The Top Five Cleaning Challenges of the Refining Industry

Keeping heat exchangers clean is a vital aspect of routine maintenance, yet maintenance is often the poor relation of a refinery and where production often has the final say. Fouling will always build up and will continuously cost money in lost energy, asset life, run time, etc. This is especially true of exchangers upstream of your fired heater (the biggest consumer of energy within your plant) as they are fired harder to compensate for the lack of heat exchanger performance.

Shutdowns due to heat exchanger failure and fouling costs hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars a year – many times the pin prick cost of the most technically intensive cleaning procedures.

1. FIRED HEATER CONVECTION SECTION

Traditional manual or automated lance cleaning techniques cannot overcome access issues and therefore, only clean what the operator can physically see. Standard cleaning techniques can damage the refractory and are often time consuming. Tube Tech International International’s bespoke Robotic Convection Section Cleaning technology overcomes access issues, provides 100% surface contact of the convection fins, can access deep between all rows of tubes and fins plus does not damage the refractory.

2. TEXAS TOWER / VCFE/CCR PLATFORMER

Standard (high pressure water jetting and chemical cleaning) struggles to remove severe fouling from both the tube and shell side. Combining unique cleaning systems Tube Tech International is able to clean an entire VCFE/Texas Towers to IRIS standard and within a much shorter time period.

3. CLEANING FOR IRIS INSPECTION

Traditional high pressure water jetting techniques cannot always clean tubes to a high enough standard for IRIS inspection. Clients then have to recall the cleaning contractor to re-work the tubes and place the inspection company on standby, often leading to critical path. Tube Tech International’s combined remote control IRIS tube polishing and inspection guarantees no re clean is needed.

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