Touch Free Heat Exchanger Cleaning

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A large chemical company wanted to clean one of its 20 foot-long heat exchangers with approximately 1,300 tubes during a turnaround, using 100% automated technologies. The exchanger had been cleaned two years prior to Veolia accepting the project. Veolia was challenged to implement an automated cleaning solution that would increase the exchanger's heat transfer efficiency in less time, and with a smaller crew than the previously-used manual cleaning methods. Veolia would be the first provider on the site to implement an automated solution for exchanger cleaning, and had a limited workspace to set up and control the automated equipment. 


Veolia brought in its Touch Free XY Indexer technology to lance the exchanger's 1,300 tubes. Three Veolia employees alternated operating the XY Indexer remotely over two 12 hour shifts. Veolia's Touch Free technologies improved employee safety by allowing the workers to remotely operate equipment outside of the barricaded area and away from the hazardous line of fire. 

The amount of PPE that workers were required to wear when using Touch Free technologies was significantly reduced over conventional manual methods, minimizing the potential for heat stress. By taking the high pressure shotgun and lance away from the operator's hands, worker fatigue was reduced along with the risk of injury. 


Veolia was able to save the customer 1.5 days of downtime by using their Touch Free equipment instead of manual cleaning methods. Additionally, Veolia was able to downsize the crew needed for the project by one employee, reducing the customer's bill by $1,000. Heat transfer increased by 28%, helping the customer generate an additional $10,000 per month in revenue. 

Veolia's robotic technologies surpassed traditional cleaning methods by substantially increasing the cleaning power and accuracy available to complete this hydroblasting project. By working remotely with automated equipment, employees were moved outside of the hazardous line of fire and the project was successfully completed without any accidents or injuries. 

"Veolia implemented a custom Touch Free solution to clean a large 1,300 tube heat exchanger to improve turnaround time and heat transfer efficiency." 

- Veolia Account Manager