Cost Comparisons

Cost Comparisons: Rope Access vs. Conventional Scaffolding

Case Study on Rope Access Techniques for CUI Inspection – National Petroleum & Refining Association Document # MC-02-87

THE USE OF ROPE ACCESS TECHNIQUES TO INSPECT FOR CORROSION UNDER INSULATION ON TOWERS IN AN OPERATING PROCESS PLANT

Work Scopes For At Height Worksite # 1 

CUI visual and ultrasonic inspection of tower (8′ diameter x 175′ height) and its 18’ overhead line.

  • Remove insulation around all insulation penetrations not accessible by platforms (approximately 60 nozzles and support clips).
  • Remove insulation 2 feet above and 1 foot below all stiffening rings (11 support rings).
  • Remove insulation at 9 locations on the 18-inch overhead line.>/li>
  • Visually inspect and take Ultrasonic Thickness readings, clean and prepare surface using hand tool methods, coat with primer and top coat, and re-insulate all uncovered areas.

No safety incidents occurred

At height worksite #1 cost comparison chart showing savings of rope access over conventional scaffolding

Site #1 – 65% cost savings using Rope Access methods as compared to conventional scaffolding based on fixed price quotes.

At height worksite #2 cost comparison chart showing savings of rope access over conventional scaffolding

Site #1 – 32 days for completion verses an estimated 75 days for scaffolding.

Work Scopes For At Height Worksite # 2

CUI visual inspection of tower (10′ diameter X 100′ height) and overhead line (12’ diameter x 115′ length).

  • Remove insulation around all insulation penetrations not accessible by platforms (approximately 15 nozzles and support clips).
  • Remove 100% of insulation from the 12-inch overhead line.
  • Visually inspect and take Ultrasonic Thickness readings, clean and prepare surface using hand tool methods, coat with primer and top coat, and re-insulate all uncovered areas except for the overhead line.

No safety incidents occurred

Cost comparison bar chart showing the savings of industrial rope access systems vs. conventional scaffolding

Site #2 – 45% cost savings using Rope Access methods as compared to conventional scaffolding based on fixed price quotes.

Bar chart showing the time saved using rope access techniques instead of conventional scaffolding
Site #2 – 7 days for completion verses an estimated 21 days for scaffolding.

Conclusion

  • Rope Access is a safe and effective method for executing work at elevated locations.
  • The overall safety exposure is reduced due to the elimination of scaffolding erection and dismantlement.
  • Work can begin quicker because the scaffold erection time is eliminated.
  • The quality of workmanship is equivalent to the quality of work performed from scaffolding.
  • The total cost of the job is significantly reduced due to the elimination of scaffolding costs.
  • Overall reduced number of man-hours to complete the job.