Small or startup pharmaceutical and biotech companies that develop processes requiring heating or cooling frequently need a full-range heating and cooling assembly because they lack the central utilities, such as a boiler or central chiller, to meet their manufacturing needs. In many cases, the location of the equipment is temporary. Installing large central systems to feed small processes is cost-prohibitive and impractical as manufacturing eventually will move to a larger location. This is also the case in several other industries, including the chemical, beverage, cosmetics and food processing.
A typical application for many of these industries is insulated double-walled mixing vessels or jacketed reactors, in which ingredients are combined or mixed and accurate control of the product is critical. A heating and cooling system can control the process temperature so that the specific sequences or timed stages necessary to develop the end product are managed, and there is compensation for any exothermic and endothermic reactions. Individual heating and chilling equipment can fall short of accurately controlling the process and result in temperature variations and inconsistent product quality. Care should also be taken, especially with larger vessels at high temperatures, to have the exposed surfaces insulated, and your calculations should allow for surface losses. Heat loss and gain are critical factors when sizing a system.
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