubesheets, which reduces the risk of cross contamination of this type. These custom and standard pharma-grade exchangers are particularly useful for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, animal health and personal care industries.

    Double tube sheet configurations typically have a form of leak detection installed in the exchanger. If a leak were to occur in these models, the fluid should drain away from the exchanger and into a safety container rather than mixing with the other fluid, and alerts the operator that there is an issue to repair.

    Understand pressure differentials

    The engineers who create shell and tube heat exchangers must understand many complex formulas to know how the equipment will behave once it’s put to use. The pressure differential, or the difference between the pressures inside the exchanger, is an important one that relates to the likelihood of cross contamination. Typically, the pressure on the shellside would be less than inside the tubes. That way, if a leak springs, the product will flow into the heat transfer medium, rather than the medium mixing into the product and entering the tubes. This helps to keep the negative effects of a cross contamination incident as low as possible.

    Regular inspections and cleaning

    If there’s a chance of cross contamination in your equipment, it’s best to know sooner than later. Periodic visual inspections is the first step in identifying weak points and emerging problems that could lead to contamination, Business Standard pointed out. In your inspections, you might see early signs of leaks in your tubesheet or gaskets. If you catch this early, you may be able to replace or repair the damage before it leads to mixing fluids.

    You may also see early signs of fouling. If fouling is allowed to continue for too long, it can lead to spoiled product. If you do, you’ll want to clean the exchanger and determine whether you can make any changes to your process to prevent fouling. This might mean exploring new options for heat transfer fluids, cleaning more frequently or changing your sanitation methods.

    Whether you’ve experienced cross contamination at your facility or simply want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to prevent it, strategically choosing your shell and tube heat exchanger and making sure it’s kept in good condition can go a long way to help your efforts. To learn about Enerquip’s stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers, reach out to our knowledgeable engineers.

  2. Enerquip Pharma Exchangers meet cGMP’s

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    With the growing trend in the pharmaceutical industry to outsource production to contract manufacturers and international facilities, Enerquip knows it is more important than ever to ensure that process equipment used in production is up to FDA Standards. We have proactively improved our design and fabrication to ensure we incorporate best practices and full cGMP compliance into our exchangers.

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  3. Specialty pharmaceuticals increase the market

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    The pharmaceutical industry reached some new heights in 2014, according to the 2015 CMR Pharmaceutical R&D Factbook from Thomson Reuters. Global sales reached $1 trillion, and they are expected to continue to rise.

    Sales growth increased more than 3 percent, a sign of good health in the industry. Plus, Thomson Reuters predicts that, by 2018, sales will reach $1.3 trillion.

    “Many new molecular entities that launched in 2014 were for specialty pharmaceuticals.”

    Also in 2014, the largest number of new molecular entities in 17 years came on the market, with 46 launches. Many of these launches were geared toward cancer treatment. More than two-thirds of NME launches were for specialty drugs meant to treat diseases like cancer and eye disorders. One-third of all launches were for rare indicators, such as cancer. Plus, 11 NME launches were geared toward oncology and seven received an orphan drug status. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, this means they will be used for the treatment of diseases that fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. have, or for those diseases where the cost of developing a treatment is not expected to be recovered.

    Specialty drugs improve market

    Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association explained specialty products had a large part in market growth over the past few years, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

    One of the biggest specialty sales of 2014 was Gilead Sciences’ Sovaldi, or sofosbuvir, which is used to treat hepatitis C virus. HCV treatments were some of the new NMEs that were launched that year. According to DCAT Connect, Sovaldi sold $10.28 billion worldwide in 2014 alone.

    Specialty products aren’t just having a positive effect on pharmaceutical sales in the U.S. DCAT Connect explained these are also boosting the market in pharmerging countries, or those developing nations that are quickly beginning to use more pharmaceuticals.

    Stay up to date

    As more specialty pharmaceuticals are developed, and as more nations begin using these and pharmaceuticals in general, it is important that all companies maintain high quality standards. This is the best way to ensure products are safe and effective.

    “All equipment should be maintained and calibrated properly.”

    The FDA recommends that all equipment be maintained and calibrated properly, and regularly checked. The administration warns that some equipment should be replaced or upgraded if they no longer meet today’s standards. Anyone who operates equipment, such as shell and tube heat exchangers, needs to be properly trained. This includes the proper way to clean and inspect the equipment. Some equipment, such as shell and tube heat exchangers, can be difficult to clean without a CIP system, but it is crucial that it is done regularly and effectively to prevent contaminated products.