Developing a Solid Inspection Plan
Plants are facing more stringent regulatory scrutiny while at the same time need to satisfy the business requirements of controlling costs and maintaining equipment reliability. An ongoing API Risk-Based Inspection program enables plant management to maintain a low-risk and cost-effective operating environment through the inspection planning process. The goal is to optimize inspection-related activities for equipment using updated technologies and API RBI software capabilities. This enables plants to:
- Optimize maintenance scheduling
- Prioritize equipment inspection
- Focus inspection dollars on the most critical areas
- Extend inspection intervals of low risk equipment
- Facilitate run/repair/replace decisions
The API RBI deliverable is a detailed inspection plan and API RBI software database that becomes the benchmark for the ongoing reassessment of plant risk. Equity uses a 4-phase process to implement API RBI and develop an inspection plan.
Phase 1: Data Collection & Process Overview Meeting
Clients are asked to provide data for each unit or piece of equipment, including a process description, operations manual, complete set of PFDs and P&IDs, corrosions control manual and other specific information.
Once data is collected, Equity facilitates a Process Overview Meeting with client personnel including the RBI champion, metallurgist, unit inspector, process engineer, and an operations representative. The goal of this meeting is to develop a familiarity with each unit’s unique operating conditions. The data reviewed in these meetings includes materials of construction, operating conditions, fluid compositions, previous inspection information, and areas of known damage.
Phase 2: Data Evaluation & Validation Meeting
Equity then reviews and organizes the data before entering it into the API RBI database, and clients are likely to be asked for additional data. A preliminary damage mechanism review is performed at this time.
Equity then holds an onsite Validation Meeting to review the data provided by the client, review equipment inspection histories, discuss damage mechanism assignments.
Phase 3: Risk Evaluation & Inspection Planning Meeting
Based on the discussion during the Validation phase, Equity will perform a risk analysis, detailed damage mechanism assessment, and develop a preliminary Inspection Plan.
The plan is presented at an on-site Inspection Planning meeting, where the group will discuss in detail the RBI recommendations for each component. Specifically, the discussion will focus on items that have a required inspection, level of inspection and technique recommended, as well as those items without any RBI inspection requirements during the plan period.
Phase 4: Reporting
Finally, an Equity API RBI study provides the following deliverables:
- A finalized API RBI recommended Inspection Plan based on the onsite meeting comments
- A populated API RBI software database covering all components
- Detailed report of findings and assumptions used in the analysis