Heat exchange tester steps up leakage sensitivity
soft drink makers and dairy manufacturers a practical and
sensitive alternative to existing technologies with heightened
sensitivity, according to its manufacturer.
EasyTesters, a UK-based manufacturer of processing solutions, claims that its Hexteq monitoring system can detect miniscule cracks and pinhole leakages within heat exchangers allowing processors to cut down on potential contamination risks. Heat exchangers are vitally important within beverage manufacture as a means of transferring heat from one product to another, in order to better control the production process. The company says that preventing both bacterial and chemical contamination in these units is increasingly vital for manufacturers of all sizes in protecting their brand's reputation. However, in company tests on hundreds of heat exchangers at breweries, dairies and soft drink plants across Western and Central Europe and Asia, over a quarter of surveyed enterprises were found in danger of cross contamination. These manufacturers were then encouraged by the company to replace panels on the heat exchanger and then re-test. According to group managing director Mike Bowling, the Hexteq system can detect the size of a defect down to a single micron, 0.00004 of an inch. He claimed that this was an unprecedented accuracy for measuring leakages. Rather than simply determining therefore whether a heat exchanger is operating hygienically or needs replacing, the system can be used to identify a defect before it becomes problematic to production, according to the company. In the case of a leakage under 20 microns, Easytesters says that the defect may not necessarily grow any wider and with continued monitoring can continue to operate to healthy standards. This allows a manufacturer to reduce the amount of tie required for processing. In addition, the company claims that the Hexteq also automatically gives a tamper proof record of the time, date and location of each test performed, ensuring traceability requirements are also being met. As part of the product design, the company says that the system can also be used in a variety of different pressure and liquid volumes, and can be transported to different sites by a single person within a case. Bowling says that the technology has already been approved for use by multinational companies such as InBev in recent years, while some Coca-Cola bottlers has also started using the product during the last six months.