Joe White Enterprises

How healthy is your HTST?

Most of us monitor indicators of our health by checking our blood pressure and pulse rate and have a complete physical examination annually. We also monitor the health of our cars by observing things like miles per gallon and have them serviced with an oil change and critical components checked every 3,000 to 6,000 miles.

Just like our bodies and our cars our HTST Systems need periodic inspections. All HTST Systems are designed with specific operating parameters, just like our blood pressure and pulse rate. Some of the key indicators of the health of an HTST:

• Changes in product flow rate.
• Changes in the raw and pasteurized pressure indicated on the differential controller.
• Changes in the increase of product temperature through the regenerator.
• Changes in the temperature differential between product and hot water in the heater section.
• Changes in the hot water supply and return pressure through the heater section.
• Changes in the decrease of product temperature through the regenerator.
• Changes in the temperature drop and final outlet temperature of the cooling section.
• Changes in the cooling temperature through the cooling section.

If changes are made either intentionally or by accident to any of these flow rates, temperatures or pressures they can affect the health and efficiency or indicate a problem of the HTST System.

Some indications of the Health of our HTST Systems:

• Are there indications of entrained air in the final product at the filler?
• Does the level in the bottle drop several days after the product has been filled?
• Is the product flow rate the same at the end of our production run as it is at the beginning or do we sometimes have to shut down and do a short wash to keep the flow rate up?
• Does the temperature differential stay fairly constant throughout the production run or does the differential grow as the production run progresses?
• Are you able to achieve the desired temperature at the discharge of the cooling section of the HTST?
• Do you occasionally blow the press?
• Are the heat exchanger plates as clean and shiny in the heater section of the press as the plates in the cooling section when we open the press for inspection, or do we have to spend time hand cleaning the plates in the heater section?
• Are the separator disks clean and shiny when the separator is opened for inspection, or do we spend time hand cleaning the disk stack?
• Is the upper area of the separator (the pump area) clean when the separator is open or is there buildup of product in this area?
• Does the homogenizer vibrate and make loud noise during production
• What is the condition of the biggest energy thief in the HTST system (the regenerator bypass valve)?