Tube Tech’s Convection Section Cleaning Approach Achieves Phenomenal Results at Refineries Worldwide



Inefficient heat transfer in the convection section of a process heater is readily witnessed by an increase in stack temperature beyond design parameters. The timing and urgency for addressing this situation are related to not only the degree of overheating in the stack but also product demand, economics, and fuel costs.

This article will discuss Tube Tech’s, an Integrated Global Services (IGS) solution, approach to restoring heat transfer efficiency of fired heater furnaces and the results achieved at an Egyptian oil refinery. 

Part One: Inspection and Technical Evaluation 

For many IGS Tube Tech projects, a site visit is made to complete an inspection of the convection section and to collect current operating data so that an evaluation can be conducted. The evaluation determines the baseline operating conditions and estimates the potential project scope and expected benefits.

The evaluation is based on calculating the external fouling resistance factor for each bundle in the convection section based on the process data. The factors will be relieved by cleaning and a further evaluation would determine the post-cleaning performance, based on a constant processing duty, for example. The IGS Tube Tech cleaning technology allows for more than 90% of all the tube and fin surface area to be treated, unlike other more conventional methods which reach only 20% to 40% of the tube surfaces, depending on configuration.

Part Two: Project Planning & Execution Approach

To perform an effective clean using a unique Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and protect the existing equipment from water exposure, the following five steps are considered for each project (figure 1):

1. Creating or using existing access openings (typically 350x500 mm) to enable placing the ROV on top of each convection bundle.
2. Isolating the radiant box.
3. Assembling scaffold at the bottom of the convection section, allowing the installation of a thick plastic tarpaulin.
4. Protecting refractory walls around convection and radiant sections with the tarpaulin.
5. Collecting all effluent and debris after cleaning into tarpaulin and moving them safely to ground level in sediment containers.  

Figure 1. The Tube Tech Solution



The ROV is designed to fully clean convection bank coils by penetrating its lance deep between tube rows. The technology removes more than 90% of fouling from all convection bundles. No refractory is damaged since the ROVs are programmed to direct a high-pressure medium to the tubes only. All activities typically can be completed in 72-120 hours (three to five twelve-hour shifts).

Figures 2&3. The external casing in this instance is cut to create 350 mm openings



Figures 4&5. Plastic tarpaulin at the bottom of the convection section and the ROV on the top of the bundle.



Part Three: Post-Project Benefit Analysis.

In many cases, the stack temperature is determined to be a key performance indicator to identify and quantify the benefit after cleaning. To illustrate the benefits, we will review a recent project, referred to as project x. On completion of project x a sizeable benefit of 40°C in stack temperature reduction was achieved. The plant also reported an average increase in overall fuel efficiency from 89.5% to 91.5%,leading to 2 MW less heat loss to the stack under the same operating capacity. The customer reported a payback period of less than four months.

Figure 6. Stack Temperature Before and After Cleaning


Figures 7&8. Before and After Cleaning -Part One



Part Four: Acknowledgements and New Data Two Years After Cleaning

A balanced heat distribution between sections is crucial in coking-sensitive services. Keeping the convection section surface clean not only helps to save fuel and increase steam generation but also positively influences the steam cracking process. The achieved benefit on project x was 16,000 MWh/year fuel savings and 2500 tons annual CO2 reduction (fuel is CH4/H2 mixture). 

After almost two years, the client reported a slight elevation in stack temperature of 10 °C and a stable efficiency increase of 1.5%. The next clean is anticipated to take place after sixyears to reinstate the efficiency. To ensure the obtained benefit is long-lasting, IGS also recommends a combination of the Tube Tech ROV cleaning with Cetek’s proprietary ceramic refractory coatings to protect and encapsulate the ceramic fiber and stop refractory deterioration and new fouling formation on the outside surface of the convection tubes.

Part Five: Example of Tube Tech ROV Cleaning – Ethylene Furnace  

IGS was provided with furnace configuration and process parameters for each bank of the convection section of this ethylene furnace. The objective was to keep the process duty and thus, the coil outlet temperature the same and compare scenarios before and after. 

It is worth mentioning that these furnaces were designed to have 68.3% to 71.0% process duty of total absorbed duty (depending on whether it is SOR or EOR), and if, for example, steam superheating coils are fouled, cleaning may reduce this ratio process/total duty. An additional indicator of this potential fouling consequence is the fact that almost no BFW is being used for attemperation (desuperheating). For this scenario, constant flow rates for process streams are assumed, but it is also possible to consider all the factors and heat balance changes for the entire system.

Table 1. Convection Section Cleaning Results for Ethylene Cracker.





Fuel Firing




Fuel Firing**

Gcal/hr (LHV)



Total Absorbed Duty




Radiant Duty








Stack Temperature




Radiant Inlet




CSS Outlet




HSS Outlet*




BFW Outlet




Overall Efficiency




Process Duty




Steam Duty




*HSS coil has been evaluated assuming no BFW for desuperheating

** 1.5% of Heat Losses have been assumed, and 11% of Excess Air is calculated using the flue gas oxygen content. 

Part Six: Example of Tube Tech ROV Cleaning - CCR Platforming Heater

In configurations where a steam generator is only located in the convection section, such as platforming heaters, it is crucial to adjust flow rates and reflect changes in absorbed duty for each bundle that may result from cleaning. Specifically, a steam drum should be included in the model to respond accurately to all changes in temperatures/pressures of inlet/outlet streams. 

