Inspectioneering

Greg Alvarado: About the Author
Chief Editor, Inspectioneering Journal


Greg Alvarado

Greg Alvarado possesses over 40 years of experience in the chemical, petrochemical and oil and gas industries. His roles have included positions as an owner operator, consultant, Chief Chemist, and Corrosion/Materials/NDE applications engineer. He has specialized in risk based inspection consulting, training, mentoring, RBI program gap assessment and project management since 1996. He is a 30 year member of the API Sub-Committee on Inspection, an original working member of the API group that created the recommend practices (RP 580 and RP 581, all editions) for Risk Based Inspection. Mr. Alvarado currently provides risk management, NDE technical consulting, and equipment lifecycle/fixed equipment reliability program gap assessments and consulting as a Principal Consultant with Trinity Bridge Consulting LLC. He has extensive experience working at plants and with central engineering. He has served as an invited guest speaker on creating sustainable reliability strategies for fixed equipment in the US, Canada, South America, Europe, Caribbean, Australia, Middle East, Asia, and eastern Europe and has educated regulatory agencies on important API practices such as Fitness for Service and RBI in the US and abroad. Greg was an invited participant/interviewee for the RAND study, New Forces at Work in Refining - Industry Views of Critical Business and Operations Trends (a critical look at industrial infrastructure as part of national security), copyright 2003.

Greg Alvarado is also the founder and Chief Editor of Inspectioneering Journal.

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Published Articles

Executive Q&A with Clay White, Director of Mechanical Integrity for Phillips 66
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering Founder and Chief Editor, Greg Alvarado, recently had the privilege to sit down with Clay White, Director of Mechanical Integrity for Phillips 66 (Downstream), to discuss the world of fixed equipment reliability in the refining and petrochemical industry.

2017
January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We are headed into an era of unprecedented challenges when it comes to software and work process integration. The stakes are high for those who wish to seize the opportunity, especially early adopters and the early majority.

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Human factors, inspection effectiveness, and RBI all play an important role in running an effective asset management program. This article discusses how each is applicable to inspecting equipment in processing facilities.

September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Risk-based inspection (RBI) programs and processes are front and center, both as a challenge to get it right, and as an integral tool and process to help us achieve success in risk management and equipment reliability. It has to be implemented, maintained, sustained, and in a state of continuous improvement over time in order to achieve the desired results.

Why RBI? 6 Reasons to Start Your RBI Program Today
Blog
July 15, 2016 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Risk Management are true passions of mine. I have dedicated much of my career to studying them, understanding their intricacies, and witnessing the benefits of their successful implementation. This article briefly discusses the history of RBI and provides a short, yet persuasive justification for investing in establishing an effective RBI program.

2015 is behind us – Let’s Look Ahead
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely, responsibly, and reliably.

Effective End of Useful Life Strategies for Pressure Equipment
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Asset managers need to know when repairs and replacement are required for many reasons, including safe operation, accurate budgeting, replacement planning, and on-going reliability. When predicting design life based on a simple, linear corrosion rate versus remaining thickness, metallurgical degradation, or crack propagation rates are often not accurate or realistic. Even if the models are good, things change.

Enable Successful Turnarounds with These 8 Tips for Taking Advantage of Today
Blog
March 2, 2015 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

There is a lot of great technology currently available to us in the private sector, such as personal cell phones and telecommunication devices, including television, automobile features, e-mail, text messaging, data sharing,...

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Challenges abounded in 2014 for the process industries, and it does not look like they will let up soon. But then again, that’s life, as they say. After 40 years in the industry the old adages still ring true, “there is nothing new under the sun” and “the only constant is change.”

Blog
February 9, 2015 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

I recently received an inquiry about performing risk-based inspection (RBI) at the design stage of a unit. More specifically, I was asked if it was possible to start an RBI project in the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase even though the PFD...

Key Performance Indicators – Understanding is Key
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal, and Michael O. Nichols at Marathon Petroleum Company

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are important for businesses to track measurable progress, or a lack thereof, as compared to pre-defined goals or benchmarks. For those of us in the inspection, fixed equipment reliability world, the same holds true. Often the efficacy of our inspection programs is measured against such goals.

