Heat Exchangers WA is pleased to announce this year’s customer satisfaction survey results. We conduct this survey every year for the purpose of self-regulation and improvement. This year we achieved an overall customer satisfaction rating of 8.2 on a scale of 10.
“Service is our Passion”, so I would expect nothing less than an 8.5/10, well done team!
What really makes me happy though is how the market perceives our parts and workmanship quality, especially seeing most of our work involves the supply of NON-OEM parts which really are fantastic value.
Steve Sammut – MD HEWA
The overall rating is the average score in 3 core components of our value proposition as shown in the image below. These components are ‘Service’, ‘Quality’ and ‘Price’.
A score of 8.5 in ‘Service’ shows that HEWA walks the talk when it comes to having a slogan of “Service is our passion”. We make sure that each engagement we have with you and each product/service we provide is in line with our company’s motto.
A score of 8.7 in ‘Quality’ means that our customers appreciate and value the quality of our products. This is no doubt the result of efforts made by our suppliers, like Evapco and Kelvion, and our dedicated workshop team which is continuously striving towards excellence, three shifts a day.
Finally, a score of 7.3 in ‘Price’ indicates that our pricing is competitive. Our main objective is to reduce the lifecycle cost for you by providing you with the products and service of highest quality which ultimately reduce the frequency and cost of maintenance over the life of equipment. That being said, we are aware that sometimes pricing becomes the key decision point while quality and life cycle cost becomes secondary. In such scenarios, we can offer value engineered solutions to optimize the price and quality to a point that satisfies your needs.
Not only did we receive great scores across all three categories, but also gathered an overwhelming response in extra feedback, with testimonials such as:
“We engaged with you for the first time and you did a great job in a short amount of time. Lead-time from OEMs was 12 weeks, while you supplied the same parts in less 2-3 weeks without compromising the quality. We look forward to more business with HEWA in the future.”
“Great service! You guys have a great team at your end.”
“Whenever we have any issue with pricing, HEWA always tries to come back with a more competitive offer.”
Some of our clients even went a step ahead and rated our company on google. Below is a snapshot of how they have rated us and what they have to say about us.
Thank you to all who participated in our customer satisfaction survey. We value all business from you and with feedbacks like this survey, we are encouraged to strive for continuous improvement in our service, quality and price for you.
Fouling is the deposition and accumulation of undesirable materials such as scale, algae, suspended solids and insoluble salts on the internal or external surfaces of processing equipment, such as heat exchangers. Heat Exchangers are process equipment in which heat is continuously transferred from a hot to a cold fluid directly through a heat transfer surface that separates the two fluids, such as a plate or tube.
Selecting the correct gasket material is vital to the effective operation of the plate heat exchanger. The majority of PHE gaskets are manufactured from rubber polymers, requiring replacement when the gasket loses its ability to seal due to hardening, loss of compression set and deterioration.
Have you ever seen a pink plate heat exchanger? The team at Heat Exchangers WA and BHP Nickel West Kwinana Refinery have painted this plate heat exchanger pink in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Additionally, HEWA and BHP NKW have provided a $6502.00 donation, contributing toward the incredible life-changing research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer.
Do you want a pink plate heat exchanger? Get behind a great cause during your next service! Heat Exchangers WA want to see more pink heat exchangers out in the field, showing support for breast cancer. Therefore, HEWA are offering a promotion whereby for every heat exchanger that is painted pink, 2.5% of the service value will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation on your behalf.
Contact Heat Exchangers WA for further information on how you can support the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The welded (BLOC) plate heat exchangers contain more robust plates with greater thickness and do not have standard PHE rubber gaskets. This different design allows higher temperature and pressure ranges. Compact in design, they still pack a punch with outstanding heat transfer coefficients, even under the most stringent applications. Heat Exchangers WA provide servicing of welded (BLOC) plate heat exchangers, having serviced several COMPA-BLOC from mineral processing plants.
HEWA’s purpose built 4000 m2 workshop offers drive-in and out delivery with 32 & 10 tonne gantry cranes to allow easy lifting and improved service efficiency. Our trained technicians provide a range of tooling competency to remove the welded plate (BLOC) heat exchanger nuts and side panels.
