Laser Profile Inspection

CIA Inspection (CIAI) developed and operates a specialized remote surface profiling system designed to internally inspect coke drums during the short period between coke cutting and refilling.

A laser range camera system produces an accurate and dense surface profile of the entire inside surface of the vertical walls of the drum. The equipment is designed to Class I, Division II requirements for work in explosive environments. The capabilities of the laser scanner have elevated surface profiling from an occasionally-used qualitative method to a much more useful tool which:
  • Profiles the entire inside surface of the vertical drum walls on a 1” x 1” 25mm x 25mm) grid. This ensures that no deformations are “missed”
  • Measures depths of deformations to 1/8” (3.2mm) accuracy
  • Measures drum ovality as well as local bulges and anomolies
  • Measurements are repeatable over time and therefore provide a means of accurately comparing initial scans with subsequent inspections.

CIAI’s Laser Inspection service is typically employed in conjunction with our Remote Video Inspection service, which captures visual images inside the drum in conjunction with the laser scan. The video inspection characterizes and verifies anomalies found during the remote laser inspection.

CIAI generates a detailed Customer Report before leaving the client’s site, summarizing both the laser profile and the video inspection as well as commenting on the overall condition of the drum relative to other drums in the industry.

Clients are provided a current version of Drumview, CIAI’s custom software, to view and analyze the laser maps resulting from each scan.


  • Improves work safety as no personnel are required to enter the drum
  • Eliminates lost production as there is no need to shut down or blind the vessel
  • Saves time as inspections can be completed in less than 4 hours from start to finish
  • Data gathered can be used to formulate pro-active inspection plans to maintain vessel reliability while operating at increased throughput.

A baseline scan of newly installed coke drums before any cycles are run is recommended to capture any “as built” flaws. This provides the refinery with a known starting point so that any future changes can be attributed to operations rather than manufacturing or installation issues, allowing corrective action to be taken.

Laser Profile Inspection Image Gallery

click to enlarge photos


For more information or to inquire about using CIAI’s service, please contact us.