August 2017

Maintenance and Reliability

Carburization inspection robots for radiant tubes inside ethylene cracking furnaces

In an olefins plant, the reliability of ethylene cracking furnaces is one of the deciding factors used to indicate whether or not the plant can be operated at its design productivity.

Tiyawongsakul, T., Rayong Engineering & Plant Service Co. Ltd.

In an olefins plant, the reliability of ethylene cracking furnaces is one of the deciding factors used to indicate whether or not the plant can be operated at its design productivity. If a furnace shutdown occurs due to a reliability-related issue, then ethylene productivity will drop and lead to opportunity loss, material and scaffolding costs, etc. For example, the cost of shutting down a furnace with an ethylene productivity of 4.5 tph (tons per hour) to replace one damaged radiant tube can exceed $300,000. These costs can skyrocket in the event of a fire. Thus, maintaining or enhancing the reliability of furnaces becomes one of the crucial tasks to enable a plant to achieve its productiv

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