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Effective Agitator Operation and Maintenance

By Chemical Engineering |

Agitators play key roles in chemical processing. Their proper operation and maintenance can improve process reliability, leading to reduced downtime and costs Agitators are used in all sectors of the chemical process industries[/caption] Agitators, which are relied upon to dependably and cost-effectively meet production goals, are commonly used throughout the chemical process industries (CPI). Despite their prevalence and importance, agitators are rarely the focal point of process hardware. In fact, a properly functioning agitator is usually a case of “out of sight, out of mind.” It is when an agitator is not working properly that it garners the most (unwanted) attention. The purpose of this article is to outline best practices for agitator operation and maintenance to ensure reliability and reduce the costs and headaches associated with process downtime. Agitators share significant characteristics with other rotating equipment, particularly pumps. The most apparent similarity between pumps and agitators is the production of fluid motion via impeller rotation. However, the scope of process objectives to be accomplished by agitators is much broader than that of pumps. While the primary purpose of pumping is to transport material…
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