Optimising thermal technology applications


Matt Hale from HRS Heat Exchangers comments on automatic product recovery and taking an eco-friendly approach to quality control

Specialising in the design and manufacture of an extensive range of turnkey systems and components, incorporating corrugated tubular and scraped surface heat exchanger technology, HRS Heat Exchangers offers innovative heat transfer solutions to a diverse range of industries.

And, with more than 40 years of experience in the pharmaceutical sector, Matt Hale, International Sales and Marketing Director, knows a thing or two about process optimisation.

“To us,” says Matt, “the biggest areas in which we can optimise existing processes are in terms of energy efficiency, product recovery and waste minimisation. None of them are necessarily the first things that come to mind when you talk about process optimisation … and, as such, can often be overlooked. However, they can have a huge impact in terms of overall efficiency. Reducing the energy required for heating or cooling by just 1–2% can have a large impact on the bottom line.”

Matt Hale, International Sales and Marketing Director

Matt Hale, International Sales and Marketing Director

“At the same time, reducing waste and recovering as much usable product as possible are two sides of the same coin. Good procedures to maintain hygiene and prevent contamination are obviously vital, but they shouldn’t result in throwing away good usable product. Not only does that directly hit sales income, but it increases waste treatment and disposal costs and isn’t good for the environment.”

Discussing new developments in process improvement, Matt says: “Last year, we launched an automatic product recovery system. This continually monitors product against set parameters, so that sound product is not wasted. For example, during cleaning-in-place procedures, the system will maximise the amount of usable product, only diverting materials that have been diluted to waste or reprocessing.”

Looking ahead, Matt feels that automatic product recovery is an example of how the latest technology can be used to reduce waste. “As sensors and computer systems become more powerful and more integrated, user confidence regarding allowing them to make decisions on product quality and processing will increase … and we should see better efficiencies and less waste compared with decision systems that still rely on human inputs.”

“Pharmaceuticals, toiletries and healthcare products require the highest standards of safety and hygiene … and appropriate processes and equipment must be designed to prevent cross-contamination while facilitating hygienic management during cleaning-in-place and maintenance procedures."

"Pharmaceutical manufacturers have come to depend on our technologies — including heat exchangers, pumps, tank equipment and solutions for aseptic filling — which can be supplied as individual components, complete product solutions or customised to meet the specific requirements of your application. Adopting a philosophy of process optimisation enables us to stay ahead of the competition and ensure that our technology is efficient, reliable and, at the same time, environmentally friendly,” Matt concludes.