The energy meter chemical plant

The energy meter of a chemical plant

7:02 AM, 18th November 2017
V Gokuldas, managing director, HRS Process Systems Ltd
V Gokuldas, managing director, HRS Process Systems Ltd.

In an interview, V Gokuldas, managing director, HRS Process Systems Ltd with Chemical Today Magazine talks about the potential for thermal processing equipment which forms the backbone for all process industries.

By Shivani Mody

Global trends for the thermal processing equipment.

Globally, thermal processing technology/equipment related to chemical industry, has seen a marked change in design and construction, based on new process technology for chemicals manufacture. Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers (STHE) and Plate Type Heat Exchanger (PHE) form the base of thermal processing in all industries. However, the design, material of construction and manufacturing processes has greatly evolved to give heat transfer products suitable for various applications in the chemical industry. We see a shift in thermal processing technology requirement with companies understanding the advantage of speciality materials for better adaptability and thermal efficiency. 

Market potential in Asia Pacific and India.

There is huge potential for thermal processing equipment in Asia Pacific and Indian market. Thermal processing is the back bone for all process industries and we can categorise the requirement into – new project, expansion or capacity enhancement, application development or replacement requirement. There is also a special market for high effectivity, compact area thermal performance demand units for critical applications; ranging from manufacture of chemicals to research and development. The estimated market potential is over few million dollars in the region.

Sectors with increased demand for thermal processing equipment.

Chemical process industry and pharmaceutical industry have shown decent growth in these years, other than petrochemicals. We observe a strong growth in the chemical and agro-chemical sectors. Fertilizer sector has also made investment in technology upgrade. There is an increasing demand for thermal processing equipment in other sectors like oil and fats, power, steel etc.

Demands of chemical manufacturers for thermal processing equipment.

Chemical manufactures used to depend on equipment manufacturers/fabricators to also design their thermal processing equipment. However, in the past decades, the trend is to work with companies like HRS, who can design thermal processing equipment based on various process plant requirements. Also be able to evaluate fluctuating process conditions impact on thermal processing equipment and design a suitable solution. The chemical manufacturers require equipment, which is compatible with their process in terms of materials and also can look at variation in process conditions. The thermal processing equipment is the energy meter for the chemical manufacturer and hence they are very concerned about efficiency and effectivity. The chemical industry has moved from fabricator to technology provider like HRS for thermal processing equipment.

Comparing thermal processing equipment requirement in developed and emerging markets.

In today’s scenario, there is not much difference between the requirement of developed versus emerging markets for thermal process technology/equipment for chemical industry. This is because most of the chemical industry has moved from the developed to the emerging markets, where basic chemicals are manufactured. The emerging market has access to new technology and hence they need the latest technology and equipment to be able to supply globally.

IIoT in thermal processing equipment industry.

The thermal processing equipment is the energy meter of a chemical plant. Thus understanding its health and performance on real-time basis is critical for many industries and processes. With increasing plant capacity and demand for higher reliability factor, automation solution and gathering of real-time data has become essential. Industry 4.0 with a focus on Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and automation solutions is essential for all businesses and the thermal processing equipment industry needs to understand and built units to satisfy this demand.

Company’s Asia Pacific and India business.

HRS PSL India is part of HRS group, with head quarter in UK. We have group companies in UK, Spain, USA, Malaysia and Australia. HRS PSL operates in India and Asia pacific regions. We are a thermal processing equipment and technology supplier and have supplied units for various applications across the process industry. Our Ecoflux* range of corrugated tube heat exchanger has been spear heading revolution in the thermal processing equipment used by the chemical industry. Ecoflux* uses corrugated tubes instead of smooth tubes. Corrugation induces turbulence in the medium there by enhancing the over heat transfer co-efficient with reduced fouling. The units are compact as compared to smooth tube heat exchanger. Our other products include plate type heat exchanger, shell & tube heat exchanger and heat exchanger based systems.

Our group companies in Malaysia and Australia are taking care of Asia Pacific region directly supported by Indian operations of the group. Our sales turnover for heat exchangers and food processing systems is over Rs. 800 million and aim to be a Rs 1 billion company in the very near future.

Focus on R&D and innovation globally.

HRS Group has common R&D facility in Murcia, Spain; where application engineering and product development is focused by a set of highly trained technologists. Our R&D is focused on providing solutions to customers on their problems and how our products can be engineered to suit their applications. Our scrap surface heat exchangers (UNICUS®) has been developed to handle difficult fluids with ease thereby ensuring proper product quality with minimal loses. This product is used across the industry for fouling and crystallising application other than viscous products with particulates. 

Challenges faced in the thermal processing equipment industry.

A common challenge faced in the thermal processing industry is non-availability of material, in short time, for various chemical sector applications. The chemical industry today requires thermal processing equipment in stainless steel and exotic material like hastelloy, inconel, monel, titanium, duplex, tantalum and similar. The availability of these materials is limited and hence their delivery times are longer.

The industry must also look at incremental investment for energy efficiency and sustainability. They need to evaluate total cost of ownership over a period of time and ascertain benefits of upgrading to better technology. Industry must also understand that the thermal processing equipment is the major source for energy consumption and thus a well designed thermal processing equipment will be always beneficial for the industry.

Improving energy efficiency and sustainability for chemical manufacturers.

HRS products/solutions are designed understanding customer requirement as well as variations or future processing requirement. We evaluate the current process and the equipment being used by the customer and the problems faced, to arrive at right solution for the process keeping in mind energy efficiency required for the process. We have thermal design capability whereby we can simulate the process conditions and understand critical parameters, to inform customers on these to enhance energy efficiency. 

© Chemical Today Magazine


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