After assessment of blockages, the welded core is lifted for cleaning in the 17,000 L chemical static baths and high pressure wash bay. Simultaneously, the port liners on the side panels are integrity tested via red dye and structurally repaired if required.
Following cleaning and port liner repair, the welded core is assessed before reassembling the BLOC and hydro testing. Upon completion of the service, the welded (BLOC) plate heat exchanger is dispatched and the client provided with a comprehensive report detailing the extent of the service. Heat Exchangers WA have been continuously working toward improving the efficiency with which we service BLOC’s, having reduced the required man hours by over 50%.
The Pilbara region is a beautiful part of North West Australia, where red earth and deep rocky canyons contrast the dazzling white beaches and untouched coral gardens. The Pilbara is commonly referred to as the ‘engine room’ of Australia, home to a massive mining and processing industry of crude oil, natural gas, iron ore and salt. The climate can be harsh and the heat scorching, with an annual average high temperature of 32 °C. Due to the high ambient temperature year round, it is crucial that the cooling tower equipment operates at peak efficiency to sustain the throughput and revenue of processing plants.
Heat Exchangers WA just completed the delivery and installation of an Evapco induced draft ESWA Closed Circuit Cooler at the largest liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon production facility in the Pilbara. The nine less efficient existing adiabatic coolers with a spatial footprint of 141.75 m2 were replaced with a single water cooled Evapco ESWA cooler with a spatial footprint of 30.75 m2. Effectively, the water cooled Evapco ESWA cooler requires just over a fifth of the space to achieve the same required 3700 kW total heat rejection.
The Evapco ESWA design combines low sound and low energy consuming axial fans with high performance counter flow heat exchange. The total power consumption of the single Evapco unit is 45 kW, compared with the 207 kW of the nine existing adiabatic coolers, saving the client nearly $100 000 in annual power consumption costs, based on the processing plants operational data.
Furthermore, the water cooled Evapco ESWA cooler reduces the outlet water temperature from the original 35 °C to a new decreased 32 °C. Colder temperatures help the gas compressors to run for longer periods without overheating, effectively augmenting the plant’s production by roughly 2-3 tonnes per year. An additional benefit of the colder cooling water is the extension in lifetime of processing equipment.
Does your current cooling tower equipment have outdated power consumption? Are your plants operational and maintenance costs excessive? Upgrading your cooling tower equipment can save you substantial annual electricity consumption costs, improve process efficiency and increase production output. Here at Heat Exchangers WA we pride ourselves on exceptional service and commitment to the client, our cooling tower division designs each product to meet your required specifications the most effective and efficient way possible.
Welcoming in the beginning of 2017 is the completion of Heat Exchangers WA’s annual customer satisfaction survey. Heat Exchangers WA received feedback from fifty of our 2016 customers in order to achieve an increased understanding of the market response to our service, quality and price. The customer satisfaction survey is a tool we use for continuous improvement, with the feedback providing valuable information on how we can continue to be the best in the industry.
Heat Exchangers WA were thrilled to receive a score of 8.64 for service, aligning closely with the company mission statement “Service is Our Passion”. Additionally, attaining a score of 8.48 for quality portrays the high standard we hold ourselves and suppliers to, such as Evapco and Kelvion. Finally, achieving a score of 7.80 for price shows we are well placed against competitors, providing excellent service and quality at a competitive price.
An overall value score of 8.31 out of 10 solidifies our position as a market leader in the field of heat transfer equipment supply and service.
Not only did we receive great scores across all three categories, but also gathered an overwhelming response in extra feedback, with testimonials such as:
“Perfect. We call up and anything we want is handled with great, efficient timing. The team goes above and beyond to deliver the best results” – Project Manager, Aromatic Oil Company
“Excellent across the board, with a large quantity of essential parts on hand, and a product that lasts a good amount of time” – Warehouse Supervisor, Public Transport Company
“Incredibly happy with the level of service and quality of product offered at a competitive price, we will continue to utilise you for future business” – Maintenance Engineer, Chemical and Mineral Processing Company
“HEWA have always been able to deliver as required with prompt and professional service. From experience, HEWA are known to be price competitive.” – Process Engineer, Minerals Processing Company
An enormous thank you to all clients who participated in our customer satisfaction survey. We value all business from our clients and with their feedback we hope to continuously advance our service, quality and price.
