Decoking with RUHRPUMPEN – Reliable, Safe, Automatic

Presented By

Dr. Wolfgang Paul - RUHRPUMPEN

Conference: Cologne 2008

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Ruhrpumpen developed a system with many features to perform a reliable and safe decoking process. Ruhrpumpen provides a system on a high safety level with very good drilling and cutting performance.


The basic targets for a good decoking system are:

  • Short cutting time for shot and sponge cokers
  • Reasonable cutting time with low coke fines to produce good quality coke
  • Trouble free and safe operation
  • Favorable maintenance capabilities to avoid unplanned downtime

Decoking System

The Ruhrpumpen Auto-switch Tool is a key component to reduce manual interaction to decoke a drum, but it is not the only one.

The decoking system itself is grouped with components as follows

  • Pump area
    • Pump unit and decoking valve,
    • Bleed value
  • Structure, Cutting deck
    • Hoist, Isolation valve
    • Operator shelter,
    • Top deheading valve
    • Floating dome with guide plate
  • Structure, Derrick
    • HP-water hose
    • Crosshead with Free Fall Arrestor
    • Guide rails with position switches
    • Latching device
    • Drill Stem with Auto Tool
  • Control System
    • Main Panel
    • Safety operator Shelter with integrated Operator panel

The main components are known, but the features and options bring the difference.

  • Pump unit:
    • proven design, to provide enough flow and head
  • Hoist:
    • Special decoking hoist with high pull-force, pull-speed,
    • Slack-rope device, triple brake system,
    • Hydraulic driven hoist with certificates for all areas,
    • Electric driven hoist with certificates for normal and low temperatures and ex-areas (-45C,  ATEX, CSA, UL, GOST)
  • Crosshead with Free Fall Arrestor system
    • Normal and low temperature version up to a load of 8500 kg
  • Drill Stem Drive
    • Normal and low temperature version
    • Pneumatic, hydraulic or electrical driven with certificates (ABSA, ATEX, GOST)
  • Dome with floating drill stem guide
    • RP patented dome design with floating drill stem guide to avoid drill stem bending during coking and quenching and cutting.
    • Proven interface with existing top deheading valve arrangements

Ruhrpumpen support matrix

Ruhrpumpen developed a support matrix for special components and calculations, which could be related to the decoking system.

The extended RP decoking system includes

  • a set of instruments to verify the “Jet to wall and coke fall out”

   The system includes a set of vibration and acoustic instruments, connected to the PLC system

  • Extension of the RP-logic system

   Data measurement: Following data will be measured and provided

– does the water jet hit the wall

– does the coke fall out

  • Procedure for operation

– procedures to control hoist operation

– procedures to avoid overloading of crushers

– procedures to avoid stuck tools

  • Extension of RP control system

– Remote operator panel

– Operator consoles for automatic coke cutting

Ruhrpumpen provides a system of calculation programs

  • weights and loads in the derrick
  • forces and moments
  • pressure losses in pipe systems
  • calculation for flow, head, jets
  • temperature and flow distribution in coke drums

Ruhrpumpen Auto Tool

Ruhrpumpen developed the known RUHRPUMPEN Auto Tool with these features

  • slim design
  • favorable drilling and cutting performance
  • anti stuck tool program and procedures
  • tailor-made switch versions with different switch pressure
  • optimized dome and drill stem guide device
  • favourable maintenance capabilities
  • tailor-made nozzle arrangements for different coke types
  • reduced size of top deheading valves


Ruhrpumpen provides a modern cutting system to meet the actual conditions for modern cokers as well as to upgrade existing cokers. Remote and automatic coke cutting is a standard option for every Ruhrpumpen decoking system, running in several locations.



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