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Benefits of Ultrasonic Clean-in-Place

The overarching benefit of USP Technology is the extended run-length you’ll achieve —Here’s how.
USP Technology is a Clean-in-Place (CIP) system that works 24/7, during full-process operation. USP uses calibrated ultrasound to mitigate the formation and adherence of fouling and scale deposits from settling on heat transfer surfaces. This continuous cleaning mechanism leads to multiple processing benefits.

Extend Process Run-time

The production losses due to cleaning-related downtime, whether shutdown or turnaround, can cost a facility far more than outage activities themselves. Conventional methods like hydro-blasting or chemical circulation always require unit downtime. They cannot guarantee optimal heat exchanger performance through the run.

Enhanced Energy Recovery

Fouling reduces the amount of heat recovered from product streams. More heat must be supplied by the furnace/heat source to compensate for the lower feed temperature. Operating costs can increase by up to 6%1 from increased fuel consumption.

USP Technology increases turbulent flow and sustains surface cleanliness, allowing for better heat transfer. A refinery who implemented our Ultrasonic CIP system reported OHTC levels similar to when this heat train was first put into service, 5 years previous.

Improved Product Throughput

Fouling in heat exchangers will reduce the productive diameter through which heat exchangers are able to operate. Throughput limits include hydraulic pressure or duty constraints. Common procedures for restoring some throughput, are either online spalling of the tubes or by incurring a production shut down to clean the assets.
USP Technology disrupts scale and fouling deposition every hour of the day. The ultrasound keeps transfer surfaces clean for longer— improving pump, furnace and fuel efficiencies.

Cost Avoidance


Cleaning a heat exchanger(Hx) can involve 20+ activities: unit bypass, depressurizing, in-situ pre-clean treatments, scaffold assembly, Hx disassembly, crane, bundle extraction, transporting to a cleaning area, cleaning contractor, water, chemicals and of course the remediation of the water, chemical and waste products. This process nearly repeats in reverse for putting an exchanger back into service. Each step involves multiple contractors, permits, meetings, reports, and potential delays.

As USP Technology continuously mitigates fouling during full operation, processors need not shut down as frequently to clean.  Sure, maintenance cost savings can be a significant benefit. However, it’s only fraction of the financial benefit when compared to the margin gained on potential process throughput had you not shut down at all.

Health, Safety, and the Environment

Having to opening heat exchangers for cleaning, the cleaning methods and chemicals themselves, all share in the reliability, safety, and environmental risks. Hundreds of our colleagues are injured each year in cleaning. It’s estimated that 1-2.5% of global CO2 emissions come from heat exchanger fouling and cleaning. That’s significant.
USP Technology helps to reduce these figures by keeping the heat exchangers cleaner, for longer intervals. Cleaner exchangers require less fuel to operate. Less fuel and less cleaning is good for all of us.
1S. Machietto et al., 2009, International Conference on Heat Exchanger Fouling and Cleaning VIII
Where Can USP Technology Be Used?
As a Clean-in-Place system, USP Technology is modular and can be affixed to heat exchangers, pipe runs, hoppers, pumps, etc.