Italian Pharmaceutical Company Enjoys Fast Payback on GEM Steam Traps

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Courtesy of Thermal Energy International Inc.

A leading global healthcare company has revealed that it has achieved a 12-month payback on Thermal Energy International’s GEM venturi orifice steam traps installed at its manufacturing facility in Italy.  Thermal Energy International has installed a total of 92 steam traps throughout the facility’s process plant, which has removed the problems of mechanical steam trap failure and high maintenance costs.

The company’s most important site in Italy for technology, innovation and development of pharmaceutical products, the management asked Thermal Energy International to conduct a survey of its mechanical traps, which were regularly failing open, partly open and closed, necessitating both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.  To corroborate its findings, Thermal Energy International undertook a metered test on a process application and then carried out a positive bucket test.

The report from Thermal Energy International on the 51 steam traps surveyed found that 30% had failed, resulting in an estimated 757 tonne/y of steam being lost each year at a cost of about 31,000 euros.  As a result of the project, the company would not only be saving costs in energy and a reduction in maintenance but would also reduce its start-up time and reduce its CO2 emissions by a substantial 131 tonnes.

Thermal Energy International demonstrated that by replacing the existing traps with the GEM venturi orifice design, blocked steam traps could be prevented from impacting on production and start-up times, and by efficiently returning condensate back to the boilers maximum energy savings would be achieved.  All 92 mechanical traps installed on industrial steam and some clean steam applications including PSG, distillers, air conditioning units and heat exchangers were replaced with appropriately sized GEM steam traps.Such has been the success of Thermal Energy International’s GEM steam traps that the company plans to install further GEM traps as further improvements and investment is made at the manufacturing facility.

Instead of utilising a valve mechanism to close off steam for maximum energy and water conservation, the highly efficient GEM steam traps use the venturi orifice design to effectively drain condensate from the steam system. As the GEM steam traps have no moving parts to wedge open or fail, they provide the ultimate in reliability necessitating only minimal maintenance and requiring no spares, testing or monitoring equipment.   

Available in a wide range of sizes for a full cross section of applications, the hardwearing GEM steam traps are manufactured from corrosion resistant stainless steel and are guaranteed for 10 years, obviating the need for repair or replacement.  The GEM steam traps provide a fast payback - on some processes within a matter of days - from reduced energy costs and increased equipment reliability due to a reduction in damaging condensate in steam systems.  In addition they improve product processing by enhancing the quality of steam and also reduce equipment repairs, downtime and replacement costs. 



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