Situation Awareness: Making Mobile Technology Work for You
Blog
October 27, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Now that the stage has been set (via parts 1 and 2 of this series), let’s see what we can do to improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of the work execution processes through situation awareness. Who knows? Maybe even cut a few days off the turnaround in the process.

Situation Awareness and Crude Unit Turnaround Work Execution
Blog
September 18, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This blog post is the second in a series about situation awareness (SA). The first part of this series introduced SA (defined as the gathering and utilization of data in real time and using it to improve work processes) and introduced an example of how real-time SA can be applied to plant turnarounds to better achieve your turnaround objectives.

Blog
August 25, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

After spending decades in plants and assisting operators in developing mechanical integrity programs, something has become very apparent to me; owner-operators face serious challenges with situation awareness (SA). What do I mean by SA?

Acoustic Emission Monitoring for HIC-Affected Vessels
Blog
May 5, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

AE monitoring has been done for HIC affected vessels, with limited success. The limitation, which greatly affects the confidence level of results, is that traditional AE testing stresses, i.e. Kaiser affect overpressure and felicity effect types of re-stressing do not generate the types of stress necessary to generate elastic strain waves at the HIC laminar crack tips.

Blog
April 21, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

A paper was presented at the 68th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association entitled Updated Failure Rates and Risk Management in the Process Industries. It was presented in October 2013 by INAIL, an Italian insurance association. The presentation included a thorough analysis of generic failure frequencies used in various American, European, and other sources dating back to 1970.

Blog
March 17, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

A question was posed to me regarding guidelines for routine external inspection of spheres, including procedural approaches along with any nondestructive examination (NDE). Here are two approaches to inspection of spheres, and a mixture of the two, as a third.

Blog
March 3, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In many ways, fertilizer plants are no different than most process industry plants including refineries and petrochemical facilities. Information in documents like API 510, 570, 653 and RPs 580, 581, 571, 577, 579, etc. is essential.

Blog
January 27, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

2013 was a year of introspection and progress for the process industries, largely motivated by recent (within the last 10 years) equipment failures and their consequences, some highly publicized.

Industry Remembers the Life and Contributions of Trevor Kletz
November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

It is with sadness that I learned of the passing of one of the world’s greatest authorities on chemical process safety, Dr. Trevor Kletz; a man I deeply respected and admired for his commitment to improving safety, preventing accidents, and saving lives. Although I never met Dr. Kletz, I certainly wish I had. He was a pioneer in the discipline of process safety management, and had the courage and conviction to speak up about industrial shortcomings at times when others would not. He wrote and spoke candidly on causes of industry incidents and provided insight on how to prevent them...

Blog
November 18, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Discussions to allow the certification of three existing API recommended practices (RPs) without prior certification to API 510, 570, or 653 were held at recent API Spring and Fall Refining and Equipment Standards Meetings.

Blog
September 9, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Risk Based Inspection, Fitness for Service using Accuracy, the approach for Equipment Lifecycle Management and, to lay the foundation for proper thinking, making the case for Scalable Accuracy.

Blog
September 3, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Fitness for Service using Scalable Accuracy, the approach for Equipment Lifecycle Management and, to lay the foundation for proper thinking, making the case for Scalable Accuracy. In a continuation on the topic, this week’s blog will cover Risk-Based Inspection (RBI).

Blog
August 26, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This blog post continues our discussion from the previous posts on scalable accuracy. We started with a post outlining the steps prior to using scalable accuracy. Then we walked through the scalable accuracy approach to Fixed Equipment LCM. While I normally start with RBI when discussing scalable accuracy, it will be easier to use an example of Fitness for Service as our starting point.

Blog
August 19, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Continuing from last week’s blog, I want to go in depth into scalable accuracy for fixed equipment lifecycle management. In this post, I want to outline the scalable accuracy approach to fixed equipment lifecycle management.

Blog
August 12, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In the next few blog posts, we will be going in depth on scalable accuracy. This post walks through the thinking needed prior to initiating. Then we will discuss two technologies immediately available to plant operators for fixed equipment life-cycle maintenance: Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Fitness for Service (FFS).

Blog
July 29, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In the last issue of Inspectioneering Journal, Marc McConnell at PinnacleAIS submitted an article discussing hydrogen bake-outs. This article was extremely popular among our readers, both of the printed copy of the Journal and our online users.

