Case Studies

Baseline Inspections

  • Problem

    The coils that were to be inspected were newly commissioned and had not yet entered commercial operation.

  • Solution

    Multiple in-line inspection runs were carried out using the Merlin™ smart pigging system in order to confirm and validate data.

Results

Initial intelligent tube inspection equips engineers with the data required to confidently make decisions on maintenance, repair and inspection activities.

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Decoking with Bespoke Pigs

  • Problem

    The furnace decoking operation required navigation through plug headers with a reduced throat dimension.

  • Solution

    Cokebusters offered to manufacture custom decoking pigs that would compress sufficiently to navigate the plug headers, but still be hard enough to remove the coke deposits.

Results

The results from the radiography showed that the coke build up was removed from all but two of the radiant tubes as a result of the decoking operation.

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Diametric Growth Detection

  • Problem

    Cokebusters was contracted by a client to carry out a Merlin™ in-line inspection of a reactor charge heater as part of their scheduled maintenance turnaround.

  • Solution

    The tube inspection was carried out using the patented Merlin™ Mark IV Smartpig for accurate geometric assessment of both convection and radiant coils in four separate passes.

Results

Following the tube inspection, the tubes that were identified as damaged were removed upon Cokebusters’ advice. The client remarked that this damage would almost certainly have gone undetected using conventional NDT methodologies.

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Caustic Gouging

  • Problem

    Cokebusters was contracted by a client to carry out a Merlin™ in-line inspection of a ten-line Heat Recovery Steam Generator as part of their scheduled maintenance turnaround.

  • Solution

    The inspection was carried out using the patented Merlin™ Smartpig for accurate geometric assessment of both the evaporator and economizer coils in ten separate lines.

Results

Following the inspection, the tubes that were identified as damaged were removed upon Cokebusters’ advice. It was recommended by Cokebusters that a metallurgic tube sample was obtained from the affected areas to carry out a full EDX/XRD analysis.

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External High Temperature Oxidation

  • Problem

    Cokebusters was contracted by a client to carry out a Merlin™ in-line inspection of an 8-Pass Vacuum Distillation Furnace as part of their scheduled maintenance turnaround.

  • Solution

    The furnace tube inspection was carried out using the patented Merlin™ Smartpig for accurate geometric assessment of both convection and radiant coils in eight separate passes, each containing 4 different nominal tube sizes.

Results

The tubes that were identified as damaged and below the calculated corrosion allowance were removed upon Cokebusters’ advice. Regular mechanical decoking and intelligent smart pigging operations were also recommended to eliminate the potential for similar future damage.

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Internal Pitting Corrosion

  • Problem

    Cokebusters was requested by a reputable global group of refining companies to carry out an in-line inspection of three separate sections of 6-inch furnace tube. The three sections of tubing had been removed from the furnace due to the presence of severe internal pitting corrosion.

  • Solution

    The furnace tube inspection was carried out using the patented Merlin™ Smartpig for accurate geometric assessment of the tube sections.

Results

The Merlin™ Smartpig was able to accurately locate detect areas of internal pitting corrosion both along the tube length and circumferentially around the tube within the three tube samples supplied by the client.

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