CCR Platformers in North America Polished to enable IRIS Inspection Standard

CCR platformers / Combined Feed Exchangers were introduced to remote controlled Internal Rotary Inspection System (IRIS) standard tube polishing technology

A Canadian site was concerned over their CCR platformers’ VCFE tube integrity as traditional contractors that used water jetting / chemicals could not achieve IRIS (ultrasonic) inspection standards. The site needed to accurately determine tube wall thickness to anticipate asset life. A Capex replacement of this multi-million dollar heat exchanger looked inevitable.

However, an existing Tube Tech client recommended our services to the Canadian site. A good first impression was needed as this was Tube Tech’s first ever contract in Canada / N America. A bespoke method was developed, fully tested and successfully applied to their CCR platformers.

The Challenge

  • One week time frame.
  • Two VCFEs needed to be cleaned.
  • 100% of tubes to be cleaned to production standard.
  • 10% of tubes to be highly polished to IRIS standard.
  • 1,434 tubes per exchanger.
  • Deposit was gummy, hydro carbon scale.
  • Local water jetting contractors were unable to achieve the desired standard.

Solution

  • The small 18” diameter man way/nozzle, located on the side of a fully welded header at right angles to tube sheet, was accessed using bespoke remote technology.
  • The tubes were drilled, descaled, polished and inspected.
  • Remote control IRIS Standard tube polishing technology was applied from top down over – It is also capable of inspecting vertical tubes of 65 feet (20m) upwards.
  • Guaranteed IRIS inspection standard first time.
  • Both VCFEs were cleaned simultaneously within the clients timeframe.

Tube Tech Comment

Ken McMahon, Workshop Manager: “The site could not have been more accommodating which really helped the contract to run smoothly. Excellent communication, brilliant facilities and all round great teamwork led to a successful CCR feed exchanger clean.”

Tube Tech Comment

Turnaround Block Coordinator: “I think you have made your mark here and you left a great good impression with the PI group and the right people in the PI group who want to use you in future – especially for IRIS. I mean when you do IRIS testing and you do it the first time and there is no rework then there is no added cost whereas on site here in the past we had to clean and re-clean and re-clean and then it’s not only the cost of the cleaning company it’s the cost of all the other resources that are supporting that activity. So it all compounds.

That’s what we communicated to the folks at Port Arthur that although the outset costs were higher than your typical incumbent the overall cost is cheaper because of less re-work and less compounding costs from other resources.”

Images and videos associated with this project are available via Tube Tech International
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