Heat Exchanger Industry Spotlight: Sugar Processing

The sugar industry, including both sugar beets and sugarcane, is one of the most prominent sectors in the global food market. In the U.S. alone, 8.1 million metric tons of sugar is produced each year, supporting 142,000 jobs in 22 states.

Sugar is nature’s oldest sweetener, but isn’t just used to add a sweet flavor to food and beverages; it also functions as a natural preservative, fermentation substrate and texture modifier for a wide variety of foods. In recent years, sugar has even been used as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel.

At WCR, we know there’s much more to sugar — and sugar production — than meets the eye. Here’s how we support the sugar industry with superior heat exchanger service, spare parts and support:

Fast, Efficient Heat Exchanger Maintenance for Sugar Plants

Plate heat exchangers play a vital role in sugar milling and refining. During a campaign, sugar heat exchangers are in near-constant use for heating and cooling processes at every step of the process, from extraction to purification, evaporation, and crystallization. Keeping these hard-working pieces of equipment in peak condition is essential, yet sugar plants have limited downtime to complete preventive heat exchanger maintenance.

Typically, sugar plants schedule technical shutdowns during the summer months to match the sugar cane or beet harvesting cycles. With only a few weeks to complete open, wash and close services on massive plate heat exchangers, it’s important to have a reliable heat exchanger maintenance partner with the right capabilities and enough skilled workers to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

That’s why WCR is proud to offer:

On-Call Field Service Teams for On-Site Service

WCR has an extensive field service network, with 21 service teams strategically located within 8 hours of any destination — including large sugar mills in the Upper Midwest and Southern regions. Our expert technicians have years of cross-brand knowledge and experience handling all models of plate heat exchangers, and they’re ready to spring into action when and where you need service.

Heat exchanger plate cleaning service from WCR

World-Class Heat Exchanger Cleaning Services

Processing organic material, like sugar, can lead to a form of precipitation fouling known as crystallization. This is why sugar heat exchangers need to be cleaned periodically to remove the fouling buildup and ensure optimal efficiency. WCR actually invented the cleaning process that’s been imitated by other heat exchanger companies, including OEMs. You can count on our thorough cleaning services to return your heat exchanger specifications back to nameplate performance.

WCR inventory graphic: 200,000+ plates in stock, 600,000+gaskets in stock = the largest spare parts inventory in the midwest
WCR heat exchanger inventory

Expedited Heat Exchanger Replacement Parts for Sugar Mills

In the event that a repair cannot be completed as quickly as your sugar plant requires, or if the heat exchanger has damaged components, a replacement spare part is necessary. There’s no need to wait for a spare part to ship from overseas when you choose WCR’s quality domestically produced spare parts for heat exchangers. 

WCR has the largest inventory of replacement spare plates and gaskets in the US, including the Alfa Laval MA30 S and MA30 M, the most popular plate used in the sugar industry. All our spare parts are American-made with a focus on quality, safety and performance.

Plan for Summer Outage Season with WCR Heat Exchangers!

At WCR, we understand the importance of maximizing your sugar plant’s summer downtime with fast, efficient, and reliable heat exchanger maintenance services.

We enjoy working one-on-one with customers in the sugar production industry to plan ahead and schedule strategic, cycle-based preventative maintenance programs for their high-performance heat exchangers. How can we help your sugar processing plant perform at its peak? Get in touch with our team to schedule preventative heat exchanger maintenance today!