MEMBER PRESS RELEASE – Combined companies have more than 100 years’ experience
By Matt Hale, International Sales & Marketing Director, HRS Heat Exchangers
The recent acquisition of HRS Heat Exchangers by Canada-based Exchanger Industries Limited (EIL) has created an international group with more than 100 years of combined experience in heat transfer technologies. The two companies are now focused on updating their combined strategy, sharing best practice to drive developments in their complementary areas of operations and investing in these strengths to continue an impressive record of worldwide growth.
Exchanger Industries was founded in Calgary, Alberta by Howard Thom in 1961 as Exchanger Sales and Services to manufacture tubular heat exchangers. By 1964 the company was also manufacturing air-cooled heat exchangers, sulphur condensers and waste heat boilers, which still remain core products to the present day.
One of the keys to EIL’s success has been its willingness to adopt new technologies, from an early Wang computer used to design heat exchangers in the early 1980s, through the use of communication technologies in the 1980s to the latest design software and workshop tooling.
Exchanger Industries specialises in large-scale fabrication (the largest air cooler the company has produced weighed in at 65 tonnes) and solving complex design problems, as well as offering alternative design solutions which lower the total life-cycle cost of projects In particular EIL units are found in the petrochemical, industrial and clean power generation sectors. Over the years EIL has introduced a number of new applications and developments including new baffle designs and coatings.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Heat Recovery Systems (HRS) was set up in the UK in 1981 by Steven Pither to sell heat exchangers. Within a few years HRS had taken on more design and selection work until eventually it began to manufacture heat exchangers, and the corrugated tubular heat exchangers for which it is best known. HRS specialises in corrugated and scraped surface heat exchangers which reduce fouling, improve efficiency and allow a smaller product footprint.
Over the years HRS has responded to a number of specific customer requests, which has led to the creating of a number of innovative products and systems including piston pumps, aseptic fillers, pasteurisers, evaporators, CIP skids, and solutions for treating and managing sludges and digestate. HRS clients come from a wide variety of industries, including food production, water and waste management, environmental, AD/biogas and industrial sectors.
Both Exchanger Industries and HRS undertake all aspects of heat exchanger design and construction themselves, from initial project assessment through to final delivery and commissioning. They understand that every job is unique and requires individual calculation of heat transfer and mechanical design. All products, from the smallest HRS pump to the largest EIL waste heat boiler, are manufactured to the strictest standards, such as those set by the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the European Union.
Each company also has proprietary and patented technologies, which have the potential to work together to bring new and improved solutions to market. For example, HRS, which is known for its unique corrugated tube geometry, has its patented Unicus Series of scraped surface heat exchangers and created its own heat exchange design software, while EIL has its EMbaffle® and Helixchangers™ and is well known for its development of a proprietary anti-fouling coating, which was commercialised in 2018. Heat recovery is a priority for both, as is increasing efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of their client’s and customer’s activities.
In fact, both antifouling coating technology and corrugated tubes provide similar benefits to the end user, albeit in different ways. Exchanger Industries’ proprietary antifouling represents a breakthrough in tackling the issue of fouling, which affects heat exchangers used in multiple industries. The technology has taken ten years of R&D and seven years of field-scale evaluation in the oil and gas industry. HRS was the first company to introduce corrugated tubes to the UK market and over the years has continued to improve their design.
Both antifouling coatings and corrugated tubes deliver a number of benefits including reduced fouling leading to a substantial reduction in cleaning frequency, improved process efficiency, the potential to use smaller heat exchangers units due to reduced fouling and improved heat exchange efficiency, capital savings due to improved designs and reduced maintenance requirements.
Not surprisingly, understanding the science of heat transfer and thermodynamics is key to the success of both businesses. One of the key early team members at Exchanger Industries was Bill Knight who had a wealth of experience in the industry. By the time he joined the company in 1967 Bill had published numerous topics on heat transfer, many of which are still used as key references today, and current Vice President Commercial John Michelin Jr sits on the technical committee of Heat Transfer Research, Inc., a global leader in process heat transfer and heat exchanger technology. EIL was also a founding member of APVMA, which is currently chaired by its Vice President Operations Gavin Exon. More recently HRS has undertaken a thorough review of the scientific work which has been used to underpin its own calculations, a process which led to a number of changes in the way heat exchangers are specified and resulted in the design and adoption of new bespoke heat exchanger design software.
Individually both HRS and Exchanger Industries have made huge developments in the areas in which they operate and are each international companies in their own right. Together they now have a truly global footprint, employing some 420 people around the world, with manufacturing plants in four countries and sales offices in ten.
Staff are the key to the success of both companies. For example, a number of staff have been with each company for more than 30 years and Moving forward under the leadership of Mark el Baroudi as CEO, both Exchanger Industries and HRS will use their collective experience to share best practice and take key learnings from their respective business to see if they can be applied to new areas. Because of the different industry sectors they serve, this really is a case of two complementary companies coming together to further strengthen their differentiated customer offerings, identify opportunities for investment to drive international growth, and enhance their status as a worldwide leader in heat transfer solutions and technology.
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About HRS Heat Exchangers
Located in the UK, HRS Heat Exchangers is part of the HRS Group which operates at the forefront of thermal technology, offering innovative heat transfer solutions worldwide across a diverse range of industries. With 40 years’ experience in the anaerobic digestion, biogas and energy sectors, specialising in the design and manufacture of an extensive range of turnkey systems and components, incorporating our corrugated tubular and scraped surface heat exchanger technology, HRS units are compliant with global design and industry standards. HRS has a network of offices throughout the world: Australia, New Zealand, UK, Spain, USA, Malaysia and India; with manufacturing plants in the UK, India and Spain. www.hrs-heatexchangers.com