Robots Restore Ethylene Furnace at Major U.S. Petrochemical Plant

The Challenge

A petrochemical plant in the United States required the convection section of its ethylene furnace to be cleaned. The plant had several assets running at restricted throughput due to fouling build-up. Previously, the convection section had been cleaned with an air lance but following an on-site review and learning of our convection bank cleaning robot, it was decided to implement the innovative technology to resolve the fouling issues.


A date to commence cleaning was agreed, which was approximately six weeks after the initial enquiry. We mobilised a team of fouling removal experts to review the job in hand and select an appropriate cleaning method. The robotic convection section technology was implemented, and cleaning commenced after the swift inspection and set-up of the equipment. The allocated time to complete the job was three shifts, which the team successfully adhered to. Our robotic technology was able to access more than 95% of the surface area of the asset whilst ensuring no damage to the refractory. We were able to provide a far superior clean than previous attempts at removing the fouling.


Our unique robotic technology can access areas that traditional cleaning methods simply cannot. The level of fouling present had never been removed with the same results; the previous air lance system was only able to access and remove a fraction of the fouling, whereas our robotic technology is able to penetrate the core of the fouling, achieving a far superior clean. As a result, CO2 emissions have been reduced and the client is expected to achieve a significant ROI soon as a result of contracting our innovative fouling removal techniques.

Tube Tech International is the heat exchanger cleaning specialist. If fouled heat exchangers are impacting your process performance, contact us to increase your throughput and profit today.

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