Industrial processing facilities face an interesting balancing act. On one hand, they face the challenge of ensuring safety, quality, profit, environmental compliance and product reliability. On the other hand, they face the challenge of applying the right knowledge across organizational and geographic boundaries. And of course, these diverse objectives must be managed within an environment that includes mitigating costs and reductions in available experienced staff.
The operation and monitoring of fixed and rotating assets play key roles in facilities that are trying to find the right balance. One asset — heat exchangers — tends to get less attention because there are no moving parts and there exists a traditionally slow rate of fouling. Yet, exchangers play a significant role in energy balancing for the plant and overall energy efficiency. Many facilities struggle with optimizing energy consumption, and a major cause of poor energy efficiency and production loss is heat exchanger fouling.