The following convection section reflects the most widespread design with the following bundles (from top to bottom): Economizer, Upper Steam Generation, Steam Superheating and Lower Steam Generation. (Example under the same firing rate).

Table 2. Convection Section Cleaning Evaluation Results for CCR Platformer Heater





Stack Temperature




Fuel Efficiency




Absorbed Duty




BFW Inlet Temperature




BFW Mass Flow




Mass Circulation Through Steam Generator




Steam Drum Pressure




Blowdown Amount




Total Amount of Produced Superheated Steam




Superheated Steam Temperature




Part Seven: Case Study - Revitalizing the Performance of a Refinery's Hydrogen Generation Unit

An Egyptian oil refinery, in operation since 1999, has faced challenges with its Hydrogen Generation Unit (HGU) since 2005. Issues such as hot spots on catalyst tubes, ageingreformer tubes and outlet systems, and reduced hydrogen demand have led to the unit operating at a reduced capacity. To address these bottlenecks and evaluate the unit's current status, a comprehensive assessment and debottleneck study was conducted by the OEM.

Key Study Findings

One significant finding of the study revealed the underperformance of the convection coils, which hindered the unit from achieving its desired efficiency. Over more than 20 years of operation, the convection coils, primarily consisting of finned tubes, suffered from increased fouling due to inadequate inspection and cleaning practices. The study recommended a potential solution of inspecting and robotically cleaning the external surface of the finned tubes to overcome this issue.

Project Overview

On the advice of the OEM, Integrated Global Services (IGS) was contracted to perform Tube Tech’s convection section performance recovery service at a hydrogen production unit at the refinery. The project involved increasing the size of six existing access doors in the convection section and the robotic de-fouling of convection coils.

The project commenced on March 29, 2023, and was completed on April 3, 2023. The original planned scope of work, which included de-fouling and door installation, remained unchanged throughout the project.

Case Study Image 1



Safety is a primary concern for IGS, and a robust safety program was implemented to ensure a safe working environment for all personnel involved. The company maintains a zero-incident safety philosophy and actively promotes a culture of safety among its employees. Daily toolbox talks, safety observations, unit walk-downs, and job safety audits were conducted to mitigate potential hazards and maintain safety standards throughout the project.

IGS has a strong safety track record, with a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) of 0.0 in 2022, well below the industry average. The company adheres to OSHA best practices and local safety regulations to ensure compliance and maintain a safe work environment.


IGS follows stringent quality control standards to meet customer requirements. The project was executed in accordance with the IGS quality control standards, and a Quality Control Package (QCP) was agreed upon before the start of work.

Achieved Results

A performance test run was then conducted to evaluate the unit's condition after the cleaning process. The unit's capacity was successfully raised to 100% on April 16 and maintained for 24 hours. The test procedure for evaluating the unit's performance after cleaning was based on the HPU's latest probation test, ensuring consistency and comparability. Data from various sources, including DCS data, laboratory analysis results, outside field/local data, and electrical data, were collected during the test to accurately assess the unit's performance.

Case Study Image 2&3



Test Parameters

The performance test for the HGU was conducted from April 16 at 11:00 to April 17 at 11:00, lasting 24 hours. The main feedstock for the unit was natural gas, supplemented by a small portion of recycled hydrogen. The composition of the natural gas feed, as well as mass flow rates for different streams, was recorded. The laboratory analysis results showed changes in the feed composition and products during the probation test.

Unit Operating Parameters

Various operating parameters of the unit, such as temperatures, pressures, steam-to-carbon ratio, and steam drum pressure, were monitored during the probation test. The unit's performance was compared to previous tests, revealing improved performance in terms of duty recovered by the convection section and a reduction in stack temperature.

Probation Test Evaluation

The evaluation of the probation test results indicated that the cleaning of the convection section had led to a 14% increase in duty recovered from flue gases compared to the previous test in December 2021. The reformer inlet temperature also increased from 437°C to 501°C, contributing to improved thermal efficiency. The lower stack temperature and increased efficiency resulted in cost savings of approximately $220,000 annually.

Case Study Image 4


Case Study Conclusions

The successful cleaning of the convection section in the refinery's HGU unit marked a significant step towards restoring the unit's performance. The removal of fouling from the finned tubes facilitated enhanced heat absorption and a reduction in stack temperature, thereby improving overall thermal efficiency. This achievement represents a noteworthy milestone in the refinery's ongoing expansion project and contributes to its long-term operational success.

IGS also provided technical recommendations for future maintenance and improvement, including the application of Cetek Refractory Coating to prevent refractory fouling. The conclusion of the project underscores the collaborative efforts between the oil refinery and IGS, as well as the positive working relationship among all team members.

