Gamma Scanning

Gamma scanning is one of the most effective non-invasive methods for diagnosing and identifying production issues within the oil and petrochemical industries. ScanTech can identify problems in your process towers that other technologies can’t, avoiding unpleasant surprises by bringing issues to light that may become problems in the future, allowing you to schedule maintenance shutdowns when it suits your production timeline best. 

Leveraging the diagnostic abilities of gamma scans is the best preventative measure you can take to avoid unexpected production losses and identify maintenance requirements before they become issues.

Modern Gamma Ray Scanning Solutions

Unscheduled shutdowns are costly and disruptive to your business. To maintain safe operations and maximize production, it’s essential to address issues in process columns quickly. ScanTech’s Gamma Scanning offers fast and reliable techniques for evaluating trayed and packed towers. Our non-intrusive tower scans provide precise real-time measurements of process fluid characteristics, while keeping units operational. With ScanTech, you can identify and solve process column issues without compromising your team’s performance or lost production time. 

The Forefront of Trayed & Packed Tower Troubleshooting

Our gamma scanning services offer unmatched insights that cannot be achieved with alternative methods. The abundance and caliber of data we generate through our techniques make gamma scanning the go-to investigative tool for tower optimization and troubleshooting.

ScanTech’s gamma scan results are crucial in helping operators identify problems, devise solutions, and allocate resources effectively. By providing operators with insightful data, we enable clients to stay on track with their revenue projections, minimize downtime, detect, and address potential issues before they become major concerns.

What Can Gamma Scanning Do for Me?

ScanTech’s gamma scanning services can detect issues in both trayed towers as well as packed towers. These scans provide an operational analysis that can be used to combat a wide range of problems in real time. 

Columns with trays can be scanned to determine:

  • Damaged or missing trays 
  • The location and severity of entrainment, flooding, weeping, or foaming
  • Liquid heights on chimney trays and the level of liquid at the base of the tower
  • The height and relative density of aerated liquids on each tray

Packed columns can be scanned to determine:

  • If damage has occurred within the beds
  • Whether all of the packed beds are in the correct position
  • Settling or crushing of the packing
  • Whether demister pads and distributors are at their required locations
  • Whether beds have experienced fouling or liquid holdup
  • If there are major issues in the liquid-vapor distribution through the packing
  • Accurate readings for liquids on chimney and collector trays

As such, the density and the characteristics of our scan profile can be used to understand the vessel operation in real time, as well as the condition of individual internal components, all in a non-intrusive manner. ScanTech also offers CT Scan services that can provide you with a more detailed 2D density image of a specific area of a packed tower.

How Does Gamma Scanning Work?

Tower gamma scanning is safe, reliable, and performed in a non-invasive manner, meaning no interference with plant processes, no plant utility requirement, and they take little time to set up and execute. 

A distillation tower scan is performed by placing a small radioactive source on the outside of the column with an electronic sensor on the opposite side. A light material, such as vapor, blocks less radiation from reaching the sensor than a denser material such as a liquid. The radiation detected is a function of the average density between the two pieces of equipment. By maintaining constant spacing as the source and sensor are lowered down the column, we can generate a relative density profile, giving you a clear look into the contents inside.

Distillation Columns

Pipe Scanning

Using Gamma Scanning technology, ScanTech can also help solve your piping-related issues. Our scans can easily:

  • Gauge flowing densities
  • Locate coke, scale or ice buildups
  • Find blockages
  • Analyze catalyst fluidizations
  • Discover areas of lost refractory or lining within a pipe
  • Pinpoint the location of liquid in vapour lines
  • Locate lost or stuck pigs

Stationary Time Monitoring

Our equipment can also be used for stationary monitoring of a distillation column over time, which will help determine foaming rates, flood points and a host of other hydraulic features.

Baseline Scans

Baseline tower scans can be used to monitor the performance of the tower hydraulics or packing performance over time. This allows you to see changes in the operational characteristics as they occur, monitor fouling, and associate these changes to specific tower operation.

Petrochemical plant 2

Gamma Scanning – Almost any Tower

ScanTech is the industry leader in gamma scanning inspections. We scan distillation columns, large and small, anywhere from 2 meters to over 100 meters tall, as well as towers measuring more than 15 meters in diameter. We can scan almost any tower, with a variety of tray, packing and downcomer configurations. 

Our gamma scanning service requires little to no preparation by the operator. All we need is access to the top of the vessel, usually from existing platforms, or if necessary, via crane and man basket.

Our Commitment

Rigging in

ScanTech is at the forefront of tower scanning, and as such we are continuously making improvements to our equipment and procedures in order to be able to provide our customers with the best results currently available. ScanTech has the most advanced equipment in the industry, including:

  • Integrated electronic ultra-low voltage detectors
  • Wireless communications
  • Digital line counters
  • Instant access to gamma scan results
  • Maximum portability
  • Automated scanning options

Contact us today to inquire about having a Gamma Scan performed by ScanTech.

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