Chart Industries has launched a new predictive maintenance solution for brazed aluminium heat exchangers (BAHX).
Smart LayerTM, patent pending, is intended to provide prior warning that a BAHX is getting towards the end of its normal service life and will require repair or replacement.
Explaining the technology, Chart Industries said, “When operated in accordance with manufacturer’s guidelines, a Chart BAHX will provide many years of trouble-free service and there are thousands that have been in the field for 25+ years.”
“However, thermal shock events will weaken the unit’s integrity and can lead to external leaks developing. Typically, because these operating upsets go un-noticed, the leaks manifest without warning.”
“Smart Layer works by containing the leak path and simultaneously triggering an alert that remedial action is required. Crucially though, it enables the requisite operation to be planned and avoids the significant cost and upset of an emergency shutdown.”
“Of course, prevention is always better than cure and Chart is equally committed to the former and has introduced an annual service plan option through Chart Lifecycle. It incorporates modern analysis techniques to interpret plant data and identify any regular operating patterns and irregular incidents that are outside manufacturer’s guidelines and potentially detrimental to the exchanger’s service life. Chart’s qualified personnel are subsequently able to help plant operators adjust their processes accordingly.”
Addressing the GPA, Andy Moriarty, President of Chart Energy and Chemicals, said, “Throughout the downturn in the natural gas processing industry Chart continued to invest in both technology and capacity to ensure that our customers can maximise their opportunities as the markets recover. In addition to developing new technologies, such as Smart Layer, we’ve expanded the La Crosse, USA facility. Our new brazing furnace improves the heat exchange duty that can be performed in a single unit.”