Part Eight: Conclusion

Project execution excellence (as well as certainty in terms of % clean surface) and the ability to rigorously evaluate the future performance of the heater system provides IGS andTube Tech with an opportunity to offer unique services to clients. This combined approach reflects the increased demand for thoroughly conducted feasibility studies, even for small projects. Moreover, it is essential to quantify the influence (if any) of all IGS products on fired heater performance.

Convection Section Fouling Removal - Tube Tech | An IGS Solution (integratedglobal.com)

Strengthening the Bond with Reliable Structural Adhesives



When identifying solutions that can offer assurance and longevity, the maintenance and reliability of assets repairs can be challenging, this white paper will look into the use of structural adhesives as the first-choice solution.

Structural adhesives can be used for affixing metal substratesor components as they provide high modulus and high strength. However, they are not currently internationally recognised like the traditional methodseven though adhesives are already used in a wide range of industries, such as aerospace, rail, and construction.

Traditional practice such as welding, riveting, nuts and bolts and mechanical fixing are perceived as the go to method.However, they all have their inherent inadequacies. Welding can be hazardous to health, riveting,nuts and bolts concentratethe stress locally while mechanical fasteners can concentrate stress.

This paper introduces a novel, two-component, solvent-free toughened epoxy adhesive material that provides high adhesion to metallic substrates while also being able to withstand high movement or cyclic fatigue in comparison to general epoxy materials.

As well as potential application areas, the article also discussesa number of benefits, including ease of use, load bearing andimpact resistanceproperties.


Most industrial maintenance or repair procedures can eitherinvolve welding or use of mechanical fasteners as these can be perceived as easy andquicker, however, these procedures might initially seem to correct the issue but may cause more harm than good.Depending on the repair situation for instance welding or drilling to connect mechanical fasteners on a storage tank containing flammable liquid is not recommended for obvious reasons this is where a structural adhesive can really offer a solution for that maintenance repair.

There are many structural fixings used across a whole range of industries that may be part of any maintenance or repairthese include support brackets such as cable trays, antennas, heating coils filter pans or any other internal fixtures in vessels that’s suffer from corrosion, impact orvibration damage. Within construction there are fire water deluge systems, nozzles connections, facades panels and signs which can require maintenance overtime or adverse weather conditions.

Processequipment or piping can suffer from thinning or the steel or even through wall defects which will need either monitoring or repairing depending on whether the integrity of the equipment has been lost.

Structural fittings are generally for fixing of static members but maybe subjected to forces unbeknown at time of installation this could include thermal cycling of the joints, cyclic loading or vibration due to fatigue of a component.

If there are repairs due to the above, the contractor maybe in asituation where a choice of solution can be made, then the strengths and weaknesses need identifying.

Welding is regularly used for repairs as it is widely available while being well regulated with high customer confidence and high strength of the repair it does come with its inherent risks both the use, the material by heat stressingand the user as welding can cause both acute and chronic health risks.Application of welding repairs onto live piping sections, storage tanks or process systems and equipment should not be undertakendue to the high temperatures involved and not forgetting the combustible nature of the process fluid or gasrunning through or being stored in these components.

Bolted joints are seen as simple and low cost due to the ease ofdisassembly and reassembly and these can be dissimilar metals,but the use of dissimilar metals will contribute to galvanic corrosion, add weight to the jointrequiring routine inspection and tensioning while the drilled holes in the support material, stress distribution is not uniform and concentrated at the holes.

Structural adhesives have high bond strength whilst being lightweightadhesive applied to cover the entire joint, resulting in uniform stress distribution, reducing metal distortion under strain.

Importance of a Strong Bond

Adhesive bonding is the joining of similar or dissimilar members together while creatingpermanent high strength bonds which can transfer structural stress without loss of structural integrity.

Regardless of the joint type used, it is important to understand the different stresses that are imparted onto a bonded assembly. Adhesives perform the best when the stress is two-dimensional to the adhesive, allowing the force to be applied over the entire bond area.

Joints that are well designed for adhesives place most of the stress into compression or shear modes, adhesives perform the worst when stress is one-dimensional to the adhesive, concentrating the load onto the leading edge of the bond line. Joints placing stress into cleavage or peel concentrate the stress onto the leading edge, which may lead to premature bond failures, especially if subjected to vibration, impact or fatigue

Bonds of high strength are obtained after cleaning of the substrate by removal of any contaminants followed by the roughening of the substrate generally in the form of grit blasting to international recognised standards, this is why surface preparation is critical to success regardless of what type of adhesive is used.

There are three types of bonding that are important to achieve to ensure good adhesion. These are:adhesive, chemical, and mechanical. 

Adhesive relies on surface energy to generate adhesion to the substrate. While chemical relies on chemical bond formation and electronic bonding to produce adhesion. Mechanical adhesion is due to the creation of an irregular profile that allows a deeper profile to be produced.

