Inspectioneering Journal

A Roadmap for Successful Turnaround Inspections: Turnaround Inspection Execution

Part 2

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


Oil refineries and petrochemical plants conduct periodic turnarounds for maintenance, facility upgrades, code compliance, and other events.  The cost of each turnaround is significant, so operators must strive to optimize planning and work as efficiently as possible.  Facility operators should engage technical equipment inspectors before, during, and after each turnaround as a critical element for successful continued operations.

In this issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I detail a roadmap for inspection activities during turnaround executions.  This roadmap includes the critical elements of turnaround inspections, the keys to optimizing inspection activities, and the emerging challenges and solutions during these projects.  The roadmap to pre-turnaround inspections can be found in the previously released March/April 2014 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, and Part 3, discussing post-turnaround inspection documentation will be available in an upcoming issue.

Critical Elements

A number of critical inspection elements are addressed during turnaround executions, which span from just a few days before the turnaround to the end of the turnaround.  These critical elements include:

  1. final planning,
  2. tracking,
  3. record-keeping,
  4. qualified personnel,
  5. operator coordination and cooperation, and
  6. weather-related issues.

Ideally, the inspection execution plan has been finalized a few months in advance of inspectors arriving on site.  The work scope has hopefully been well-defined, including the specific equipment that will be opened, inspected, and undergo maintenance or repair.  These plans are subject to change or at least evolve as the turnaround proceeds and previously unidentified or suspected “discovery items” are revealed.  Turnaround inspection activities are often tracked through a series of wall charts.  These turnaround wall charts track every event, occurrence, and inspection that is performed for every piece of equipment.  They identify what has been inspected and tested, and what remains to be inspected or tested, and the high-level results of the inspection activities, including any resultant repairs needed.  After the wall charts are developed, a record-keeping system, intended for the discovery items that are found for repair, should be created to track the daily progress of every repair completed.  The tracking system for the repair recommendation issued does not have to be elaborate, but should at a minimum be systematic, chronological and consistently followed by all persons involved in the turnaround inspection activities to ensure that all repairs that have been accepted by the owner-operator are completed, and any that are not approved or completed are appropriately documented for future follow-up during upcoming inspection and monitoring activities.  

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