How to keep your risk-based inspection program functioning efficiently (RI 2023)

As owner-users continue to rely on existing risk-based inspection (RBI) programs, the question of how to keep an RBI program functioning and compliant continually comes up in discusmsions.

Matthew K Caserta

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Article Summary

Mechanical integrity professionals want to know what needs to be done and when it needs to happen. Let us start with code requirements:

API 510 10th Edition, 2nd Addendum
6.3.2 The RBI assessment shall be reviewed and approved by the engineer and inspector at intervals not to exceed 10 years or more often if warranted by process, equipment, or consequence changes.

API 570 4th Edition, 2nd Addendum
5.2.5 The RBI assessment shall be updated at least every 10 years or more often if process or hardware changes are made or after any event that could significantly affect damage rates or damage mechanisms.

API 653 5th Edition, 2nd Addendum The RBI assessment shall be reviewed and approved by a team as above at intervals not to exceed 10 years or more often if warranted by process, equipment, or consequence changes.
It should also be noted here that API RP 580 does not address the timing for these types of updates, deferring that to the Inspection Codes.

What does all this mean to the Inspector?
There are two different types of triggers for reviewing the original RBI assessment:

1 Event-based: Something occurs that gives new information that could affect the original RBI analysis. This can include things like new inspection information, changes in feedstocks, changes in unit operation, unexpected failure, and unit revamps, among many others.

2 Time-based: All three inspection codes listed above mention a maximum of 10 years for review (and approval) of the RBI assessment.

What is industry best practice?
Most owner-users manage their RBI updates in two different ways:
1 Equipment updates: When an event occurs, like those listed above, many owner-users will update individual assessments and determine a new RBI interval. This typically happens on a daily basis as new information is gained.

2 Unit-wide updates: while not specifically stated in the Inspection Codes, most owner-users will periodically review the RBI analysis for an entire unit to ensure any changes not captured are accounted for in unit reviews. These unit-wide updates will also include equipment not inspected since the last assessment. These unit-wide reviews are normally completed on a time-based interval (five or 10 years) prior to an upcoming unit outage or after a major unit outage. This also gives an opportunity to align corrosion control documents and integrity operating window (IOW) programs to RBI reviews.

Now, at this point, the observant reader will notice this article does not try to define ‘reassessment’, ’revalidation’, ‘evergreening’, or ‘updating’. This omission is by choice. These terms mean different things to different owner-users. At a recent API Standards meeting, defining these terms became difficult as each operating company uses them differently. So, this article has chosen to focus on what needs to be done and not necessarily worry about the terms used.

Need to update your risk-based inspection program? Becht can help. Contact us for help on keeping your RBI program functioning effectively and efficiently.

This short article originally appeared in the 2023Refining India Newspaper, which you can VIEW HERE

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