Robotic Fired Heater Cleaning of Finned Convection Tubes

Fired Heater restricted access Fired heater tubes after robotic clean Triangular pitched tubes before clean Morning cleaning information

Deposit across 90% of fired heater finned area removed


Having previously tried chemical cleaning on their severely fouled fired heater, this UK based refinery tasked Tube Tech to see if their remote Robotic Fired Heater System could reach between the finned and bare convection tubes to achieve a thorough and effective clean.

The Challenge

  • Cleaning standard specified by client was 80% of production standard or better if possible.
  • The triangular pitched tubes were a mixture of finned and bare tubes.
  • Client was uncertain how hard or soft the fouling was deep within the fired heater, but was aware the gas flows were severely restricted and heat transfer reduced.
  • It was expected that 90% of the fired heater tubes had some kind of fouling and that 90% of all the finned area had a compact deposit sitting on the surfaces.
  • Client specified that water was to have restricted contact with the refractory.
  • Access to internal tube space sections of fired heater was via three entry points – dimensions 800mm x 500mm on separate levels.

Our Solution

  • Tube Tech adapted its robotic units to enable full reach between all the tube rows and along tube full length on each level.
  • Demonstrated to client in mock-up prior to mobilisation.
  • Operating the fired heater robot by remote control the Tube Tech technicians ensured the refractory was not in direct contact with the robot jets.
  • On the critical path the fired heater was cleaned effectively within the time frame specified by the client.

Tube Tech Comment

“Our client was really impressed with the Tube Tech engineered approach and standard of cleanliness achieved by the robotic units, the system negates man entry and removes the need for chemicals, therefore it is inherently safe and has less impact on the environment. This was the ideal solution for the severely fouled fired heater”severely fouled fired heater.”

Contact Tube Tech Today

For more information or to discuss your cleaning challenge call us on +44 1268 786999 or e-mail, alternatively click here to fill out our contact form.

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