Thetypes of structural adhesivesavailable have been summarised in Table 1

Table 1 - Types of Structural Adhesives
B69470A1 3361 44C1 AE19 E0BCA6B6ABC4





There are two types of failure mechanisms associated with structural adhesives:

1. Cohesive failure occurs in the bulk layer of the adhesive material. This failure mode is limited by the strength of the adhesive material and can be caused by insufficient curing of the adhesive and applications at a greater thickness than that recommended among others.

2. Adhesive failure occurs when the mechanical adhesion between the adhesive and the parts being joined is overcome by the loading. This failure mode is associated with inadequate surface preparation, presence of contaminants, or insufficient curing of the adhesive among others. 


Design considerations for Belzona 7311 were based on both technical target requirements and a practicality approach, as summarised in Table 2.

70EB10E7 8E99 46E5 9639 CBE07511D58A










Table 2 - Design Considerations

Belzona 7311 was subjected to at least the following tests and evaluation protocols in to ensure that it met the design criteria previously discussed. Where possible, internationally recognised standards were used.

1. Cleavage Adhesion – ASTM D1062
2. Tensile Shear Adhesion – ASTM – D1002
3. Tensile Fatigue Resistance – ISO 9664
4. Impact Resistance ASTM D256


Experimental Procedure

1. Cleavage Adhesion – ASTM D1062

Cleavage adhesion is used to assess the strength of an adhesive bond between two substrates when exposed to cleavage stress.

Belzona 7311 wasapplied between two identical grit blasted metallic cleavage test pieces to create a fixed bond area of 125mm² of minimal bondline thickness.

The specimen was allowed to cure then attached to a 25kN tensometer using suitable grips. The tensometer then applies a load at a fixed rate of 1.3mm/min exerting a cleavage force on the specimen until bond failure. This test is repeated five times so an average force can be calculated.

AAAF9C23 062E 444A BF78 EC4B3DF51525


















Figure 1 - Cleavage adhesion test

2. Tensile Shear Adhesion – ASTM – D1002

Tensile Shear Adhesion or lap shear adhesion is used to determinethe adhesive strength of a material when bonded between two ridged metallic substrates.

Samples are 100 x 25.4 x 2mm and are overlapped lengthwise by approximately 12.7mm and bonded tominimalbondlinethickness with Belzona 7311.

The specimen was allowed to cure then attached to a 25kN tensometer using suitable grips. The tensometer then applies a load at a fixed rate of 1.3mm/min exerting a cleavage force on the specimen until bond failure.

0424F58E 20C9 4587 8FCB 54C115D956DD

















Figure 2- Tensile force

3. Fatigue Resistance – ISO 9664

Fatigue resistance is the highest stress that a material can withstand for a given number of cycles without breaking.

A standard static Tensile shear adhesion test was conducted to determine the mean breaking stress – 24.17 MPa following this 35% of the mean breaking stress value is used as the mean stress in fatigue testing - 35% mean shear stress = 8.461 MPa (24.17 MPa x 35%)

08ECF5AE 799E 449A B565 B0A53CB56A2E

































Figure 3- Tensile shear adhesion test

At four different alternating stresses, fatigue testing was conducted at 30Hz until failure:

1. 80% = 6.8 MPa (8. 461 MPa x 80%) Stress amplitude cycles between 
2. 60% = 5.1 MPa (8. 461 MPa x 60%) Stress amplitude cycles between 
3. 57.5% = 4.9 MPa (8. 461 MPa x 57.5%) Stress amplitude cycles between 
4. 55% = 4.7 MPa (8.461 MPa x 55%) Stress amplitude cycles between 

Figure 4 - ISO 9664 Fatigue stress cycle

4. Impact Resistance – ASTM D256

Impact tests can be used to assess the toughness of a material, a material’s toughness is a factor of its ability to absorb energy during plastic deformation. Brittle adhesives have low toughness as a result of the small amount of plastic deformation that they can endure. Tougher materials on the other hand can absorb greater energy during fracture and thus, have improved impact resistance.

The Izodimpact test allows for samples to be tested in two forms: either ‘notched’ or ‘un-notched’ in our case the testing will be notched which has a V-shaped notch of approx. 2.5mm in depth with a total defect angle of 45°ithe centre of a specimen sample with dimensions of 12.7 x12.7 x 65mm. The notch concentrates stress and allows measurement of crack propagation.

Non-standard testing:

5. 3-Point Load Test

This comparative technique is used to assess the relative flexibility of adhesives when applied to a metallic substrate. In this test a mild steel panel of dissimilar dimensions

Plate 1 550 x 50 x 10 mm thick

Plate 2 225 x 50 x 10 mm thick

are stressed to the point the adhesive fails. The panel is held in position at two points, one at either end of the sample and is gradually stressed at a single point in the centre of the specimen via a hydraulic press as seen in figure 3. The greater the displacement i.e., the further the press travels until failure the more flexible the adhesive. The thickness of the adhesive will influence the degree of flexibility so analysis should be duplicated for repeatability purposes. In the case of this testing at the manufacturing stage the specimens were compressed by hand pressure only, to try and replicate in field applications of achieving below the maximum bondlinethickness of 2mm.

