Jun 30, 2014

Cut turnaround costs by focusing maintenance where needed

Jarkko Räty
Jarkko Räty
Manager, Service Solutions

One of the biggest challenges is determining what devices will be adjusted, repaired or upgraded, and ensuring that key devices are not ignored.

Neles experts

Challenged by rising costs, reduced resources and limited time, many oil and gas producers are turning to services from suppliers to achieve optimum turnaround performance. One of the biggest challenges is determining what devices will be adjusted, repaired or upgraded, and ensuring that key devices are not ignored. With years between major turnarounds, oil and gas plants have to get it right first time when planning and executing turnaround schedules to maximize plant availability, safety and environmental targets. Typically this has involved a very conservative approach with the emphasis on scheduled and preventative maintenance actions for valves without regard to their actual condition. As well as being costly and time consuming, unnecessary valve maintenance can also increase the risk of accidentally damaging properly working devices in the process.

Targeting the right devices with the right action

Using the latest methods and tools to employ condition-based maintenance during major turnarounds, our solution consists of two phases, Intelligent Planning and Management. The planning phase is initiated with an evaluation of the preliminary turnaround list. Valves and accessories which can be treated in daily maintenance or in sectional shutdowns are tasked separately in order to reduce the work during the turnaround. Neles utilizes sophisticated software and testing tools to the screen and analyzes individual device condition and their influence to process performance. Using a combination of process data, diagnostic information of smart devices, visual inspection and appropriate device testing, problematic devices already disturbing the process are pinpointed and those with hidden or developing problems are identified.

A detailed plan is created for the actual turnaround execution including resourcing, device removal and insertion, transportation between the site and the workshop, repairs, upgrades and start-up supervision. As well as a recommendation for replacement devices and spare parts, a Service Container can ensure that any special tools and spare parts required are onsite and readily available. Management includes all site operations related to the agreed turnaround scope and are done under Neles’ supervision with actual device repairs made at the Neles workshop.

The results are monitored by two key performance indicators: reduction of devices on the final turnaround list compared to the preliminary turnaround list and the maintenance recommendation to actual maintenance or repair required. As the number of maintenance activities is reduced not only does the cost of maintenance and spare parts fall but also costs associated with removal and reinsertion (e.g. scaffolding, transport, etc). Fewer valves being removed means also reduces the potential for accidents (less high level working, less lifting, etc.). In the subsequent start-up, a supplier’s specialist is available to offer device expertise and fast troubleshooting help in order to realize safe and flawless process startup.

This blog post has been up-dated in July 2020, due to company name change to Neles.