In the pharmaceutical industry, what is most important? More important than sales, branding, pricing and access? Safety and efficacy.
People’s lives and health depend on you. When healthcare providers and patients purchase your medicines, vaccines or devices, they are trusting you to deliver products which will do what they say. They believe that the therapeutics they purchase from you will truly improve their health, without causing any unexpected side effects. This is why when you set up a pharmaceutical facility, you too should pick partners whom you trust, especially so when it comes to choosing pressure vessel manufacturers in India.
Pressure vessels are integral in pharma and other industries; but with all their benefits, pressure vessels also have their fair share of risks and challenges. You absolutely should not partner with an equipment manufacturer without doing your homework about their expertise, experience, values and commitment to quality. In this article, we’re going to give you the lowdown on all things pressure vessels, so that when it’s time for you to pick a pressure vessel manufacturer in India, you know exactly which boxes they need to check to be the ideal partner for you!
What is a pressure vessel?
As always, we start with the basics. What do we talk about when we talk about pressure vessels? Any vessel, tank or equipment which is designed to operate at pressures significantly different from the ambient pressure. Pressure vessels typically operate over 15 psig. Made from carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminium or a range of other high quality metals, pressure vessels are usually cylindrical or spherical in shape and hold liquids or gases in them. They are composed of a shell, nozzles, flanges, gaskets, a baseplate, internals and other parts specific to the function of the particular pressure vessel. Naturally, they are closed containers; any gaps or opening would not allow you to maintain high pressures inside.
Where are pressure vessels used?
Pressure vessel manufacturers in India make different pressure vessels based on industry and use case.
Pressure vessels have applications in the pharma industry, oil and gas industry, the petroleum refining industry, in power plants, and in chemical and petrochemical processing. Boilers, columns, separators, knock-out drums and bullet tanks operating at high temperatures and pressures are also examples of pressure vessels. In the pharma industry, specifically, tubular heat exchangers, chemical reactors and bioreactors, distillation columns, compounding vessels or manufacturing vessels, and storage vessels can all be pressurised containers.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these functions:
Storage vessels hold liquids, vapours and gases which are either raw materials or finished products in the manufacturing process. Depending on the nature and stability of these elements, they may need to be held at controlled temperatures and pressures.
Heat exchangers, especially double sheet tubular heat exchangers, are critical to efficient pharma and other industrial manufacturing operations. They transfer heat between fluids and gases, with a service medium flowing through the tubes at a high pressure to transfer energy to the product medium. This means that heat exchangers are subject to temperature and pressure differentials which exert stress on the pharma equipment, making resilience an important feature of high quality heat exchangers.
Boilers are primarily used to heat liquids, with fuel-based or electrical sources heating the enclosed vessel. Heating liquids often involves phase change, with the generated vapour having various applications. Given all the pressure and heat stress such a piece of equipment must endure, it should be constructed of durable, heat stable and corrosion-resistant materials – like the best pressure vessel manufacturers in India do.
Process vessels can refer to containers where a variety of industrial processes take place – mixing, agitation, distillation, chemical reactions and more. Based on the nature of the process it is intended for, internal pressure in process vessels varies to support effective and smooth action.
Choosing the best pressure vessel manufacturer in India: What are the risks?
No matter where in the world you are sourcing your pressure vessels from, by the very nature of how pressure vessels operate, there are significant risks involved.
Pressure vessels are designed to facilitate processes which need pressures significantly higher than atmospheric pressure. But these high pressures present safety risks to those who work with them. Cracked or damaged vessels are absolutely unacceptable – they can result in leakages of dangerous substances into your manufacturing area, causing suffocations, fires, poisonings, and even explosions. The damage to life and property that a poor quality pressure vessel can cause is irreversible. So to ensure a safe working environment for your workers and high product quality for your consumers, choose a pressure vessel manufacturer in India who prioritises safety above all else.
Which standards do the best pressure vessel manufacturers in India comply with?
We can all agree that safety is paramount, but how exactly do we determine if the manufacturer we intend to work with has pulled out all the stops to protect your people and products? This is where internationally-recognised standards come to the rescue.
From pressure vessel design and maintenance to equipment inspection there are a number of codes manufacturers follow and standards they maintain. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers – ASME, for short – has in place the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code to help you out. You should ideally look at the ASME Code Section VIII, as well as Sections II, V and IX for a comprehensive understanding of global standards in pressure vessel design, materials, welding and construction.
The American Petroleum Institute, or API, has API 510 – the Pressure Vessel Inspection Code for guidelines on maintenance inspection, rating, repair and alteration. Other API codes cover regulations for design, material, construction, piping and maintaining durability. Additionally, EN 13445 is the existing European standard, used widely across the continent; there’s the German standard AD Merkblätter, and a number of other standards harmonised with the Pressure Equipment Directive for equipment operating at different pressure conditions.
How to identify the best pressure vessel manufacturer in India: Your ultimate guide.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: safety and efficacy are paramount. So when it comes to choosing the best pressure vessel manufacturer in India for whatever your needs may be, we’re placing compliance with international safety and efficacy standards at the very top of our list.
So you’ve found an equipment partner who appears experienced, skilled and committed to the job at hand. How do you verify the safety of their products and processes? We value transparency above all else, and you should too. Ask your potential equipment partners some detailed questions to get an accurate assessment of their commitment to safety.
The ASME Section VIII ordinarily governs the design of pressure vessels. Along with compliance to the guidelines laid down, complete your own assessment of their pressure vessel design. You should know both the internal and external design pressures, the test pressure, design temperature, type of support, material of construction, its tensile strength, and the dimensions of the pressure vessel, including thickness and diameter of the shell. You can refer to ASME Section VIII, Division 1 for the design formulae of each section of the pressure vessel. If the design checks all your boxes and also meets internationally-accepted standards, you’ve found a winner!
Efficacy and efficiency
As with any other process or industry, quality testing is an important part of the manufacturing process. When you find a pressure vessel manufacturer in India who you like, make sure to carry out a check of the equipment they have in inventory or may have made for other clients. Take a peek at documentation for visual testing as well as ultrasonic, radiographic, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, and pressure testing to know for sure that the pressure vessel you hope for is the pressure vessel you will get.
All said and done, finding the ideal equipment partner in an industry such as pharma is hardly an easy task. Extensive research, building trust in relationships, and staying abreast of industry trends are all prerequisites to making a good decision. At TSA, two decades of experience has left us with a wealth of knowledge which is only growing. We never shy away from a challenge; instead, we upskill to develop the capabilities you require to deliver the perfect project. So if you’re looking for the best pressure vessel manufacturers in India, reach out to us and have a chat with our team of skilled experts. You will not be disappointed.