B6947687 DB63 4B79 AA08 8DA5CD9C59B7






Figure 5 3-Point Load Testing

Testing Results and Discussion

1. Cleavage Adhesion – ASTM D1062

Table 3 - Cleavage Adhesion Results - ASTM D1062

B6AC2191 ECD1 42D6 B04F E3F591F52D16




2. Tensile Shear Adhesion – ASTM – D1002

Table 4 - Tensile Shear Adhesion Results– ASTM D1002

6E4012EB 452D 4D36 80F5 DE704C112333



3. Tensile Fatigue Resistance – ISO 9664

Table 5 - Cyclic Fatigue Testing Results

FA996F2F 4746 4F04 907B 12CF2CD9F5E5




3C380B67 52F6 46E5 943E 13D6525ACCD6












Figure 6 - Belzona 7311 SN Curve

From a mean breaking stress of 35% (8.461 Mpa), Belzona 7311 will survive 106 cycles at 56.6%, with an alternating stress amplitude of ± 4.791 Mpa = 13mpa to 3.67 Mpa

4. Impact Resistance – ASTM D256

Table 6 - Impact Resistance Results – ASTM D256

28AAE308 CE2A 42DF BD68 8E370A6D8FBF





5. 3-Point Load Test

Table 7 3-Point Load Test Results

2694B08B 50F0 4257 A8D5 CC4593745F52







Figure 73-point load Specimen Testing


Several conclusions can be drawn from the use of Belzona 7311 as a solution for the repair or maintenance of assets:

1. Belzona 7311 offers high resistance to structures that are subjected to forces such as peel, cleavage, vibration, or cyclic loading.These include, but are not limited to,support bracketsfor fire deluge systems, internal and external fixtures on process equipment, wear pads and wind girders on storage tanks.
2. As Belzona 7311 offers an array of additional practical features including ease of application, ability to hold its own structure when placed in vertical applications and superior adhesion to metallic substrates, the toughenedepoxy can be used on structural support reinforcements, load transfer supports and metallic staircases and ladders.
3. Plate bonding to repair thinning or through wall defectson areas such as pipe/piping, process equipment,storage tank floating roofs and platform decks can utilise Belzona 7311 as it offers high impact resistance and flexural properties.
4. Belzona 7311 has been optimised for metal-to-metaladhesion and exhibits an extensive data listwithover 20 testssolelybased on adhesion. The performance data can be used for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or simulationstoaid in bond designing or qualification of the adhesive in areas that would normally be seen as high risk for standard epoxies such as handrails and walkways.
AFEF0097 950A 42DE 86EC BAD19239E0BF




Figure 8 - Structural adhesive, Belzona 7311, used to bond bracket

Please click here for more information about Belzona 7311

IFS Ultimo to showcase further collaboration developments to Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software at Maintec 2023

Recent developments to IFS Ultimo’s EAM software spotlight improving collaboration. IFS Ultimo's ambition is to deliver the world's highest customer-rated EAM solution, empowering maintenance, operations, and safety teams to perform their jobs confidently and proactively. Alongside this, IFS Ultimo has recently launched a comprehensive Operations Suite and is working on further enhancements to simplify mobile inspections. Visitors to Maintec 2023 can visit the IFS Ultimo booth (A58) at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK on 7th and 8th June 2023 to discover more about these latest updates through in-person demonstrations.

Better collaboration through the Operations Suite
In the development towards becoming an optimally profitable organisation, it is crucial that departments work cooperatively from a single source of truth. Companies can bridge the gap between production and maintenance with the IFS Ultimo Operations Suite. Through the Operations Suite, users of the EAM software can use the available capacity more effectively, increase the involvement of various employees and respond quickly to information needs with accessible input from first-hand sources. The Operations Suite features sections on shift handover, autonomous maintenance, and downtime analysis.

Autonomous Maintenance by Operators
The autonomous maintenance section has an accessible solution available for asset operators to perform first-line maintenance.

Kris Sage, Sales Director UK at IFS Ultimo commented: “Often actions, such as cleaning, inspections, lubricants or simple repairs, are carried out in practice by operators, but are not registered on IFS Ultimo’s EAM software. Actions that can easily be shifted from mechanics to operators are also often not registered. Through the autonomous maintenance section of the Operations Suite, knowledgeable operators can now complete tasks without lead times and the scarce capacity of technicians can be deployed primarily on preventive and improving maintenance.”

The functionality is designed so that through accessible checklists and visual elements (for example photos) operators can work quickly, using IFS Ultimo’s EAM software, on a tablet or smartphone.

Easily accessible mobile inspection
In further developments of the functionality for mobile inspections, accessibility, and user-friendliness are key. It needs to be easy for operators to do inspections quickly and intuitively. In the latest developments, IFS Ultimo is focused on further developing an intuitive mobile experience on the Ultimo Go app, where data can be entered with minimal actions. The app recognises when data has previously been entered, helping to prevent repetition. Updates to the app are also improving the follow-up of findings and measurements.

