Case Study: Fractionator Overhead Line

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Online refinery inspections, particularly for high temperature overhead lines, necessitate evaluation of solutions. For an inspection at an oil refinery in southern Louisiana, the surface temperature of the fractionator piping was 240°F.

Reduction in inspection time

70% Reduction in
Execution Time

Lower cost

66% Reduction
in Cost

High surface temperature

240° Surface
Temperatures

Human Inspectors

3 NDT Level II
Inspectors

Short inspection time

36 Shift
Hours

Thousands of data points

498,000 A-scan
Data Points

Gecko Robotics, with their TOKA 3 HotBot, were identified as a safe, time and cost saving alternative to the conventional inspection. The TOKA 3 HotBot was a new modification of the TOKA series robot used specifically for high surface temperature inspections. Without the use of scaffolding or rope access, this robotic solution reduced the number of man hours and human exposure on-site by 70% - an especially important factor during pandemic procedures that were in place.

Deliverable

In three shifts, Gecko scanned and delivered 498,000 quantifiable, and reproducible, ultrasonic thickness measurements on all 300’ of elevated line using rapid ultrasonic gridding (RUG). Upon providing the color coded, interactive C-scan corrosion map, the client was able to identify immediate maintenance needs, as well as anticipate years of future interactions through delta mapping and corrosion monitoring. A higher RBI confidence score was given to the RUG methodology in which Gecko performed on the fractionator line. Using RUG extended the next inspection interval over lower confidence inspection techniques.

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