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HRS supplies multinational pharmaceuticals company

HRS Process Solutions recently provided a major multinational pharmaceutical company with heat exchangers to cool Water for Injection (WFI) at one of its production facilities in Australia.

Water for Injection (WFI) is a key ingredient of many pharmaceutical products and can also be used in its own right, for example to irrigate wounds. Typically, WFI is recirculated at temperatures in excess of 75 deg. C to prevent microbial growth; however the take-off points for product manufacturing require WFI at ambient temperatures.

HRS recently supplied technology to the Melbourne facility belonging to one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing organisations with three heat exchangers to cool WFI, which is then used at various end points around the site. The facility uses innovative technology to produce advanced sterile liquid medicines, which are then exported to more than 30 countries worldwide. The Melbourne site uses WFI as the bulk excipient ingredient in the formulation of sterile pharmaceutical products, as well as in equipment cleaning processes.

The importance of hygiene

Globally, WFI is vital for the safe and effective operation of pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and as such, it must meet stringent regulatory standards of purity. The HRS SP Series (formerly known as the F Series) of pharmaceutical heat exchangers is specifically designed to provide the necessary levels of hygiene for such applications, while being much more efficient than traditional smooth tube heat exchangers.

The overall engineering design for the new WFI production line was overseen by a third-party contractor as part of an on-site upgrade which saw the replacement of old plate heat exchangers, which required replacement of the plate packs every four years at considerable cost, with the new HRS SP Series units.

Having previous worked with HRS on other biomedical projects, the contractor, along with the client, identified HRS as the preferred supplier due to both the quality and performance of the SP Series, and the company’s ability to provide a high quality technical installation in a challenging environment: in this case, a confined area in the manufacturing facility’s ceiling space. To overcome the challenges created by such a location, HRS worked closely with all stakeholders to offer a bespoke design, supplying a modular solution that allowed for disassembly on site. This enables the frames and modules to be pulled down and re-assembled in the confined space available.

Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director HRS Heat Exchangers, explains:

“The HRS SP Series of heat exchangers is specifically designed to comply with the strict plant and high quality standards that are crucial for WFI. Our experience with such installations means that the SP Series is also backed up by all the standards and documentation necessary for pharmaceutical installations. The SP Series is made entirely from stainless steel with a double tube plate to avoid cross contamination. Also featuring an ASME BPE clamp finish on the tube side, the range is ideal for WFI applications. In addition, because they feature HRS corrugated tube technology, they are much more efficient than normal smooth tube heat exchangers, meaning that they can be made smaller to fit into restricted spaces, while multiple units can be interconnected and frame-mounted for larger projects.”

High capacity with low pressure drop

The three SP Series heat exchangers are capable of cooling up to 14 tonnes of WFI per hour from an average temperature of 80 deg. C to around 20 deg. C using chilled water, with a pressure drop of just 0.1 bar. The units were installed within four months of the first quotation being delivered.

Commenting on the completed installation, the client’s Project Engineer added:

“HRS was awarded the tender contract as they offered the best price, with references confirming the quality of similar HRS equipment was good. HRS also offered the most compact design; that was an important factor due to the limited space available in the plant room.

“At the design stage, the local HRS sales director spent a lot of time working with us to ensure the design and geometry of the units would provide the performance we required and fit within the space available. The new heat exchangers were installed over the Christmas period in 2017 and have provided trouble-free service since installation. We would comfortably use HRS again for heat exchangers in future projects.”


The HRS SP Series is ideally suited for the thermal processing of Water for Injection (WFI)

The HRS SP Series is ideally suited for the thermal processing of Water for Injection (WFI)


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