Frequent cleaning a thing of the past

Mexichem reduced maintenance needs and increased production capacity in one of its PVC plants when exchanging two alternately operating shell-and-tube interchangers for two Alfa Laval spiral heat exchangers. As an added bonus the extra heat recovered by the new heat exchangers resulted in annual steam savings of 110,000 euros.

DATE 2023-11-28

The engineers at one of Mexichem's PVC plants searched for a way to boost production capacity and reduce maintenance needs. Alfa Laval recommended them to switch to spiral heat exchangers and the company installed its first two units in 1998. Since then six additional spiral heat exchangers have been installed in various positions in their plants.

The Mexichem engineering group worked closely with Alfa Laval from the beginning of the project. “The accurate and timely support from Alfa Laval were important factors when we chose Alfa Laval as a supplier”, says Armando Obregón, Project and Construction Quality Engineer at Mexichem. 

Easy installation

The high thermal efficiency of a spiral heat exchanger makes it very compact. The two new units at Mexichem have significantly higher capacity than the previous shell-and-tubes, yet they could easily be fitted into the available space.

Miguel Angel Rivera Hernández, Engineering Manager at Mexichem, explains there has been little need for service or advice from Alfa Laval after commissioning. “The performance is so good we hardly think about cleaning anymore. Now we only take the spiral heat exchangers out of operation once a year when the entire plant is overhauled”, he says.




  • Perfect for highly fouling duties
  • Easy cleaning
  • Superior performance
  • Perfect for heat recovery
  • Designed and built for rough conditions 
Alfa Laval is a supplier with reliable, high quality products. Thermal performance, materials, design and welding are all top class.

Armando Obregón, Mexichem Project and Construction Quality Engineer