RLG’s Tank Excellence (TANKx™) framework provides a comprehensive and effective front-line implementation approach to working alongside client teams to improve their planning and execution of tank overhauls, resulting in significant improvement in cost, duration, and availability.
TANKx™ implementations focus on all areas of tank program improvement, including strategic planning, formalized planning processes, optimization of execution, and continuous improvement. Recent client results include:
- Tank cleaning duration decreased by >50%
- Maintenance overhaul duration decreased by >35%
- Lost profit opportunity improvement of $7 million
Recently one of our clients shared their story on the company’s internal website. Read below and imagine how your story might sound if you adopted a TANKx™ approach to your tank maintenance program.
This will be the last point in my sequence on TK-3101’s turnaround as we brought the tank successfully and safely back into service last week.
Just over a year ago we set ourselves the ambitious target of completing the turnaround in 8 months. This was 4-6 months faster than the baseline schedule. This was a conscious decision based on the value drivers associated with the work. There were three main variables that we had the ability to focus on to change the outcome: cost, schedule, and quality, with safe work being a given. They are all interlinked, and it is a balancing act to get the optimum business outcome.
Just over a year ago we set ourselves the ambitious target of completing the turnaround in 8 months. This was 4-6 months faster than the baseline schedule
Starting with the quality. Our normal time between internal inspections is 20 years and code allows that to be extended during operation up to 30 years by doing a risk-based analysis to prove the likelihood of failure is low. This is normally a very valuable exercise, especially on a crude tank where the cleanup costs are relatively high. We also had the ability to consider a shorter duration if the scope could be sufficiently reduced but this could only be determined once the tank had been fully inspected internally.
So our plan going into the turnaround was to aim for 20-30 years to the next turnaround as this created the most value for the refinery unless the floor of the tank, which we thought needed to be fully replaced could last another 10 years with the very minimal work. This did not play out as the floor required to be completely replaced.
Cost versus schedule. Our Oils planning team assessed the value to the refinery of delaying or accelerating the return to service of the tank. Crude storage can create significant value for the refinery, allowing different crude types to be stored and processed. Also, during the FCC major, gasoil storage becomes a premium and we normally utilize an additional quarry tank for the service. All that said, the crude tank’s value was $45,000/day.
On the schedule we had three main options - work no overtime, work some overtime, or work both day and night shifts. A large section of the work happens inside the tank and being dark outside does not really make a big difference to the work. When all was considered we could reduce the cost by maybe $500,000 by going to the no overtime solution; however, this would extend duration by more than a month, so this strategy did not payout. The other route of going to 24-hour working would increase the cost but the two- to three-month acceleration in the schedule was very attractive.
Schedule Optimization. While we acknowledge that two- to three-months of the acceleration came from working shifts, there were a number of smart ideas that the team created which came effectively for free and reduced the duration by another two- to three-months. (Such as pumping of the sludge from tank into bigger tanks to process off the critical path and working on the roof during hydrotest)
While we acknowledge that two- to three-months of the acceleration came from working shifts, there were a number of smart ideas that the team created which came effectively for free and reduced the duration by another two- to three-months.
Contract decisions. We decided to try a fixed-price contract for the mechanical scope of the project rather than the ‘time and materials’ contract strategies we had been using recently. The thought being that if we identified the scope well, then the contractor would have a vested interest in being efficient and completing it as quickly as possible. This worked very well and the contractors we used were very effective at getting the work done and being on the front foot on what was coming next.
This was a bit of long post, but I thought it was worth describing the balancing act used to set the aspirational targets. So, what was the outcome?
- Safety - zero incidents
- Quality - remediated to provide 20-30 year life
- Cost - slightly over, as we had a couple of major items found during inspections that we had not planned to replace
- Schedule - 8 months and 10 days (as compared to 13+ months previously)
- Additional value to the refinery $6-7 million
This tank is just one example of where setting aspirational targets (and choosing the right ones) can help us create more value. All of us have examples every day where we can make a difference.
Last but certainly not least is that the outstanding result could not have been possible without the great team that were in place to make this happen - thank you!
Imagine duplicating these results in your tank field. While this story is specific to one critical, high-value tank, this leader’s organization has embraced TANKx™, and is applying the process and its supporting behaviors across the entire tank field. In fact, this corporation has adopted the principles of TANKx™ across all its sites throughout the world!
We would love to talk to you about your challenge. We have more stories to share, details on how we work with clients, and would enjoy talking through your specifics. We also have a TANKx assessment, which can be conducted remotely, on-site or by a hybrid solution. Contact us.