Visit IFS Ultimo at Maintec
As in recent years, IFS Ultimo will be exhibiting at Maintec (Manufacturing + Engineering Week) at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham, UK on 7th and 8th June 2023. Visit the IFS Ultimo booth (A58) to experience demonstrations which will showcase how the latest developments of the EAM software can help users to work more efficiently on the shop floor, allowing for better shape collaboration. This results in lower costs and better information to make the right decisions.



IGS Launches Boiler Drone Inspection Service

Global industrial boiler pressure part surface protection solutions provider, Integrated Global Services (IGS), has announced the launch of its SMARTGard Inspection service; a fully digitalized Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB)boiler drone inspection service. 

The service, available worldwide, has been developed to meet the demands of the power industry for a turnkey inspection service that is quicker, safer, and improves CFB boiler availability. The drone service allows plant maintenance personnel to inspect boilers for damage whilst the equipment is cooling down, and without scaffolding, providing inspection data several days earlier during a turnaround. 

Featuring Lidar technology and HD live streaming of videos and images within the boiler, the drone is remotely operated by IGS CFB boiler experts and locates areas of concern such as corrosion, erosion, pitting, tube thinning and refractory damage. 

Commenting on the launch of the new service, Colin Bateman, Director of Business Development EMEA at IGS, said:

We have introduced this new service to better meet the demands of clients in the power industry. Historically, visual inspections have been carried out from within the boiler once it has cooled down, which is several days into a turnaround. This new digitalized service will provide maintenance data much sooner, and live streaming capabilities will facilitate collaborative decision-making with maintenance managers.   

“IGS has extensive expertisein improving CFB boiler reliability through the application of its proprietary High Velocity Thermal Spray alloy cladding. The drone inspection data will enhance our capabilities in this field and enable us to provide clients with a data-driven service which will save plants time and money whilst improving reliability and efficiency.”

To find out more about IGS’ SMARTGard Inspection service, visit:https://integratedglobal.com/services/smartgard-inspection/

Powerline help further prolong lifetime of proven Landia pumps

Banbury-based Powerline Electric Motors has completed the refurbishment of its latest batch of Landia slurry pumps, including one unit that has been in operation for almost 25 years.

With its ongoing investment in new equipment and growing number of apprentices, Powerline has seen a significant increase in demand for its repair services, which not only help prolong the lifetime of pumps, but also improve efficiencies.

Landia’s Paul Davies, commented:” Although we have our own nationwide service team, Powerline’s skill in overhauling pumps is first-class. We are pleased to see our equipment continue to provide excellent, long-term service.”

Richard Thompson of Powerline added: “We’re not in the habit of disappointing our customers. Landia make very robust pumps and they always have a good stock of spares on hand for us, so that we can offer the best possible turnaround.”

Landia and Powerline also both work closely with Shipston-on-Stour-based Midland Slurry Systems, who specialise in the supply and maintenance of industrial and agricultural wastewater treatment installations and animal slurry management.

Giles Russell for Midland Slurry Systems, said: “We have total confidence in the Landia pumps and mixers that we’ve used for many years. In slurry pits, equipment has to be tough, but it must be maintained properly too. After our pumps have been in for service with Powerline, they’re like new!”

In addition to the farming sector, Powerline also provides high-quality repairs, rewinding and refurbishment of electric motors, pumps, fans, and gearboxes to a wide variety of industries, such as manufacturers of foods, plastics, and automotive, as well as servicing customers working in chemicals, utilities, healthcare, construction, and Oxfordshire-based F1.




this article can also be found in the latest issue of  EMS


Henkel offers comprehensive approach for assembly solutions

Successful assembly tasks rely on several key aspects:the equipment, automation expertisethe knowledge about adhesives and their application as well as on available professional support. Based on its longstanding expertise and its range of leading high-performance products and services under the well-known Loctite brand Henkel offers total assembly solutions that help customers to increase productivity, improve reliability and simplify design.

The Henkel portfolio includes comprehensive equipment for dispensing, light curing and robotics as well as a broad range of adhesive solutions focusing on bonding, sealing and coating. The company also offers extensive global support, technical expertise, on-site or remote training, and a full range of services. These services extend from integration and start-up support, through to calibration, field service, spare parts and consumables (needles, tips and nozzles), warranty support and a rebuild exchange program. Based on this holistic approachHenkel enables its customers to unlock new potentials in the global assembly market.

Over the past 30 years, the company has designed, built, and integrated advanced equipment solutions for uncountable customers. Regardless of the challenge  from water-thin liquids to high-viscosity pastes – Loctite equipment is capable of dispensing and curing a wide variety of adhesives, sealants and other industrial fluids, including acrylics, anaerobics, cyanoacrylates, epoxies, hot-melts, greases, inks, solvents and more. 

Available dispensing systems include anaerobic, bottle, cartridge, syringe and volumetric types, alongside dispense valves, and controllers and dispense reservoirs. The latest-generation reservoirs, for example, provide the effective dispensing of single-component Loctite adhesives at workstations, laboratories, and industrial installations. These units typically feature a dispensing valve for manual and benchtop applications, and a Loctite controller for semi- and fully automated processes. The compact design provides two independent digital timing channels that allow for the control of two pneumatic outputs to control dispense valves or any other pneumatic device. Loctite integrated dispensers also offer enhanced digital connectivity and precision pressure control for low viscosity dispensing applications. 