Blog
June 17, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In this post, I want to talk a little bit about fatherhood and what that means to me. This is a big departure from our normal content, but yesterday was Father’s Day here in the U.S. and 75 other countries around the world, so I appreciate you indulging me.

Blog
June 10, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This post is the last in a series about Risk Basked Inspection (though, of course, this will not be the last time I discuss RBI). The earlier posts were on reasons for RBI, defining risk, and on managing risk. In this post, I want to talk about uncertainty, risk thresholds, and damage factor targets.

Blog
June 3, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is the third of four blogs in a series about Risk Based Inspection (RBI). You can read the previous blogs on a history and reasons for RBI and on starting to define risk. This post deals with the second half of the equation used to define risk...

Blog
May 28, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is the second of four blog posts on Risk Based Inspection, or RBI. The first post covered a brief history and started the discussion on why you would want to use RBI. The next step is defining risk. 

Blog
May 20, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI), and Risk Management, are a passion of mine, so my next few posts will feature these topics. These are not all-inclusive, but Inspectioneering.com has dozens of articles and you can join our LinkedIn Group for more.

Understanding Key Performance Indicators (Lest We Forget...) - Part 3
Blog
May 13, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is my third of three posts on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on requests and discussions on the issue.

Blog
May 6, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We are in the middle of our 2013 Asset Integrity Management Benchmarking Survey. The last Facilities Survey was held seven years ago, in 2006. Some aspects of this year’s survey have remained the same as before.

Understanding Key Performance Indicators (Lest We Forget...) - Part 2
Blog
April 29, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is my second of three posts on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on requests and discussions on the issue.  In part 1 of this series I provided a brief overview of KPIs and their ability to predict good, poor, and sometimes dangerous performance in our quests to achieve certain objectives and goals.

Understanding Key Performance Indicators (Lest We Forget...) - Part 1
Blog
April 22, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Requests for key performance indicators (KPIs) related to equipment integrity management programs have appeared on Inspectioneering’s LinkedIn group discussion as well as other industry forums. It also came up numerous times at the recent API Inspection Summit. Three of my blog posts this month will cover this subject.

Blog
March 3, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is a question with which I frequently like to start the API RBI 580/581 training course when I am instructing. It is meant to provoke the attendees to really think hard about why they order an inspection or really think about inspection strategies.

March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

A pattern of requests for key performance indicators (KPIs) related to equipment integrity management (IM) programs has appeared on Inspectioneering’s LinkedIn group discussion as well as other industry forums. Furthermore, the topic came up numerous times at the recent API Inspection Summit. Performance is the key.

Blog
February 25, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

As a chemist and an inspection and materials specialist, I was truly blessed to have so many wonderful mentors early in my career. Some I picked; some were picked for me, intentionally.

January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In response to reader feedback, we implemented some important improvements in 2012. As we broaden our scope to include all aspects of Asset Integrity Management, its synergy and leverage become increasingly important. We will sustain this forward movement in 2013 by continuously seeking ways to serve the Inspectioneering community at maximum value, as you will see by the comprehensive Inspectioneering client survey soon to launch.

July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The question of how to set risk targets is a logical one and should be addressed prior to or in the very early stages of RBI implementation. This article will guide readers through the basic elements required to address this question within an organization, as all companies do not have the same risk philosophy and can adapt these elements to fit their own.

May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Development of shale requires the utilization of numerous types of fixed equipment. Due to the high cost and risk associated with hydrocarbon production and processing, E&Ps must continue to manage cost-effective and safe fixed equipment programs. Are the fixed equipment integrity management challenges related to shale development different from the current challenges faced in the upstream oil and gas business?

January/February 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The various factors of the challenge, e.g. creating effective and then efficient inspection strategies, are at the crux of the decision process. Within each of these factors are questions that must be answered. The answers should be well thought through and provided as part of your risk-based inspection analysis process.

November/December 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The original article on scalable accuracy which laid the groundwork for the concept was published in the March April 2011 issue of the Inspectioneering Journal, entitled Scalable Accuracy, Key Roles of Risk Based Inspection and Fitness for Service, Equipment Life-Cycle Management Process. This article is reprinted immediately following this article for ease of reference. The two examples touched upon in the original article were the fitness for service approach as represented by the joint API ASME standard, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness for Service Standard and the API Recommended Practice 581, representing the specific API RBI technology.

