Water walls (tubes welded to tubes in parallel) in boilers need to be inspected on a regular basis carrying out a visual inspection and a wall thickness measurement. To avoid time consuming scaffolding , especially for partial inspection, an automated system for water wall inspection and cleaning was designed by Inspection Robotics in collaboration with our partners.
The core element of the inspection system is a crawler with 4 magnetic rollers. The magnets can be swiveled to allow for safe handling as well as to be able to cross wall transition (up to 90°). The crawler carries several waterjet nozzles fed by a water pump outside the boiler. A dedicated deployment crane allows the operator team to safely deploy the 80kg crawler into the boiler.
Looking at the big picture the time & cost saving using a robotic cleaning and inspection solution is tremendous. From preparation tasks (e.g. work permits), to scaffolding, to cleaning & inspection time & effort are reduced.
The robot is operated from a safe & remote location. Confined space work permits, rescue plans and watchmen are not required. This not only saves costs but also minimizes the risk for your operators.
The crawler automatically detects the tubes, recognizes deviation on the driving path and corrects it automatically. For the operator this means he can purely concentrate on his cleaning / inspection task.
The system is able to reach the point of interest in the boiler from its launching point (typically the manway). This means safe attachment to the water wall from the entryway, movement on the water wall tubes in any orientation and crossing wall transition. If needed, the inspection area can be cleaned before it is inspected visually and/or by UT for corrosion.
Remote High Pressure Jet BlastingSeveral cleaning nozzles on crawler to ensure equal and high quality surface cleaning. Water pressure up to 500bar / 7250psi.
Remaining Wall Thickness of Boiler TubesSeveral UT probes to inspect the boiler water wall for tube thinning. Either grid or line scans possible.
Several cameras on the crawler and at the manway allow for detailed visual inspection. Close-up look at burners, water walls, soot blowers, igniters, or temperature probes.
No human entryThis tool launches the BRICI into the boiler by using a sliding rail. Once in the boiler, the crawler is lowered onto the waterwall and attaches with its strong magnetic wheels.
Overview and supervision
Pan-Zilt-Zoom Camera positioned at a manway to monitor crawler operation. Equipped with powerful light output and tuned to work in dark environments
Our standard rugged field controller with integrated touchscreen and control joystick.
Download the print version of the BRIC brochure for further reading.
The Next Evolution in Boiler Safety and Maintenance
The step-by-step guide to BRIC Service
Boiler Robotic Inspection and Cleaning at BASF