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Alfa Laval launches best-in-class heat exchanger for hygienic applications

Alfa Laval has launched its new hygienic line of gasketed plate heat exchangers (GPHE) to help food and beverage manufacturers maximise productivity and maintain exemplary standards of hygiene amid forecasts that UK manufacturing output will shrink in 2023.

Published in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Make UK’s Executive Survey 2023 indicates that UK manufacturing output is expected to suffer a reduction of 3.2% in 2023 compared to the previous year, against a backdrop of rising energy costs.

In response to this challenging landscape, Alfa Laval said its new hygienic line is designed specifically to maximise uptime for operators while maintaining compliance with the exacting hygiene standards required of the industry.

Colin Morgan, business unit manager for food heat transfer at Alfa Laval, said hygiene has always been top priority for food and beverage manufacturers, as cross contamination between product batches has the potential to cause serious harm to end customers if left unchecked.

“However, this must now be balanced against productivity, as rising energy costs are beginning to eat into the margin for many manufacturers,” Morgan added. “Our new hygienic line aims to tackle both of these challenges head on – increasing the amount of time that equipment can be active without compromising on hygiene.”

The new hygienic range of GPHEs currently comes in two sizes, H4 and the larger H8. Building upon the platform of Alfa Laval’s earlier heat exchanger technology, the hygienic line features an enhanced transfer area for more uniform heat distribution and best-in-class efficiency, and a new cleaning-in-place (CIP) channel for improved cleanability.

Together, these features combine for longer operating times, while the GPHE’s bespoke plate pattern ensures gentle treatment of delicate products. The unit is also fully configurable, allowing it to be customised to the needs of the operation rather than necessitating the purchase of new exchangers.

Colin concluded: “The hygienic line has the potential to completely revolutionise the way manufacturers approach uptime. If we take cheese production as an example, operators might be looking at four hours of cleaning to every eight equipment spends active in order to ensure there is no cross-contamination. With the hygienic line, this can be improved to just 2 hours cleaning for every 12 hours in operation, without compromising these standards.

“The hygienic line is ready to deliver a step-change for food and beverage and pharmaceutical process lines. Together, improved efficiency, increased uptime and decreased chemical consumption means that manufacturers can benefit from extremely short payback times – sometimes as low as a single week. Technology such as this will be key to harnessing productivity and ensuring that the wider UK manufacturing industry remains buoyant.”

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