September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Leaks or spills over the life of nuclear power plant operation can lead to undesirable consequences. The nuclear industry’s GroundwaterProtectionInitiativeandthelessonslearnedand experiences gained from implementing groundwater protection programs have led to the development of another voluntary industry initiative, the Underground Piping and Tank Integrity Initiative, which aims to better understand the conditions of and mitigate leaks from these components.

March/April 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Two technologies, immediately available to plant operators for fixed equipment life-cycle management are Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and Fitness for Service (FFS), two best practices that optimally work together or can standalone. Both have abilities of scalable accuracy.

November/December 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

It is important to preserve as accurate an account as possible if we are to learn from the past. I believe it is important to protect ourselves from ourselves from rationalizing the past to justify movement toward "rationalization of abnormalities", as explained by Mr. Don Holmstrom from the US CSB, appearing in paragraph 21 of the copy of the presentation given by the US Chemical Safety Board to the BP Independent Panel, headed by James A. Baker III, former US Secretary of State. This presentation immediately follows this article. Each paragraph is numbered. These paragraphs will serve as references further in this editorial.

September/October 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

It has been over 3 years since the fatal blast at the BP Texas City Refinery on March 23, 2005, where 15 lives were lost, more than 170 people injured and survivor's lives changed forever. Historical memory can be an odd thing.

July/August 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The following is an interview with Scot Haines, (Corrosion Engineering Advisor). The IJ wishes to thank Scot and the Hess Corporation for taking the time to share with the "IJ" community.

You Don
May/June 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Do we know how to free ourselves from the current level of thinking to rise to a higher level? It will take this for us to overcome many of our current challenges in the arena of equipment reliability.

March/April 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Over the years many in the oil and gas and chemical industry inspectors, engineers and managers have asked, "What happens at API meetings?" With the important regulatory and business initiatives in place and developing it is a good time to answer that question.

January/February 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Preliminary results of this survey were published in the January February 2006 Inspectioneering Journal. Since then an additional 34 surveys have been received.

November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Over the past 18 years of serious RBI involvement, it has become clear to me that there are certain hurdles, that when "cleared", have paved the way to jurisdictional acceptance of RBI (and fitness for service, for that matter). This article will cover many of these "steps", not all as they are numerous, that have lead to success in some of the "toughest" jurisdictions in the US and the world. On your marks, get set, here we go....

Where Do I Set My Risk Threshold?
September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In my travels around the world as one of the primary API RBI 580/581 training course instructors the question always comes up, “What risk threshold or tolerable risk should I be using?” and “If I do not have one, how can I implement RBI?”

May/June 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

This is part 2 in a multi-part series. Part 1 set the stage in explaining the basics of RBI. As I am most familiar with API Base Resource Document 581, I will continue to use this technical basis for this article.

March/April 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

An earlier version of this updated article appeared in the January-February 1998 issue of the Inspectioneering Journal. It is hard to believe that nine years have passed so quickly. Fortunately the industry, as a whole, has learned much and technologies have advanced, in the interim. Unfortunately, in that time period plant infrastructures have aged and equipment has failed, sometimes with catastrophic results. Some failures were directly attributable to damage mechanisms and fixed equipment reliability program weaknesses. Often times related, we have seen, what appears to be breakdown in management systems, in refineries, chemical plants and exploration and production areas that lead or contributed to or enabled equipment failure 1, 2, 3 . On the other hand, organizations like the API (American Petroleum Institute) RBI User Group, API RP 579 Fitness for Service Committee, API Subcommittees on Inspection and Corrosion and Materials continue to move forward, desiring and acting to improve the effectiveness of fixed equipment reliability programs via implementation of sound risk based inspection technology and the creation of excellent supporting reference documents like API RP 571 on damage mechanisms. These committees continue to improve their codes and respective reference documents as do other organizations in various countries, such as NACE, EU CEN documents, the HSE, ABSA (the Alberta Boiler Safety Association), ASME, Australian authorities, the state of California and others too numerous to list.

