Learning Center

3 Other Tips to Prepare for a Column Inspection During Revamps and Turnarounds

Date: 09/21/23 | Author: AMACS Process Tower Internals | Category: Column Internals, Revamps, Turnarounds |

We have previously written on “Safety Tips to Prepare for a Column Inspection During Revamps and Turnarounds.” Safety is always first, but there are other pointers we can share, such as those that can help you save time and money. Read on to get three other tips to prepare for a column inspection during revamps and turnarounds.

Develop a Plan

No one thinks it is a good idea to go into any complicated process without a solid plan, especially when it comes to something as tasking as revamps and turnarounds. Plant management should be responsible for delegating tasks to the turnaround project leader, including column inspection duties that confirm with the schedule and budget. The plan should have schedules for pre-event meetings that include operatives for column inspection, a personnel chart with everyone’s duties, as well as tasks for the engineering team.

Make a list of all equipment that will be needed for the column inspection, including cleanings and fixes of known problems. Develop a chart with signatures for taking out and returning equipment for each step of the column inspection. Use progress charts to keep track of the latest updates on the project including what needs to be  accomplished, what stage it is in, and what has been successfully completed and inspected.

Work Together

Maintenance, mechanical and process engineers, and inspectors should all be in communication with each other as well as all contractors and vendors. Column inspectors evaluate vessel-wall integrity, condition of trays and packings, pitting, and all corrosion issues. Contractors may also be allowed to verify that equipment has been installed correctly and with correct hardware where applicable. Be sure that it is clear who is in charge of identifying and properly disposing of refuse, whether it be in the garbage or used for recycling or refurbishing purposes.

Utilize process engineers to design how the mechanical parts fit together to maximize the column’s performance. Call for a meeting among all concerned personnel when identifying and proposing any major changes to the columns. Make sure everyone is clear on what the new configuration and processes are before ending the meeting.

Plan to Inspect Efficiently

In general, the proper procedure for a column inspection includes:

  1. Correctly fit parts together – Your engineer, specialist, or contractor will help you understand how the tower’s components fit together to perform as intended. For example, you should know the process for the downcomer entrance area, the open area on a tray, escape area, weir height, and tray-to-tray dimensions for intended liquid flow rates and process vapor.
  2. Know the process – The process design should work in tandem with the mechanical design to ensure that they work towards the same goal.
  3. Plan for deviations – Measure items such as pressure drop, temperature, output, power usage, and more to ensure that there are no deviations from the designated parameters.
  4. Think about the next revamp and turnaround – Unfortunately, these processes are never ending. Identify issues and opportunities during this time for future use.

We at AMACS have extensive experience in helping organizations properly inspect columns during revamps and turnarounds. Our industry leading trays and packings, as well as other column internal solutions, help make each revamp, turnaround, and shutdown a success by maximizing the performance of each tower. Contact us to help you effectively perform your column inspections and improvements.