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Special Assessment Services For Steam Methane Reformers

HSI Special Assessment Services for Steam Methane Reformers (SMRs) provide invaluable support to process plant owners and operators. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians can perform specialized inspections, assessments, investigation, and repair recommendations for SMR units. From routine maintenance to critical repairs, HSI provides a comprehensive range of services to ensure the safe operation of SMRs across industries including oil & gas, refinery, petrochemical, chemical, and power generation.

Our experts can inspect the various components that make up your SMR unit – from catalyst beds and tubes to internals, headers, and vessels – to identify any signs of corrosion or wear. We also have the capability to properly diagnose the cause of any damage or corrosion before recommending a course of action.

The Problem

Steam Reformer Furnaces are at the core of many plants used in the production of Ammonia, Methanol, Syngas, Acetic Acid, and refined hydrocarbons.

This critical equipment operates under extreme temperatures and pressures, requiring the use of high alloy materials. These materials are subject to long-term degradation due to stresses caused by fatigue, thermal, creep, and residual issues.

Reformer Tubes, Pigtails, and Collection Headers utilize materials which reside in the creep regime. These components operate at the upper limits of the materials structural properties with which they are manufactured. Plant upsets or extreme operating conditions can adversely effect the continued serviceability of the components.

A design life of 100,000 operating hours has been the normal time-based criteria for considering retirement of tubes. Operators of these furnaces require specific assessments which will ensure continued safe operation and tube reliability to optimize plant performance. The damages created within the furnace require assessment techniques and software that will target specific damage mechanisms that result from operation of this equipment.

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The Solutions

HSI has developed a complete program of inspection services which will allow plant operators to manage the long-term asset life of plant equipment.

Comprehensive Services Include:

  • Reformer Tube Inspection and Condition Assessment
  • Remaining Life Assessment
  • Header Inspection and Assessments
  • Pigtail Inspection and Life Evaluation
  • Bi-Metallic Weld Evaluation and Life Prediction

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The chart below demonstrates the ability of various NDE techniques to detect and quantify the various damage manifestations. The premise is to provide definitive information on tube condition and data input for remaining life calculations.
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Reformer Tube Inspection and Condition Assessment (External and Internal) (H-SCAN®)

Reformer Tube Inspection and Condition Assessment (External and Internal) using H-SCAN® can provide improved accuracy in evaluating the condition of reformer tubes, both on the outside and inside. The technology is based on advanced multi-faceted scanning techniques that measure calculated wall thickness, deformations, and other physical characteristics of these critical components. It also inspects for corrosion, erosion and pitting within the internal tube walls. The system is designed to provide detailed reports about the findings including pictures that can be shared with maintenance personnel or other stakeholders.

Remaining Life Assessment (WinTUBE™)

Remaining Life Assessment, better known as WinTUBE™, is a powerful tool used to accurately determine the remaining life of a component before it fails. It applies algorithms and machine learning techniques to predict the remaining useful life of a system or component based on real-time condition monitoring data. With this information, companies can optimize maintenance planning and reduce unexpected breakdowns.


Pigtail Inspection and Life Evaluation (HSCAN P-C.A.T.™)

A series of proprietary NDE sensors, which when placed at a specific location of a pigtail, can screen along the complete length of the tube for areas of creep damage.

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Header Inspection and Assessments (HSCAN H-C.A.T.™)

Assist in the life prediction of these components, proper inspection, and condition assessment which are required on a regular basis. Header Inspection and Assessment (HSCAN H-CAT™)

Internal Bi-Metallic Weld Evaluation and Life Prediction (EMT)

Internal Bi-Metallic Weld Evaluation and Life Prediction (EMT) is a specialized form of Nondestructive Testing (NDT). It uses ultrasonic technology to evaluate the soundness of welds within components without having to take them apart. Using EMT, engineers can detect cracks and other flaws in the weld joint before they become visible. This allows for early detection and repairs that could potentially extend the life of the component.

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