July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The Shell Martinez Refinery has been in operation since 1915, and is located 30 miles northeast of San Francisco on about 1,000 acres of land. The refinery combines state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to convert approximately 165,000 barrels of crude oil a day into many products including automotive gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, petroleum coke, industrial fuel oils, liquefied petroleum gas, asphalt, sulfur, and lubricants. The Shell Martinez Refinery has grown into a sprawling yet efficient assemblage of sophisticated processing equipment; modern control rooms; environmental protection facilities; shipping and receiving terminals for marine, rail, and truck cargoes; maintenance shops; office buildings; quality assurance laboratories; storage tanks; and warehouses. In some ways it resembles a small city with its own utilities, medical facilities, and fire department.

January/February 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The deadline for submission will be extended through the end of 2006 and we will update and report on the results at least one additional time through year’s end.

The Inspectioneering Journal Marks 10 Year Anniversary
March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We are happy to announce the 10-year anniversary of the inaugural issue of the Inspectioneering Journal!

Interview with John Nyholt - BP NDE Specialist
September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Exactly two years ago, an interview with John Nyholt appeared in the “IJ”. New ground will be covered in this interchange. We at the IJ thought it might be valuable to spend some time chatting about his background, challenges he has faced recently and what he feels are some of the biggest challenges ahead for the Inspectioneering® community.

July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The "low hanging fruit" has been harvested in most places. Now comes the challenge of gathering the most bountiful harvest, that which is amongst the leaves and branches, without harming the tree. This will require practical expertise. This will require computational models that narrow the scatter band and are more accurate that are asking the right questions (which requires practical knowledge, technical knowledge and experience = expertise). In this editorial, I will point out some of the pitfalls I see in the inspection and reliability arenas and present some insight and solutions that will help "IJ" readers stay on track and emerge more successful as a result.

March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Data management is an important issue in today's world. We have data all over the place. Every manager is looking for ways to migrate data from platform to platform to save on the cost of re-gathering data and ways to share output from various platforms to better schedule and coordinate activities.

March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In the early days (circa 1988-1991) of introducing the petroleum refining and chemical industries in the US, to the idea that RBI implementation could be valuable many fell into the trap of focusing on how much money could be saved, to the exclusion of risk mitigation. This led to some unfortunate misconceptions that led to misapplication that led to dead ends in how to evergreen or maintain effective RBI programs. It is important to "get back to basics", with an improved perspective, based on experience, of where the evolution of the RBI process is leading us.

July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

"Low Hanging Fruit" and "Step Change" are analogies that have been bantered around in our industries for some time. Picking the low hanging fruit is just the beginning and something that most passersby can glean. Also, real change that affects an entire organization, change that lasts, does not happen overnight and usually involves a combination of education, mentoring and recognition, appreciation and understanding of the limitations, resources, potential and culture of/at the various levels of the organization. Low hanging fruit is the easiest to see and pick, but what about the vast amount of fruit that resides amongst the leaves and branches? That is now the challenge of our industries. This is where the greatest harvest lays. Why have change and greater rewards been so difficult to realize? I believe there are many reasons, such as a lack of mentoring, a lack of appreciation and understanding of the limitations, resources, potential and culture of the various levels of the organization.

May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

There are many aspects to successful, effective and efficient implementation of RBI 1, such as; - Data collection - Operations data - Mechanical data - The role of inspection histories and inspection planning - How much data do I really need to perform a study - Data sensitivity - Use of assumptions - Training - Procedures - Documentation - The RBI team - RBI technology basis - RBI codes and standards This article will focus on, "the role of inspection histories and inspection planning".

March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mahdi Al-Marzouqi at ADGAS, and Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The large LNG facility is located on DAS Island, offshore of Abu Dhabi, in the Persian Gulf and experiences extremely high humidity year round. These conditions are known to produce a high potential for external corrosion and under insulation corrosion of carbon steel and mild steel alloys. If chlorides are present, which can drift from seawater, and are sometimes present in insulation, there may be a potential for Chloride Stress Corrosion Cracking (Cl SCC) of austenitic stainless steels (SS).

November/December 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) issued the requirements document, Risk Based Inspection Programs for Pressure Equipment, in March 2001. This document defines the minimum requirements for the development and use of risk based inspection (RBI) to manage the safety of pressure equipment operating in Alberta.

September/October 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

John has primary responsibility for NDE consulting and troubleshooting for BP around the world in the refining, chemical and gas processing industries. We at the IJ thought it might be valuable to spend some time chatting about his background, challenges he has faced recently and what he feels are some of the biggest challenges ahead for the Inspectioneering community.

