Inspectioneering
Inspectioneering Journal

Development of a Remote Robotic Crack Detection System for Internal Inspections of On-line Coke Drums

By Rick Clark at CIA Inspection Inc.. This article appears in the May/June 2011 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

In the summer of 2005, as part of CIA Inspection’s (CIAI) ongoing, in house, research efforts to improve inspection capabilities for coke drums, a development program was initiated to integrate ACFM (Alternating Current Field Measurement) inspection technology with a proven laser and video inspection tool for coke drums. The goal was to provide fixed equipment managers with more information on which to base their repair decisions. With this new development, surface-breaking flaws can now be validated and sized without taking the vessel out of service.

During those 5 years, CIAI, working with TSC Inspection Systems from the UK, developed and tested this specialized remote robotic crack detection system to bring it to the forefront of advances in remote internal coke drum inspection. This development is protected under U.S. Patent No. 7,940,298 “Delayed Petroleum Coking Vessel Inspection Device and Method”

In 1992 we designed the first system capable of performing remote laser and visual inspection from inside of an on-line coke drum without having to scaffold or prepare the surface of the area to be inspected. The remote robotic crack detection service builds on this ability to quickly examine the interior surface where there are areas of concern using ACFM.

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