Plant Integrity Reviews

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Risk Based inspection

Engineering integrity assessments utilize inspection and non-destructive surveys to assess the current condition of the equipment being studied. Often, such surveys are risk-based, where high-risk equipment is prioritized through a process of analysis referred to as Risk-Based-Inspection (RBI) Assessment. In the petrochemical industry API 580 is the recommended practice that guides equipment owners on the key elements, benefits and limitations of RBI. The process is mechanical integrity focused and identifies probabilities of failure and the consequences of failure into a risk matrix. Risk mitigation activities are defined and typically equipment within the very high risk zone are considered replacement candidates. The RBI program generally documents the methodology for managing the risk through inspection, maintenance and mitigation activities.

The risk matrix
The risk matrix

Continuous improvements on Corporate Management Policies, Inspection Management Systems (IMS) and Risk Based Inspection (RBI) procedures are important to ensure proper asset integrity. Any review of these policies and processes should also include assessment of the pressure equipment procurement and repairs processes as well as engineering change procedures for any shortcomings. By performing gap analyses or benchmarking these policies and procedures against best international practices, the successfulness of the systems and procedures can be augmented. These systems will assist in providing information for asset replacement strategies as well as maintenance plans and costs.

Aspects related to corporate management policies
Aspects related to corporate management policies


SecMet’s participation in such projects have focused on the metallurgical damage mechanisms that can occur for a wide variety of equipment, including pressure vessels, tanks, rotating equipment and high–temperature applications.

Also refer to the section on fitness-for-service and boiler condition assessments for more detail on asset integrity assessment that SecMet can perform.

Reviewing the intergrity of Critical Equipment

Reviewing the Integrity of Critical Equipment (RICE) is a methodology, which was developed in Sastech for the condition assessment of equipment, which is critical, either to the safety of the plant or the reliability of the process.

Replica for the assessment of condition of a unit
Replica for the assessment of condition of a unit

RICE is a multi-disciplinary approach to condition assessment. The team usually responsible for a RICE study consists of metallurgical engineers, process engineers, mechanical engineers and plant maintenance personnel.  RICE investigations are usually conducted with a planned shutdown in mind for the following reasons:

  • The equipment is available for detailed inspection during a shutdown
  • It is feasible to perform any NDE during a shutdown

The advantages of a RICE approach include the following:

  • It provides the plant personnel with specific data to develop maintenance strategies in order to extend the life of critical equipment
  • Shutdown activities are planned more effectively
  • Attention is focused on the critical aspects of the equipment
  • Pro-active repair strategies for the repair of possible critical defects are developed before the shutdown