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Helping Essential Industries (Food)

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

New terms have entered our daily lives in the past weeks. Terms such as "Social Distancing", "Self-Isolation" and "Essential Industries" are kind of new to us and we haven't experienced a crisis (COVID-19) as we do these days.

To keep our essential supply chain up and running, we need to make sure that we work organized, effectively and productively. Avoiding downtimes and operating efficiently is an absolute necessity these days. One aspect is the usage of the proper equipment and tools.


In the food and beverage sector, perfect hygiene and faultless machinery are essential. The food industry is full of so-called Plate Heat Exchangers. These are used in a variety of fields, particularly those involved in heating or cooling fluids. Plate Heat Exchangers were first produced in the 1920s and have since been widely used. A plate heat exchanger consists of a series of parallel plates that are placed one above the other to allow the formation of a series of channels for fluids to flow between them. The space between two adjacent plates forms the channel in which the fluid flows. The plates need to be changed regularly and it can be a cumbersome process that slows production down. To ensure a trouble-free production process, reliable tools are crucial. Very often the plate heat exchangers used have to be maintained, serviced, repaired and fastened together tightly. Saving time when loosening and tightening heavy bolt connections is essential. 

The manuals of the Alfa-Laval plate heat exchangers explain the process. You can use conventional torque wrenches but the procedure is a labour- and time-consuming process.

There are specifically designed tools that help to ease the bolting process such as hydraulic solutions. The issue is that they aren't continuously rotating but ratchet and that you need a hydraulic pump and pressure loop that is full of oil which is undesirable in the food facilities.

Other solutions consist of pneumatic or electric/battery-powered hand tools with special gear drives attached to them. The most conventional hex sizes are 120, 80, 65, 55, 46 mm. US manufacturers like AGC out of Wisconsin use 1 3/4" and 2" Hex sizes and others. Hex inserts allow operators of different units or service companies to service different units with one tool.


Electric or pneumatic torque multipliers are designed to save customers time during the maintenance process. They offer continuous rotation, tightening or loosening of heavy bolt connections with large spindles or long threads. 


These torque multipliers for plate heat exchangers are available with two different gear systems. Depending on the side from which your heat exchanger is accessed, alkitronic offers a solution to fit your needs.

The radial gearing (R) with a high-performance worm drive is suitable for lateral bolting and requires a little more space; the gear and multiplier form one unit.

The tangential gearing (SG) with highly efficient spur gear is the ideal solution for frontal tightening when space is restricted. The advantage is that the multiplier can also be used for other applications independently of the gear.


Advantages at a glance

  • a simple one-finger operation for quick, safe tightening

  • Time-saving during permanent operation (optional for RCL and CLS-SG)

  • Extremely robust motor; gear housing of cast aluminum 

  • IP54 protection against moisture and dust

  • Load-free operation with short assembly time

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