Birwelco USA Rolls Out New Patented Technology Designed to Reduce Fired Heater Downtime


16 July 2015

Birwelco USA has just filed a patent which is set to revolutionise the way fired heaters are maintained.

A new radiant tube support and keeper system has been developed for single fired radiant tubes of a vertical or horizontal orientation.

All supports fail over time due to the severe conditions within the heater. Unlike traditional designs used in the industry, this new design allows for monitoring of the condition of the tube support and the ability to install or replace it while the heater remains in service.

Walter Gull, President and General Manager of BUSA, said the innovation provides unparalleled flexibility for the owner: “Tube support or keeper pin failure is a leading cause for the adverse movement of tubes and subsequent tube overheating during operation, often necessitating the unscheduled shutdown of the heater.

“Using this new support system on a heater allows the owner to accurately identify the tube supports or keepers which need to be replaced as the failures occur, well in advance of the scheduled shutdown.

“Finalisation of scope, and even implementation of the remedy, can be completed on a pre-turnaround basis based on the owner’s needs.

“The new support system can ultimately keep a heater off critical path for the turnaround, even if every one of the radiant tube supports need to be replaced.”

Other features, such as standardised castings, will allow for the same support to be used in multiple heaters throughout a refinery.

BUSA are expected to complete prototyping by the middle of 2015 with plans for the technology to be available for use by Autumn 2015.

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