Loctite LED light-curing equipment includes flood-curing systems, spot-curing and handheld systems, as well as process control and monitoring systems. New-generation solutions provide high power, portability, continuous duty, and long life. These light sources offer optimal curing for the extensive Loctite line of UV/visible light-curing adhesive products, providing customers with a best-practice solution for their process needs.

Another important element of Henkel’s total assembly solutions proposition is the Loctite range of automated robotic dispensing systems. These innovative systems simplify the dispensing of adhesives and sealants on to complex surface configurations, improving process efficiency, minimizing material waste and reducing manufacturing costs.

Based on the holistic approach Henkel offers the know-how and expertise for total assembly solutions that create value for its global customer base.



Quiet, hard-hitting curtain of air for blowoff, cleaning, drying, and cooling!

HollowStream™ Cone Nozzles 270x90 Banner AD







EXAIR's Super Air Knife™ is the latest generation of our engineered air knife. It dramatically reduces compressed air usage and noise when compared to other blowoffs. The Super Air Knife offers a more efficient way to clean, dry or cool parts, webs or conveyors. It delivers a uniform sheet of laminar airflow across the entire length with hard-hitting force.


• Quiet - 69 dBA for most applications
• Minimal air consumption
• 40:1 air amplification
• Uniform airflow across entire length
• Variable force and flow

Noisy blowoffs become a whisper when replaced with the compact Super Air Knife. Even at high pressures of 80 PSIG (5.5 BAR), the sound level is surprisingly quiet at 69 dBA for most applications! Air amplification ratios (entrained air to compressed air) of 40:1 are produced. Meets OSHA maximum dead-ended pressure and noise requirements. https://exair.co/190_523

Riello Launch NEW Ultra-Low NOx Emission Burner Series

Heating and combustion equipment manufacturer Riello continues to develop productto meet andexceed NOx emission regulations, and in 2023 is launching a new burner series in the UK which incorporatesinnovative and patented Ultra-Low NOx combustion head technology.

Legislation continues to drive down permissible NOx emission levels from combustion equipment, and there is increasing monitoring of appliance emissions to ensure compliance with multiple environmental and regulatory requirements.

Previously therehave been two principal means by which combustion NOx emission levels have been mitigated;either Flue Gas Recirculation (FGR) technology, or the application of premix burner technology.  Each of these technologies is effective in reducing appliance NOx emission levels, but bothhave some limitations on theiapplication.

FGR technology requires a higher degree of burner technology and the installation of extra ducting from the appliance flue to the burner.  This adds to installation complexity and maintenance costs, and has some limits on operation with regard to minimum permitted recirculating flue gas temperature.

Premix technology has a relatively low maximum capacity limit of approximately 3,000 kW, and the configuration of the required long combustion head adds to installation and servicing costs.

The NEW Riello ULX Series of Ultra-Low NOx emission gas burners removes theseapplication barriers which prevent utilisation of the FGR and premix technologies andprovides a solution that can be applied on all boiler types* and at all operating temperatures.

(*The only current exception to this being appliances which incorporate reverse flame combustion chamber configuration, as testing of the burners on these types of boilers is yet to be completed.  It is well known howeverthat to permit ultra-low NOx emission combustion and deliver minimum emission levels,appliances with through-pass [3-pass] combustion chamber design enable substantially better performance than reverse flame designs.)

Essentially the NEW series burners are based on the tried and tested Riello RS pressure jet burner design principlesmaintaining the reliability and robustness of those models.  On first appearance they look very much likethose burner models that have been available for many years, but it is the innovative and patented combustion head technology of the Riello ULX series which ‘breaks new ground’ with regard to minimising NOx emissions.

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Riello RS 510/E ULX Burner

The combustion head design of the Riello ULX series burnersincorporates both staged airintroduction control in the ‘core’ of the flameand internal flue gas recirculationcontrol in the external region,or periphery,of the flame.

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The resultant reduction in NOx emission with this combustion head technology allows compliance with the requirements of the most stringent requirements worldwide, on multiple appliance types, including steam and high temperature hot water boilers.

Tests performed in the Riello Combustion Research Centre in Italy, and on appliances installed in multipleinternational locations have shown that with the right conditions, NOx emission levels of 30 mg/kWh (net CV),i.e. 30 mg/Nm3 @ 3% O2 flue gas reference, are readily achievable.  This NOx emission level is significantly below the current Greater London Authority (GLA) requirements of 40 mg/kWh (gross CV).

All models of the NEW Riello ULX series of gas burners incorporate electronic cam, or direct digital control, of the air fuel ratio by means of independent servomotor driven regulation, maximising efficiency and simplifying commissioning and servicing.

Burner specification options for Variable Speed control of the combustion air fan and O2 combustion trim, are also available for further improvement in efficiency and reduction in electrical consumption and noise reduction.

