Case: Part for heat exchanger tube
This case concerns a heat exchanger tube, which is part of a larger food processing equipment system for high volume food manufacturing.
The heat exchanger tube consists of a small pipe places inside a large pipe. Through the large pipe the heat medium floats (e.g., 95 degree hot water) and through the small pipe floats the food that is to be processed, homogenized or cooked.
The heat exchanger among others is used for homogenizing milk and making precooked meals. As the heat exchanger tube is a food contact equipment, it is made from stainless steel. This makes it more resistant to corrosion and makes it durable even though it is a part of an environment with large temperature fluctuations and high and low PH values.
How we manufacture the part for the heat exchanger tube
The heat exchanger tube consists of 2 parts, which is deep-drawn from metal sheet, both through vertical and horizontal draws. Subsequently the two parts are welded together. This sheet metal solution has replaced a previous forming process consisting of a combination of forging and milling.
The benefit of shifting to a deep-drawing process, is that it is a chip-less manufacturing process, which thereby reduces the material waste.
Additionally deep-drawing is a cold process, which preserves a higher strength in the material, compared to e.g. forged items. The high material strength, also make possible that a thinner material thickness can be used without compromising quality and durability requirements. Thereby, material is saved, so the item becomes lighter and cheaper.