Inspectioneering Journal

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

By Rick Clark, President 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.

This content is available to registered users and subscribers

Register today to unlock this article for free.

Create your free account and get access to:

  • Unlock one premium article of your choosing per month
  • Exclusive online content, videos, and downloads
  • Insightful and actionable webinars
Interested in unlimited access? VIEW OUR SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS

Current subscribers and registered users can log in now.

Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Training Solutions

Improve your skills in key mechanical integrity subjects.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos & Webinars

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.