The NEW Riello ULX series of gas burners is available for an operating capacity range from 350 kW to 4,600 kW, with further models extending the range to greater than 7,000 kW to be introduced following completion of field and approval testing. Additionally, dual fuel firing versions of the burner series, able to operate with gas or light oil, are being developed for future introduction to the market, so watch this space!

For details of the NEW Riello ULX series of gas burners please contact the Riello Limited Sales Team on 01480 432144.

Bernard Dawson – Technical Director, Riello Limited

This article can also be found in the issue below.



You Cannot Afford Cheap Lights.”


Certified hazardous area-safe portable lights are essential tools for workers in explosive hazardous environments. Hence, it is crucial to ensure they are fully certified to the latest ATEX and IECEx standards by reputable certification bodies such as UL or Intertek. Nightstick designs and engineers’ products that eliminate potential sparks or heat that could ignite flammable gases, dust, or fibers present in the atmosphere.  

Usually, suppliers promote inexpensive, uncertified lights, falling short of the required standards for working in explosive atmospheres. Selecting correctly certified products should always come before costs. Certified lights may be more expensive, but they are worth the investment to ensure the safety of workers and the facilities where they work.

The Nightstick XPR-5584GMX dual-light lantern is an excellent example of a quality, ATEX/IECEx Zone 0 certified light that helps prevent slips, trips, and falls. Dual-light torches typically have two beams of light, one for close-up work and one for distance. This eliminates the need to switch between different types of lights and reduces the risk of tripping or slipping, as workers can see obstacles in their path.

In conclusion, investing in a correctly certified, intrinsically safe portable light is crucial to ensure the safety of workers in explosive environments. Quality and certification should always be prioritized over cost.

By prioritizing safety, workers can perform their duties knowing they are truly protected. When Life Depends on LightTM, choose Nightstick! Visit nightstick.com for more information or call us at 1-469-326-9400.

This article can also be found in the issue below.


3 Common Causes of Refractory Failure and How to Fix Them


Refractory linings are insulating and minimize heat loss, making them essential to retaining the high-temperature environment. However, when subjected to high temperatures, refractory can deteriorate and potentially lead to failure if remedial work is not carried out. 

If refractory failure results in an unplanned shutdown, it can cost plants more than $1m/day in lost production.

This article will discuss the most common causes of refractory failure, and the method of repairing refractory online without the need to disrupt normal operation. 

3Common Causes of Refractory Failure

1. Deterioration Due to Length of Service

As refractory linings age, their physical properties change. The high-temperature environment causes microstructural changes to the binders within the materials, leading to a loss of surface or internal strength. If the refractory material carries a compressive load, such as bricks, or castable linings, this can lead to local, or widespread failure. 

If the refractory is subject to flame impingement, which is common in many radiant wall applications, the useful life will be shorter. 

In oil-fired heaters, refractory deterioration is accelerated by corrosive agents in the combustion products. Fortunately, there are few cases where oil-firing is used now.

2. Incompatible Refractory Materials 

A combination of refractory materials is a common feature in fired heaters. Openings such as doors often use fiber and brick material, and peep sights may use IFB, castable, or fibermodules.

A standardized design using different materials can be challenging as each material has varying properties at high temperatures. Therefore, refractory linings can become damaged, leaving the shell exposed to hot flue gases and causing hot spots. 

To lower the risk of mismatched refractory materials, it is a good idea to work closely with the refractory supplier to ensure comparable materials are used around openings. 

3. Mechanical Stress

There are several factors that can cause mechanical stress to lead to refractory failure. This includes:

• Vibrations

Vibration or interference from other equipment can cause refractory to become displaced and break down over time.

• Thermal expansion/ spalling

This occurs when refractory linings expand and contract at different rates due to thermal conditions. This often leads to cracking and spalling which can cause failure if not repaired.

• Impact

Mechanical impact from falling objects or components can also damage refractory.

Methods to Repair Refractory

Once the damage has been identified, there are several options. Production can be interrupted to take the asset offline and carry out conventional repairs, or the furnace can continue to run at reduced performance until the next planned turnaround. 

Alternatively, an online refractory repair service is offered byHot-tek™, where there is no need to bring the heater off-line and production will not be interrupted or capacity limited.This is a good option to temporarily fix damage until the next planned turnaround.

A team of refractory technicians can be mobilized at short notice and the repair involves creating minimal access point openings to insert specially designed components and repair material, delivering a semi-permanent repair lasting at least until the next turnaround.


There are many more causes of refractory failure such as loss of support and poor installation or maintenance, but shutting down the furnace should always be a last resort as this has a huge impact on production and revenue. The operating environment is responsible for most refractory failures and a common oversight is to increase the furnace temperature without assessing the impact that this will have on the design parameters of the refractory. Planning for over-capacity can help to mitigate the risk of refractory failure if specifications change after installation. 

If unexpected performance losses are impacting your operations, Integrated Global Services (IGS) can mobilize quickly to help you identify, fix, and prevent future damage.   

This article can also be found in the issue below.


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