Furnace endoscopy involves the use of highly robust, purpose designed endoscopic devices to visually assess the state of a furnace during normal operation. It is a predictive refractory maintenance techniques that:
Helps in keeping the maximum yield from plant equipment.
Inputs into the objective decision making process referring for the relevant preventive or corrective actions.
Dickinson Group’s technology partner; ADI-Industrial Services (ADI-IS) has 25 years of expertise, having developed a simple & efficient protocol for endoscopy in various industries. Part of the service offering includes the processing and analysis of the images. This article will address a few concerns / misconceptions that are commonly raised around this highly robust technique across different industrial sectors.
WE DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM / ISSUE
Great! But how do you know that?
Are you using another inspection technique, thermography for example?
ENDOSCOPY IS USELESS! WE ARE REPAIRING WHEN NECESSARY
Don’t you have a preventive maintenance program?
What would be the cost of a non-scheduled stoppage of the furnace?
WE STILL CAN GO ON WORKING WITH SOME ISSUES ON THE SYSTEM
It’s true, but what is the cost of such a yield loss in terms of productivity at the furnace and additional energy costs linked to the inefficiencies?
ENDOSCOPY IS SLOWING DOWN THE PRODUCTION
There is NO shut down required, a single « by-pass » of the regenerator system under inspection (for Blast Furnace) allows endoscopy, other reactors don’t require any shut down at all.
LOOKS COMPLICATED, WE DON'T HAVE ACCESS
The company’s purpose designed equipment has small diameters (35/42mm) and require a small opening; 50mm is sufficient.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER ENDOSCOPY?
Immediately after inspection, an updated status of the system is available to feed into the objective maintenance plan.
As the ADI-IS strategic partner in the region; Dickinson Group can assist with both hot and cold repairs thereof.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT?
The return on investment on endoscopic systems or studies is typically computed considering the different aspects of the operations that are impacted by the system. Typical examples are summarized below:
Avoided production losses at the furnace and avoided costs of non-scheduled shutdowns or emergency repairs.
Actions undertaken immediately after endoscopy enable :
Optimise energy costs
Reduce risks linked to safety of equipment and staff members