Lucideon Comes to the Aid of International Oil Company

An international oil company had a problem at one of its refineries - holes in a grill in the FCC Fluid Catalytic Cracker were becoming blocked by refractory materials. The company's process engineers knew that, if all the holes were to become blocked, then the whole refining process could be brought to a standstill, costing millions of dollars in lost revenue.

The Challenge

The company needed to identify the refractory materials urgently in order to find out where they were coming from. A call was made to Ceram at 10.30am on a Saturday morning, asking if we could help with identification that very same day.

What We Delivered

The refractory samples were delivered to Ceram by 6pm on the Saturday. By that time, a team of refractory specialists, including testing experts and one of our dedicated refractories consultants, Jan Theron, had been assembled. XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) chemical analysis was then used to analyse the refractory pieces and the results were then emailed to the client's process engineers. With the help of Jan, the process engineers were able to identify the types of refractory materials that were blocking the holes in the grill and hence, where these refractory materials were coming from.

Value to the Client

As a result of Ceram putting a dedicated team together quickly and out of normal working hours the client was able, thanks to the test results and Jan's refractory knowledge, to identify the probable sources of the refractory material and make the necessary corrective action. This meant that the client could quickly get back to production quickly without the loss of unnecessary downtime which would have resulted in millions of dollars of lost revenue.

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