Invest in Maintenance & Training to Maximize Evaporator Production & Profit

Why invest in maintenance & training? Making relatively minor repairs to your evaporator system and properly training your operating staff can have a significant, positive impact on your bottom line.

Let’s follow the example of an evaporator that is running 75,000 lbs per hour of skim milk. A 1% change in capacity can make a $945,000 dollar change in product throughput, per year.

Invest in Maintenance & Training

Here’s the math:

Skim milk = $.18 per pound.
1% X a feed rate of 75,000 lbs./hr. = a feed rate change of 750 lbs./hr.
In one hour, that is making a $135 per hour change to your throughput capacity.
During a typical 20 hour run time per day, this equals a $2,700 per day change to your through put capacity.
If your plant runs 350 days a year, this is a capacity change worth $945,000 per year.

Invest in Maintenance & Training

If you can add a 1% increase in feed rate on this system, you add this $945,000 to your income.

Of course, if you run 1% less than what you are currently running, then you are missing out on $945,000.

Most evaporators will run better at full design capacity than at less than design capacity. This is due to higher velocities across the heat transfer surfaces.

The primary reasons evaporators don’t run at full capacity are usually either maintenance problems and/or lack of understanding by operators. This is why it is imperative to invest in maintenance & training.

Maintenance problems in evaporators can include vacuum leaks, instrumentation that has not been calibrated or is not working, valves that don’t work and bad pump seals.

Examples of challenges to operations include lack of operator training, not understanding the potential capacity of the system and running it at that capacity, not turning the system around quickly on CIP, lack of proper supervision and not having pertinent KPIs to use as guidelines.

Maintenance problems in an evaporator system require down time to work on the equipment, and the resources, parts and budget to properly maintain and repair the equipment.

Operator problems can usually be dealt with by providing proper training to the operators and operational supervisors. Training will help in making sure they understand how their equipment runs and what its potential capacity is. Providing good supervision and pertinent KPIs will help make sure the evaporator is run at maximum capacity.

A plant operations leader really has two options:

1. Spend a small fraction of this potential increase in through put money for:
         a. Proper maintenance of your evaporator.
         b. For staff training.
    As a result of these positive actions, through puts increase and get closer to design.


2. Ignore system maintenance and staff training.
   As a result of this lack of action, throughputs continue to deteriorate.

Ready to invest in maintenance and training? Contact Caloris today to arrange for an inspection of your evaporator system and/or to schedule training for your operators. Call us at 410-822-6900 or send email to


This post was written by Jim Munch, a consultant with more than 45 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He specializes in start-up support, troubleshooting, and operator & staff training. Jim contracts exclusively with Caloris Engineering.


About Caloris

Caloris transforms process systems design for the better with unexpected, future-focused solutions that solve real operational problems. We engineer efficient, dependable and productive solutions that also improve environmental sustainability where practical. Designed with the end user in mind to drive plant productivity. Caloris offers evaporation, membrane filtration and spray drying process systems for food and dairy industries, as well as for water reuse and wastewater treatment applications. Both Caloris’ custom and pre-engineered packaged systems are designed to meet our customers’ specific concentration/purification needs utilizing the most cost effective and energy efficient technologies available. Whether concentrating dairy, food or juice products at a high-volume production facility, or processing industrial wastewaters to reduce transportation and treatment costs and recover re-usable water, Caloris provides a range of options and technologies.