May/June 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
By C.P. Hsiao, and Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We have discussed various factors that can affect the reliability of NDE techniques (i.e., probability of detection - POD and sizing accuracy) in Part 1. In general, it is difficult to quantify these uncertainties. In fact, it is impossible to fully quantify the uncertainties in NDE results. However, one can achieve a higher level of reliability by reducing or minimizing the uncertainties. We will discuss some of the steps one can take to minimize the uncertainties in NDE results. By minimizing or reducing the uncertainties in NDE results, FFS assessments can be less conservative, and thus provide more margin to the serviceability of the equipment.

January/February 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
By C.P. Hsiao, and Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Safety, environmental and economic pressures are motivating process industry (e.g. refineries & petrochemical plants) operators to consistently improve equipment reliability performance, optimize expenses and more accurately target resources where they will provide the greatest benefit. These improvements yield improved return on net assets (e.g. pressure vessels, piping and tanks). Companies that can better assure that decisions about repairs or replacement of equipment are more accurately arrived at are heading in the right direction. In order to equip operators with tools for better decision making, the American Petroleum Institute, within the last few years, has introduced Recommended Practice (RP) 579 Fitness for Service (FFS), which had been in development for several preceding years. The latest versions of the widely used inspection codes; API 510 (pressure vessels), API 570 (piping) and API 653 (above ground storage tanks) now reference this RP as a tool for determining the fitness for service of these types of equipment when corrosion, cracking, or other forms of deterioration are found and in the case of re-rating equipment.

November/December 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

A typical risk based inspection (RBI) analysis should include past inspection results, tempered by confidence in those results. For example, API's (American Petroleum Institute) RBI methodology and software when calculating the likelihood of failure side of the risk equation asks for past inspection histories. This includes dates of past inspections for potential damage mechanisms, the effectiveness of those inspection techniques to find the anticipated damage and amounts of coverage. Via this logic, the program constructs a factor to represent the probable damage population scatter band and multiplies this times the entered corrosion rates, cracking susceptibilities or bulk damage rates.

September/October 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 we covered: - Evolution of the emergence of advanced NDE - External and internal motivators to develop more effective inspection programs - Risk based approaches - Sources of industry reference materials - Setting the Course - Why Inspect - Metrics for inspection program progress - Role of Risk Based Inspection I will now cover some of the remaining key aspects in assuring healthy evolution of the equipment integrity process.

July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering caught up with Dave Wang at the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Spring 2001 Refining meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. We spent some time, near the pool at a break between meetings, discussing Dave’s background, experiences and the future of NDE from his perspective.

July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We've come a long way since my introduction to plant inspection processes in 1975 and certainly since the industrial revolution in the late 1800's. As I recall from history class it was the intent of the wealthy industrialist to make money, plain and simple. Safety and environmental responsibility were not the primary concerns, in some cases not concerns at all! Hence, for safety's sake, terms like "sweatshops" were coined. This was to connote factories and textile mills where human beings, often times young children worked, in poor conditions.

November/December 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Firstly, I want to thank the inspection/materials engineering/ corrosion department manager, Giovanni Graziani, for agreeing to my visit and for sharing experiences with the Inspectioneering Journal community. The hospitiality of Giovanni, two of his senior area inspectors, Alessandro Grassi and Sauro Benini and Edy Sgherri their IT forgotten, nor the excellent food and espresso in the cafeteria.

September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 of this series the importance of keeping the RBI process as simple as possible was stressed. Software, consequence and likelihood issues were covered. Consequences were handled directly while likelihood issues were covered in discussion on damage modules and qualitative versus quantitative sections.

July/August 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Hundreds of risk based inspection analyses have been completed by contractors and owner users worldwide, by now. Much is being learned as the various approaches gain acceptance. This editorial is only one perspective built upon the experiences of many.

November/December 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Here are some of my observations based on numerous discussions with owner users and involvement in over 30 projects. This learning is from plant operators who have taken the RBI "plunge", after they have had time to think about their decisions and direction, using various software products. Some owner user answers are included and will be identified as such. In addition to the questions in part 1, I included a listing of some generic families of RBI tools or approaches.

