DGC offers a comprehensive range of Furnace Inspection Services to the metals smelting, mineral processing, thermal energy and industrial furnace industries. The services are offered in alliance with ADI Industrial Services; a Belgium based Service Company that has been performing furnace inspections in different industries for more than 25 years. The Furnace Inspection Services allow for real time furnace diagnostics and assisting operators in assessing the state of furnaces at their working temperatures. The services are mainly based on two techniques; infrared thermography for external inspection and high temperature furnace endoscopy for internal inspection, this article will focus on high temperature furnace endoscopy. High temperature furnace endoscopy inspections involve real time, remote visualisation of the interior of a furnace during normal operations, enabling the assessment of the state of the refractories inside the unit. Regular inspections can be used to timeously identify a number of furnace issues; typically before the onset of orthodox, speculative and lagging performance indicators. High temperature furnace endoscopy devices are highly robust and purpose designed to operate within the extremely harsh conditions inside furnaces. The devices can be customised to suit various requirements, with the systems’ small diameter probes, only requiring small openings (as small as 50mm). Choosing suitable device lengths and various vision angles enable enhanced flexibility during inspection.
High temperature furnace endoscopy is commonly used for the following applications:
Furnace bottom and sidewall monitoring to prevent catastrophic furnace runouts
Efficient scheduling of furnace maintenance or furnace rebuilds
Close monitoring of critical stages of furnaces in their later stages of operation as to balance risks with production goals
Guiding of strategic decisions about furnace operations, e.g. choice of production operations depending on their impact on the health of furnace
Objective investment optimisation
Endoscopy can also be particularly helpful during hot repairs (e.g. for ceramic welding operations).
With routine high temperature furnace endoscopy inspections, potential problems can be identified and remedied much earlier thereby drastically reducing the number of unplanned refractory maintenance stoppages. Some of the additional benefits of high temperature furnace endoscopy inspections are summarised below:
Harmless non-destructive testing technology
Allows for objective audits from a neutral point of view
Guided continuous improvement and operational excellence initiatives
Cost / benefit ratio is always positive
Images are recorded at working temperature; no shut down required
Full range of support services, from audits to repairs for smooth operations
Improved energy efficiency, lowering emissions
APPLICATION EXAMPLE: Endoscopy of an Operational Furnace
Using high temperature furnace endoscopy for visual inspections of the inside of an operational furnace, permitting amongst other possibilities; the identification of defects, monitoring of the burners and monitoring the flame.