Every service comes with a cost.  Deciding to perform the service should be achieved through a cost to benefit analysis – “Do the benefits outweigh the costs?”

Gamma Scanning is a specialized service primarily to the oil and gas industry.  It is not something most plants use every day, maybe not even every month, but the Gamma Scan is an invaluable technique to help troubleshoot process issues in your trayed and packed towers.  Optimizing your processes and reducing or eliminating shutdown time are the key benefits of Gamma Scanning.  But what is the cost?

Service costs may be provided as a lump sum or may be separated into the following categories:

  • Mobilization
  • On-site services
  • Processing/administrative

To reduce mobilization costs, try to provide as much notice to the vendor as possible.  This allows for journey management and, if applicable, reduced airfare.

Try to perform work on multiple vessels at one time or discuss the needs with other units at your plant.  Mobilization is generally only charged once, but there may be charges for lodging and meals which are generally much less than travel costs.  Mobilization costs can be split across multiple vessels/budgets if work is performed on more than one asset.

On site services are generally charged for time spent on site.  This may be hourly, daily, monthly, etc.  If you can reduce the time a crew is on your site, you can reduce the costs of the service.

Time = Money

Site access – Be organized.  Ensure the vendor has been provided all the requirements in advance and any documentation has been submitted to you.  Have a dedicated site representative to meet the crew and guide them through the steps for plant entry.  Ensure the representative knows the steps and has all documentation ready in advance.

If the vendor can complete safety and site orientation online prior to arriving at the site, this can save several hours.  Job Safety Analysis and permits can often be submitted in advance for approval.  Gaining equipment access is often simplified by providing an inventory in advance for material gate passes.

The customer can provide most of the required information to the vendor in advance of arrival.

  • Tower drawings including general arrangement and tray orientations
  • Tower access – ladders, scaffold, man-lift, crane
  • Pictures of the vessels
  • A good description of the problem so a scanning plan can be worked out in advance

If multiple scans will be required at different operating rates, ensure operations personnel are aware and prepared for the changes.  Plan the time accordingly with the scanning crew so they can minimize set up and rig down time.  Maintain the channels of communication between Process, Operations and Gamma Scanning crew.

Processing and administrative costs are reduced by having open communication with the vendor and providing the information required in advance. If data has to be reprocessed due to information provided after the reports are written, this cost is passed along to the customer.

All of these things will help to minimize the on-site time needed for the scanning crew and costs. 

The #1 question we are asked on site, “When will you be finished?”  is often asked before we have even started to set up equipment. Time is a valuable commodity for everyone. 

Customers want value for their money, and this is best achieved by being prepared and getting the scanning crews to work as quickly as possible after arriving to site.