Plate heat exchangers are extremely efficient and can be workhorses in many different types of environments. But, knowing what to watch for when inspecting and maintaining your plate heat exchanger is critical. We’ll explore five common questions and answers to help you take better care of your plate heat exchanger.
1. How can I tell if my gaskets are glued or utilise a glue-less style attachment method?
There are two (2) main types of attachment methods for gaskets on plate heat exchangers. Viewing the plate pack from the side during operation can give you insight into the attachment method used. First, let’s explore the glued type of gaskets. The glue used for the gaskets comes in two (2) main types: rubber based and epoxy adhesives. Rubber type adhesives are designed to essentially hold the gaskets in place while the units are tightened. In lower temperature duties, this glue may be able to hold a firm bond over time. In higher temperature environments, this style adhesive will likely require repair when the unit is opened. Epoxy style glue is meant to perform as a far more permanent bond for duties where the heat exchanger may need to be opened frequently for cleaning. Rubber based adhesives can be field removed for a gasket change out (although it isn’t generally recommended for an entire plate pack) while gaskets applied with epoxy adhesives usually have to be frozen off with liquid nitrogen in order to change the gaskets. So, if you’ve determined that your heat exchanger has glued gaskets, it’s important to determine which type of adhesive was used. Glueless systems utilize a physical attachment method to hold the gaskets onto the plates. There are three (3) types of common glueless attachment systems: clip-on, snap-in, and “push” on. Viewing the the side of the plate pack, a clip on style gaskets will present like this:
Notice the clips that “grab” onto the edge of the plates. These are easy to spot. These type of gaskets are favored on newer model plate heat exchangers. The snap-in style gasket looks a little different:
Notice how the plate has small holes punched near the edge and the gasket has a small nipple that passes through the hole for attachment. This method was utilized more on older plate heat exchangers. In a photo presented below in Question #2, you can see a side view of this type of gasket. There is a third variety that we refer to as “push” on. Push on gaskets have various crimped area around the gasket groove and the gaskets are “pushed” into the crimps to hold the gasket in place. This type of gasket attachment is difficult to work with and isn’t as widely used as the others. Also, these gaskets will present just like glued gaskets from a side view of the plate pack.
2. Why are my plates crooked when I hang them in the heat exchanger?
Remember, it’s the thin plates inside your heat plate exchanger that make it work so well. Typically, these plates range in thickness from 0.40 mm to 0.60 mm (although they can be thicker). Some manufacturers will reinforce the areas of the plates where they contact the upper and lower bars in the heat exchanger. If these areas are NOT reinforced, the plates can bend in these areas and cause serious misalignment issues. Here is a view of the hanger areas of some plates that have been seriously compromised:
Without proper alignment at the top and bottom, the plates are able to move from side to side and up and down during the tightening process. This results in gaskets misalignment and often times leaks:
If you notice any of your hanger areas are bent, try to straighten them as best you can before reinstalling your plates back into your unit. To avoid bending your hanger area, it’s always a good idea to use a lubricate compatible with your process on the top and bottom bars when removing or inserting plates into your heat exchanger.
3. How can I tell if my plates have holes in them?
This is a common question that we receive. While some folks have constant process measurements that would immediately notify them of a cross contamination, in other applications, the engineer may not be aware that the hot and cold fluids are mixing. If you suspect that your plate heat exchanger may be leaking hot fluid into the cold circuit or vice versa, there is a relatively simply way to find out. Isolate and drain either the hot or cold circuit on the plate heat exchanger. After this circuit is drained, if the drain is nearby the bottom piping leaving the heat exchanger, simply leave the drain open. If the drain is far away from the heat exchanger or if you have a spool installed on the bottom of the drained circuit, you could just remove the spool for visual access. Now pressurize the opposite side and watch the drain or look into the open port at the bottom of the heat exchanger. If you see process fluid, you’ll know that at least some of your plates have holes in them and it’s likely that all of your plates have reached the end of their useful service life.
