Inspectioneering Journal

A Roadmap for Successful Turnaround Inspections: Pre-turnaround Inspection Planning

Part 1

By Scott Corey, President of Operations at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc. This article appears in the March/April 2014 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
This article is part 1 of a 3-part series.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Periodically, oil refinery and petrochemical plant operating companies conduct complex turnarounds for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, scheduled maintenance, facility upgrades, and code compliance.  The cost of a turnaround is significant, so operators strive to optimize planning and work as efficiently as possible.  Yet at times, a piece of equipment, a unit, or a whole-plant turnaround can be more complicated than the initial construction of the facility, so a carefully designed turnaround plan is crucial for reducing work time and costs and ensuring that the complex continues to operate in a safe and efficient manner. Far in advance of the turnaround, plant operators begin planning schedules and budgets, including ensuring that personnel, time, budgets, and access points are available for inspection professionals and equipment.  Often, third-party qualified and experienced inspection personnel are needed to augment the operator’s resources available to handle turnaround inspection planning and scheduling, execution of the turnaround inspection activities, and assist in the re-startup of the facility to minimize the out-of-service time.  Without high-quality inspection activities, damaged or failing equipment can be improperly documented or overlooked completely, thus leading to unintended consequences.  High-quality inspection services should include pre-turnaround inspection planning, turnaround inspections, and post-turnaround documentation.

In this series of articles published in Inspectioneering Journal, I will begin by detailing a roadmap for pre-turnaround inspection planning activities.  This roadmap consists of a comprehensive overview, including the critical elements of pre-turnaround inspection planning, personnel and testing logistics, scope determinations, inspector training, optimized planning, budgeting challenges and solutions, new technology, and new regulations for the petrochemical, chemical, and refining industries.  The roadmaps for turnaround inspections and post-turnaround inspection documentation will follow in subsequent issues.


Pre-turnaround inspection planning should begin no less than 9 to 18 months before an anticipated turnaround begins.  Inspectors developing the turnaround inspection plan should be certified to API 510, 570, and 653, and have demonstrated extensive experience with inspection project management of pre-turnaround activities, repairs, and associated logistics.  Such personnel, whether in-house or as third-party providers, are needed to ensure overall asset reliability to minimize risk and resulting consequences associated with loss of containment or failure of equipment.

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Harold Joubert on April 29, 2014
Well written and stepped out. Very interesting... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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