Understanding the REAL problems
The Pleat idea and development has been achieved by a main team without direct background from the heat exchanger business, but with decades of solving REAL problems within the Oil & Gas industry.
In order to develop a heat exchanger with a game changer potential, a rock solid understanding of the market’s REAL problems was of highest importance, and also the customer savings - if solved.
The marine market was selected to start with, due to obvious challenges with seawater and the limited space and time to clean coolers. In order to fully understand the “value of the problem”, several ship-owners allowed the team to visit a variety of vessels and interview key personnel about all issues regarding engine/ship cooling. The information was sorted into different types of vessels & systems, and converted into a chart showing yearly cost for planned overhaul and un-planned problems.
These studies gave in-depth understanding of the REAL problems, their cost, and the priority in which they should be solved. With this all sorted, the ship-owners were presented to the results, being surprised of the real cost. They were immediately ready to attend as partners during a development of the new technology.
There has been a long range of prototypes and testing. With 3D CAD and CFD tools, the prototypes have step by step proven theoretical and practical capabilities. All prototypes have been tested in pre-defined test programs, (involving field test on vessels from the Norwegian ship owners Simon Møkster Shipping AS and Tide Sjø AS), showing good performance and substantial cost and time savings.
In 2009, Pleat and Sperre entered industrial partnership, giving Sperre the rights to use the Pleat technology for heat exchangers within the worldwide marine market. The technology has reached a lot of recognition from the business, and the demand and sale is increasing.