September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

There are many analysis tools available in the market that lay hold of the "RBI" claim. I wanted to bring you, the reader, "up to speed" on some of the available technology based on my experience as an RBI project manager, client manager and member of the American Petroleum Institute committee and working group compiling the RBI Recommended Practice 580.

September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

I have observed through literally hundreds of discussions and reading numerous articles on risk-based approaches that at least one potential business pitfall is appearing when owner-operators choose to begin with a "Level 1" (very qualitative) approach. They may not have the confidence to take advantage of re-allocating resources from the "low" risk equipment to the "higher" risk equipment.

September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Paul Barringer at Barringer & Associates, and Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection to determine mechanical integrity is important to verify that equipment is suitable for intended use, i.e. to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals as required by OSHA 1910.119 - Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (and other jurisdictional codes).

May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the report on this catastrophic failure that involved two storage tanks in a Pennsylvania refinery. The report issued March 20, 1998, stated that while both tanks had roof replacements since their initial construction, no further information was available about routine inspection or maintenance procedures.

January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

There is a potential for misconceptions about terms used regarding risk by non-risk management professionals. Understand that some risk is unavoidable. We can attempt to minimize risk to any extent desired, but without an effective process that addresses all the parameters we consider important it is more likely our level of effectiveness will suffer. There is more to these considerations than the likelihood of failure, which most inspection, materials and corrosion specialists understand.

September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The amount of serious questions regarding the various technology options for implementing an effective RBI program is growing by leaps and bounds. I, for one, have seen many forms of what various organizations refer to as RBI. Remember that there are to the Risk equation, i.e. likelihood or probability of failure and consequence of failure. The effectiveness of the RBI tool is highly dependent upon algorithm design, especially parametric considerations and their relative effect on one another and your objectives.

March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

"The times they are a changing." Our business paradigm is going through tremendous changes, as most of our readers can attest to. Look at the mega-mergers looming and happening in the petroleum business along with the tight margins most of them operate on.

November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

The API-570 Piping Inspector Certification Program is nearing the end of the grandfather period. Five hundred thirty-one (531) inspectors have been certified to date under this provision, which will remain in effect through November 15, 1996.

September/October 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

"Inspection and testing procedures shall follow recognized and generally accepted good engineering practice," can mean many things to many people. Fortunately, organizations like API, NACE, ASME, etc. have taken the initiative in establishing many of these practices for decades.

March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We all have a responsibility to perform the best job we can for our employers/customers. That is why I am sharing my thoughts with you, my clients, the Inspectioneering Journal readers. In 12 years of being on the owner/user side of the fence, as a chief chemist for NL (National Lead) Industries and a senior member of the materials engineering and corrosion staff for Monsanto Chemical Company, combined with another 9 years in the role of marketing, consulting and sales of NDE and engineering services to the process sectors, I have seen where we often become our own worst enemy. Yes, I mean either as the service provider or the client.

November/December 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal, and Dr. W. David Wang at Shell Oil Products Company

Nelson Curve changes in the late 1980's provided cause for Shell Oil Company to look at more reliable NDE non-destructive evaluation methods for assessment of materials/equipment in high temperature hydrogen service. The primary change motivating Shell was the lowering of the C-0.5 Mo steel Nelson Curve to the carbon steel level.

September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

If it's glass-lined, chances are the environment is very corrosive to most metallics. In general, once the glass lining is breached, through-wall corrosion doesn't take very long. An effective maintenance, operation and inspection program will go a long way in minimizing this possibility.

July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

With miles of piping and tons of equipment to consider for on-stream inspection or monitoring you probably have:

May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Never have I known or read of anyone, who sought out wisdom, to regret it, nor to help but benefit from it. Wouldn't you agree, wisdom recognizes, holds onto, operates out of and values timeless, tried and true principles that can be, and should be applied to any and every area of our lives?

March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

We dedicate this forum to the owners/operators of Chemical, Refining and Utility process facilities. The Inspectioneering Journal will publish articles on a bi-monthly basis. Some of the topics we will cover as they relate to mechanical integrity...

March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

Most inspection companies, including those who dabble in engineering, today, go about things in much the same way as they have in the last five to ten years. Some offer routine services at bargain basement prices. Others provide high tech services like AUT and AE, at a premium. Another group of companies attempt to merge the two.


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