Food and Beverage

The food and beverage industry has a unique role in expanding economic opportunity because it is universal to human life and health. The industry operates at multiple levels of society where billions of people grow, transform and sell food, particularly in developing countries where agriculture dominates all other economic sectors and value chains.

Food processing includes the methods and techniques used to transform raw ingredients into food for human consumption. Food processing takes clean, harvested or slaughtered and butchered components and uses them to produce marketable food products. There are several different ways in which food can be produced.

One-off production: This method is used when customers make an order for something to be made to their specifications; for example a wedding cake. The making of one-off products could take days depending on how intricate the design is.

Batch production: This method is used when the size of the market for a product is not clear and where there is a range within a product line. A certain number of the same goods will be produced to make up a batch or run; for example, a bakery may bake a limited number of cupcakes. This method involves estimating consumer demand.

Mass production: This method is used when there is a mass market for a large number of identical products, for example chocolate bars, ready meals and canned food. The product passes from one stage of production to another along a production line.

A Food and Beverage Industry's Unplanned Downtime Is Costly

When an equipment in the manufacturing line fails, production is down. It may take days or even weeks for repair and replacement to be completed. Workflows are interrupted, there is a loss in output capacity and revenue.

Every food factory loses at least 5% of its production capacity to downtime, and many can lose up to 20%. Those who can estimate their total downtime costs (TDC), about 20% of them underestimate it by 2-3 times lesser.

Downtime for food manufacturing can reach 500 hours annually, leading to costs at USD $30,000 per hour!

Preventive Maintenance Is Important

Systems breakdown due to a number or combination of factors, rarely just one. This results in devestating loss of equipment in the Food and Beverage Industry.

Lacking or irregular maintenance procedures also increase the likelihood of equipment failure or human error. Combine this with inconsistent processing situations, the result can be costly with unplanned downtime.

Unplanned downtime negatively affect production capacity and increase operating expenses. The damaged equipment must be inspected properly and repaired fast before beginning operation again.

Preventive maintenance increases the reliability of equipment which is critical to achieve long-term profitable operations. This entails having detailed site-specific maintenance schedules, procedures, and training.

Maintenance procedures should include five phases:

  1. Initial Survey of Process
  2. On-Site Study
  3. Development of Schedule and Training
  4. Implementation of the Maintenance Plan, and
  5. Follow-Up to Determine Success Rate

Heat Exchangers in the Food and Beverage Industry

In the Food and Beverage Industry, Heat Exchangers are often used to reduce or eliminate microbials to make products safe for consumption and extend their shelf-life. The Heat Exchanger heats or cools products prior to filling, drying, concentration, or other processes.

Certain Heat Exchangers are better suited to products with certain attributes. Qualities like the viscosity and particle size of the substance can help determine which type of exchanger is best for a need.

Heat Exchangers can help meet the industry’s three biggest challenges; maximising run times, promoting cleanability, and keeping up with food trends.

Minimise Tube Failures

Three main areas for improvement to minimise future in-service tube failures are:

  • Tube Testing
  • Re-Tubing Strategy During Turnarounds
  • Design Improvements in Heat Exchangers
For the first point of tube inspection, we recommend using a suitable tube inspection device. This device needs to have the ability and accuracy to detect the common flaws found in the Heat Exchangers. 

Common Problems

  • ​​Process Corrosion
  • Under Deposit Cooling Water Corrosion of Tubes
  • Steam or Condensate Corrosion
  • Process Fouling

Tube Inspection with APRIS

Technologies for inspecting Heat Exchanger tubes are constantly changing and improving rapidly. With increased sophistication and complexity of today’s Non-Destructive Examination (NDE) techniques, the operator’s skill level is becoming more vital.

To correctly identify the flaws and tube failures, a reliable technology and technician is needed.

APRIS is a smart tube inspection device that doesn’t compromise the ease-of-use with higher complexity and sophistication.

A typical tube inspection tool would require a user to have years of experience. But with APRIS, any technician can accurately find flaws with little training.

APRIS

Heat Exchangers to Inspect with APRIS

  • Condenser
  • Cooler
  • Economiser
  • Evaporator
  • Heater
  • Vaporiser
  • Water Tube (D-Shaped) Boiler

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