October 2020 – Part of the Unipart Group since 1999, Serck are global experts in heat transfer.
Most people are familiar with the concept of heat transfer in the form of a car radiator. This is a classic example of heat transfer, or heat exchange, and where Serck got its start over 100 years ago. But any time you need to take a hot fluid and make it colder (or vice versa), heat exchangers are involved.
This means they’re critical parts of infrastructure in any industrial process. That could be a brewery cooling its wort, a power station keeping a reactor at an appropriate temperature, an HVAC system providing heating to a hospital ward, or a public utility treating drinking water. There are countless applications, but they all have one thing in common: heat exchangers are prone to fouling and erosion.
Depending on the fluids being processed, and those used to cool them, a heat exchanger will get backed up over time, similar to limescale building in your kettle, and this makes them less efficient.
Historically, process plants have been built with only the minimum amount of instrumentation necessary to safely operate units. Detailed monitoring of second-tier equipment, including heat exchangers, has traditionally been deemed cost-prohibitive or too difficult.
As fouling and erosion increases, a heat exchanger can be operating for extended periods with degraded performance and lower energy efficiency in the lead up to a scheduled maintenance period. In the worst cases the heat exchanger will need emergency reactive maintenance, resulting in expensive unexpected shutdowns. The only alternative has been scheduled preventive maintenance on a best-guess timeline, which is effective but also costly, and difficult to manage as heating requirements change.
But advances in sensor and wireless technology paired with data interpretation via machine learning provides the ability for plant managers to take a data-led approach to monitoring and maintenance, reducing both unnecessarily early or frequent shutdowns and costly emergency reactive maintenance.
Emerson is one of the world’s leading industrial instrumentation suppliers, and provides monitoring technology for a number of processing plants around the world. Serck has entered a strategic supply agreement with Emerson which gives customers the ease of operating with a dedicated point of contact for the Smart Heat Exchanger system, as well as the confidence they will be working with two organisations who are leading the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) revolution. This allows customers to smoothly incorporate robust and high-quality heat transfer equipment into their plant that’s also been designed with monitoring in mind, allowing them to rapidly start returning valuable data that can save both time and money, and help contribute to the entire process plant operating at its most efficient and effective.
Alexander Neill, Serck Managing Director, said: “This initiative offers an exciting opportunity for our customers to explore incorporating and expanding their use of these emerging Industry 4.0 technologies with the added confidence that they’re working with experts they trust who already understand them and their business.”
To learn more about Serck’s offering of the Smart Heat Exchanger Package, see serckglobal.com/smarthx