4. What is the difference between fouling and scaling?
This is a common point of confusion for plate heat exchanger owners. Fouling is a term typically used to refer to physical build up on the plates that can be easily hydroblasted or brushed off the plate surface. The most common source of fouling is biological growth from a cooling tower. Scaling is the term typically used to refer to a hard mineral build up on the surface of the plates that usually has to be removed via chemical cleaning of the plates. The most common culprits are calcium-based salts at elevated temperature.
5. What should I do to monitor the overall health of my plate heat exchanger?
First, it’s important to have a baseline performance from when your unit is either brand new or freshly cleaned. Don’t rely on the design data sheet from the factory. Variances in flows and temperature from design to operation are a virtual certainty. If you don’t have temperature and pressure gauges on the inlets and outlets of your plate heat exchanger, install them during the next outage. Record these reading when your plate heat exchanger is at a known clean stage and you’re operating at a point where you expect to run most of the time.
Now, you can monitor your plate heat exchanger for variances from these baseline readings. Any increase in pressure drop or loss of heat transfer can indicate that your heat exchanger may need cleaned.
Also, at least once a year, inspect the side of the plate pack and look under the unit for any leaks. Inspecting the sides of the gaskets can help you catch cracks that are developing due to oxidation before they become a problem.
These gaskets are very near the end of their lifetime. A quick inspection shows us this and we can plan for it during the next outage.
Are you experiencing reduced heat transfer efficiency that is costing you through reduced output or increased energy cost? A range of problems can lead to poor performance or failure of your plate heat exchangers. The four most common plate heat exchanger problems that occur are:
Fouling- leads to reduced heat transfer and potentially higher energy costs
Blockage- leads to reduced heat transfer and potentially higher energy costs, increased fluid velocity leading to potential erosion problems
External leakage- leads to wasted product and potentially dangerous spills
Internal Leakage- leads to cross contamination of the fluids
External Leakage of Plate Heat Exchanger
Partial Blockage of Plate Heat Exchanger Leading to Flow Channels
Fouled Plate Heat Exchanger
Typically, plate heat exchanger performance issues can be remedied by servicing the heat exchanger to bring it back to its original design capacity. An analysis of the plate heat exchanger should be conducted in order to assess the problem and determine its solution as quickly as possible. This is important as problems can escalate if left unattended.
Fouling deposition comes in many forms such as settlement of particulates, biological deposits, decomposition and crystallisation. Fouling is heavily dependent upon the process fluid, operating conditions and overall design of the heat exchanger. Fouling reduces the heat transfer between fluids, impedes fluid flow, increases pressure drop and impacts upon the overall efficiency of the heat exchanger and attached systems. It is crucial to determine the type of fouling and its mechanism to provide adequate mitigation strategies. Biological fouling and settlement of particulates can typically be reduced by improving filtration upstream. Other forms of fouling can be reduced at times by altering fluid velocities or upgrading the process heat exchangers to one with optimised designs and superior temperature control.
Partial blockages result in non-uniform flow over the heat exchanger plate affecting heat transfer and increasing velocities, which can result in increased erosion rates. Leakage can occur through port liners allowing fluid to come in contact with the frame plate. In this situation the frame plate can corrode resulting in a more expensive repair.
The cross-contamination of fluids occurs due to the perforation of a plate within the heat exchanger. This worst case scenario is uncommon, however, it can occur due to an aggressive chemical or long periods of operation at high temperatures/pressures. The cross-contamination of fluids will be difficult to detect as the heat exchanger will not leak externally. It is therefore important to be aware of the condition of the process fluids to detect an internal leak. Internal leakage can be minimised by the selection of the most appropriate plate material for the conditions in the heat exchanger. Perforated plates are detected during servicing or by hydrostatic or gas testing.
Heat Exchanger inefficiency or failure can be overcome by the implementation of an appropriate maintenance strategy. The cost of failure or inefficiency can be many times the cost of servicing when additional energy costs and lost productivity, particularly in the event of an unplanned shutdown of your plant are considered.