Turnarounds are costly in terms of lost production. They can often be more complicated than the initial construction of the facility, especially if they are poorly planned.  For this reason, a well-thought out turnaround plan is vital for reducing costs to the facility, both in money and time.

Turnaround planning should begin at least 9 to 18 months before the turnaround is to take place. All inspectors involved in the planning should have extensive experience with pre-turnaround activity planning and logistics. Likewise, they should be certified under API 510, API 570, and API 653.

During pre-turnaround inspection planning, several critical elements must be identified and defined. First, a list of all of the areas and equipment that are tagged for inspection should be produced. Second, the planned inspection activities to be performed should be identified in detail, and a specific methodology should be assigned to each. At this time, all relevant inspection and testing disciplines that are anticipated to fully evaluate all of the equipment to be inspected need to be listed and appropriate NDT applications need to be designated.

Inspection scheduling is critical to executing an efficient turnaround. For the most optimized inspection schedule, it’s good to use a consecutive scheduling plan rather than an aggregated schedule. An aggregated plan is when everyone is brought onto the project at the same time. A consecutive schedule, on the other hand, is where personnel are only brought in when they are needed. This saves an operator both time and money.

The final part of turnaround planning involves deciding on the budget. To create a budget, each group: maintenance, operations, and engineering, all submit lists of things they need to do. These lists are then combined into a thorough and comprehensive turnaround list. The difficult part about budgeting is that all these groups compete for limited budget and submit different plans for the same equipment. To compile an efficient list, it is important to know what needs to be done, how it needs to get done, and how doing it will affect adjacent units or pieces of equipment. It’s important to be as thorough as possible when creating this list because additions to the list after the planning phase are generally frowned upon. Although in most cases, they are inevitable.

The Benefits of Turnaround Planning

Proper turnaround planning is integral to making sure that the turnaround inspection goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Turnarounds that have not been adequately planned can easily run over budget and behind schedule as new work is discovered, equipment needs to be prepared, and inadequate numbers of personnel struggle to keep up with the workload.

How Sentinel Does Turnaround Planning

Sentinel Integrity provides Turnaround Planning solutions as part of our comprehensive turnaround services. We can provide qualified and experienced personnel to augment the resources available to handle turnaround planning and scheduling, manage the turnaround activities, and assist in the startup of the facility to minimize time offline.


6606 Miller Road 2
Houston, Texas 77049
Office: (281) 457-2225
Fax: (281) 457-0225


3038 Leopard Street
Corpus Christi, Texas 78408
Office: (361) 887-2014
Fax: (361) 887-2022


1954 West Shore Avenue
Port Allen, Louisiana 70767
Office: (225) 421-8640
Fax: (225) 421-8645


8900A 1st Street,
Nederland, Texas 77627
Office: (409) 790-7426