Preventive maintenance for heat exchangers efficiency

Preventive maintenance is a very hot topic nowadays, or even predictive maintenance where Industry 4.0 concepts are adopted with data collection and analytics using AI in IoT industrial production contexts. A proper maintenance enabling the prevention of potential problems on industrial machinery and equipments is indeed essential in order to avoid downtimes in production, with related high economic losses.

In case of plate heat exchangers, preventive maintenance can in addition ensure relevant advantages in terms of energy saving, because it ensures to leverage the thermal transfer at its maximum efficiency, as it was originally designed.

The monitoring of some key parameters allows in fact to evaluate the most suitable moment to proceed with a maintenance intervention:

  • increasing values of flow rate pressure drop, compared to design values
  • diminished performances in terms of output temperature levels, compared to design values

Scambiatori a piastre fouling sporcamento manutenzione preventiva


These are two main KPI to check in order to determine if the exchanger need a cleaning and washing service. These two parameters are a key indicator for each kind of heat exchanger: at same capacity, is in fact clear that fouling and scaling on thermal transfer surfaces cause an increase of the pressure drop, being it the pressure difference between inlet and outlet of the fluid. In addition, the thickness of the scaling generates a sort of isolating effect, decreasing the thermal transfer efficiency rate of the exchanger.

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