Life-Cycle Management of Pressurized Fixed Equipment

by David A. Osage, P.E., ASME Fellow / David R. Thornton, P.E. / Philip A. Henry, P.E. / October 2010

 

Most, if not all, pressurized equipment items will continue to operate well beyond their intended design life. To ensure that the equipment operates safely and reliably requires adoption of an equipment Life-Cycle Management (LCM) process. At the equipment design stage the LCM process requires identification of potential damage mechanisms and design to resist or mitigate the damage. After the equipment has been commissioned, the LCM process continues with the use of prescriptive or Risk-Based inspection. An evaluation of the in-service inspection results reveals whether any damage that may have occurred is anticipated (i.e., was considered in the initial design) or unanticipated. When the damage is anticipated and within the design limits, the equipment is put back into operation for a period of time that considers the equipment remaining life, with a new inspection at the end of the operational period. If unanticipated damage is discovered the LCM process requires identification of the damage mechanism and a subsequent Fitness-For-Service assessment to facilitate a decision to run as is, rerate, repair, or replace the damaged components. To effectively implement the LCM approach, codes and standards must exist that cover each aspect of the process. In addition, the technology integration in these codes and standards must be coordinated so that similar analysis techniques are employed at the time of construction and for in-service assessments, as required. An overview of API, ASME, and other codes and standards is provided together with a discussion of the efforts to integrate technology to support the LCM process.

 

Reference:

Osage, D.A., Thornton, D. T. and Henry, P. A., “Life-Cycle Management of Pressurized Fixed Equipment”, ESOPE Conference, Paris, France, 2010.

 

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