Predictive Maintenance with Gamma Scanning


Non-invasive scanning using gamma-ray and other technologies have been used in oil and gas industry for a while. These new scanning technologies allow operations to be maintained smoothly and maintenance to be conducted at the right tome. This is because gamma scanning – or pipe scanning – can be used as part of a predictive maintenance routine.

Identifying Problems

Along the critical processes in plants and oil refineries, gamma scanners can be placed either on a permanent basis or upon request. Distillation tower scan, for example, can be set up and completed upon notice. The former approach, however, can help identify potential problems early.

Among the common issues that gamma scanning can identify are:

  • Mechanical problems, including corrosion and damaged trays. Gamma scanning can also quickly identify problems with the demister, whether the distillery tower is using a vane pack or a mesh type coalesce. Since the system is highly configurable, it can adapt to different setups quickly.
  • Process-related problems, which can include liquid hold-up for various reasons. It can also quickly detect reflux and misdistribution, which is why a lot of refineries now have gamma scanners installed for a more permanent monitoring and maintenance.
  • Problems with rate and process speed, two of the primary focuses of maintaining a smooth operation. Dry or flooded trays can be dealt with quickly and effectively without having to stop operations just to do some initial checks.

The way gamma scanners offer these benefits are rather unique. Instead of having to disassemble parts of the distillery tower or open up sections of pipelines, it scans the inside of these critical components from the outside. In fact, certain inspections such as column scanning can be done without any special preparation.

More and More Benefits!

It doesn’t stop there. Pipe scanning offers so much more benefits when inspections are done by experienced technicians specializing in this field. It requires absolutely no special preparation, allowing you and your company to have instant inspections at any time when necessary.

It is also capable of doing a full-length scan; this is something that used to be immensely time consuming. You no longer need to worry about maintaining a large operation because everything can be scanned, monitored and maintained in real-time.

As mentioned earlier, the device used to perform scanning and inspections is very versatile. It can handle any column size and a wide variety of conditions, including high pressure, high temperature and anomalies (i.e. corroded pipes). You can still get a clear reading in return regardless of the condition. There is even no need to remove insulation or sheathing.

The best benefit of them all? There is no investment to worry about. Gamma scanning is now offered as services by the best scanning and inspection companies in the country. The services they offer are also very interesting, ranging from one-time, quick-response scans and inspections to routine maintenance and constant monitoring. The scanning results are processed by teams of experts to allow the maintenance crew – including your in-house crew – to understand what needs to be done to which part of the system.

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