Wood Processing

About

A leading large-scale manufacturer of sustainable timber construction panels features the latest production technology to deliver a range of wood products.

The problem

The heat transfer system was generating more light ends than were breathed out through the deaerator. The light ends re-condensed into the heat transfer fluid in the system which lowered the flashpoint. A reduce flashpoint means the fluid contains a fuel-like substance in the bulk fluid.

What the customer wanted to achieve

A sustainable and affordable long-term management approach to create a safer and more efficient thermal fluid system.

The Global Heat Transfer solution

An initial dilution of the heat transfer fluid helped return the fluid to within safe parameters, with the closed flashpoint increased to above 144°C and the total acid number (TAN) returned to an acceptable level.

A routine representative sample regime was adopted to monitor the condition of the fluid monthly while deploying a continuous light ends removal distillation device. Monthly sampling and expert analysis continued, which supported the business case for the long-term investment to purchase the light ends removal kit (LERK) as a permanent install.

The customer invested in a thermal fluid system revamp and upgrade to increase production capacity, however this would generate more light ends which would require an increased level of light ends management. A remote monitored LERK unit was procured and piped in to the system in a permanent position. No additional on-site labour was required to commission the unit or to manage any queries. Ongoing management costs are kept to a minimum and significantly reduced when compared to historical maintenance costs, while operating efficiency is maximised.

Impact

The performance of the LERK is remotely monitored as part of the service agreement and operating advice is fed back to the on-site engineers to ensure optimal efficiency.

What the client said

The partnership with Global Heat Transfer works well for us. They are experts in heat transfer fluid monitoring and process management and we are experienced innovators in sustainable wood manufacturing. The light ends removal kit (LERK) is a good investment for us and I particularly like the fact that the system can be managed remotely, including issues with nitrogen usage and diagnostics with error codes and fault reporting. I can recommend the LERK to anyone who needs to manage light ends in their thermal fluid and the 5-year Thermocare monitoring and maintenance programme is an effective way for us to manage our thermal fluid, spread the cost and keep it to a minimum.

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