Gamma Scanning

Gamma Scanning is one of the most effective non-invasive methods for diagnosing and solving production issues within the oil and petrochemical industries. ScanTech can identify problems in your process towers that other scanning techniques can’t provide, furnishing your business with detailed and valuable information so you can address and fix any problems safely and quickly.

ScanTech can also help you avoid 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. Integrating Gamma Scanning into your maintenance plan is the best preventative measure you can take to avoid unexpected production delays

Modern Solutions for the Oil Industry

You don’t need us to tell you that downtime is incredibly costly. An unscheduled shutdown can cost a company millions in lost production, as well as disrupt long standing commercial relationships. Ensuring safe operations and keeping production on track are paramount to your success, but if you’re working with process columns, problems will inevitably surface that compromise your team’s performance.

ScanTech’s Gamma Scanning is your solution to identifying process column issues. Our service features quick and reliable techniques for evaluating the operating characteristics inside both trayed and packed towers. Our tower scans happen non-intrusively, and can precisely measure the process fluid characteristics inside the vessel, in real time. That means we work to solve your problems while your process units remain operational.

The Forefront of Tower Troubleshooting

Our Gamma Scanning services provide valuable and unique information that cannot be obtained through other methods. Because of both the quantity and quality of information we can obtain through these techniques, gamma scanning is the primary investigative tool in tower optimization and troubleshooting. The information from a ScanTech Gamma Scan is used by operators to help target problems, determine solutions, and schedule resources appropriately. 

Aiding operators in making informed decisions is what helps ensure the integrity of production, and enables our clients to keep revenue within expectations. Avoid unnecessary shutdowns, and catch future problems before they develop with ScanTech’s Gamma Scanning services.

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 analysis that can be used to combat a wide range of problems in real time.

Columns with trays can be scanned to determine:

  • The position of production bottlenecks
  • The location of trays that are displaced or have taken damage
  • The amount and spread of entrainment, flooding, weeping, or foaming
  • The accumulation levels of liquid at the base of the tower
  • The density and extent of aerated liquids

Packed columns can be scanned to determine:

  • If damage has occurred with the beds
  • Whether all of the packed beds are in position
  • Any settling 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-vapour distribution
  • 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 CAT Scan services that can provide you with a more detailed analysis of a specific area of a packed tower.

How Does it Work?

The goal for both us and our clients is to pinpoint the location of mechanical damage as well as illustrate the characteristics of process flow within distillation columns while they remain in operation. Tower scans are safe, reliable, and performed in a non-invasive manner. That means they won’t interfere with plants processes, they won’t necessitate plant utilities, and they take little time to set up and execute.

Scans are performed by placing a small radioactive source on the outside of the column, in combination with an electronic sensor opposite. A light material like vapour blocks less radiation from reaching the sensor than a denser one such as a liquid. The field of radiation is a function of the average density between the two. By maintaining constant spacing as the source and sensor are lowered down the column, we can generate a precise 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 distillation columns and piping over time, which will help determine foaming rates, flood points and a host of other hydraulic features. Baseline tower scans can be used to monitor the performance of the overall tower hydraulics or packing performance over specific periods of time.

power plant

Any Tower, Any Time

ScanTech is the industry leader in Gamma Scanning inspections. We scan distillation columns, large and small, anywhere from 2 meters to over 100 meters, as well as ones measuring more than 15 meters in diameter. We cover any tower, with every possible assortment of tray, packing and downcomer configurations.

Our Gamma Scanning service requires little to no preparation by the operator. ScanTech’s technique functions right through insulation and cladding material. All we need is access to the top of the vessel, usually through 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 detectors
  • Instant access to Gamma Scan results
  • Digital line counters
  • Maximum portability
  • Automated scanning options


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


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