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Developing an RBI Program without Depending on Commercial RBI Software

March 10, 2014

The following exchange took place on Inspectioneering's LinkedIn group and represents one of many practical mechanical integrity discussions submitted by industry professionals.

Please note: The opinions expressed in the following quotes represent the opinions of the individual making the statement and do not represent the opinions or positionsof the organizations in which the individuals are employed.


Question: "Is it possible to develop an internal RBI program without depending on third-party/commercial software?"


Greg Alvarado, Chief Editor: "Yes, it is possible. A lot should be considered first, for example: A benchmark, e.g. API RP 580, or ASME PCC-3. Begin with the end in mind, i.e. what do you want to accomplish? Is this to truly manage risk or just to remove equipment from a turnaround list, or as a reason to do onstream inspection where internal was formerly required? Do you want any metrics? Do you want to understand and manage uncertainty? What is your PoF or end of life point, e.g. t-min or something more or less (such as an FFS-based endpoint)? Are there any regulatory or corporate strategy requirements you must comply with? What consequence considerations do you want to include? How will you handle damage mechanisms? Any modeling or just a checklist to consider in the damage mechanisms review? There are only a few published methodologies available in the public domain, e.g. RP 581 and some others references herein. I feel it is important that whatever we do must have a defensible basis, what we refer to as Recognized and Generally Acceptable Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP)."


Greg Taylor, President at Ascent Reliability Solutions: "Whatever you choose, QC the process by picking sample high consequence components and manually performing the process from inspection point selection, data acquisition, calculation, etc. to make sure that the "Auto" is doing his job on an ongoing basis. I'd also recommend assigning success metrics to see if the program does what you expect it to do after implementation. Too many programs are implemented and never evaluated against measurable results after implementation."


William Kelly, Corrosion/Materials/Metallurgical Engineer: "Why do you want to avoid the commercial software? Have you tried the commercial software and found that the software doesn't fit your particular facility's needs? Is cost the primary issue? Are there export restrictions or compatibility problems with your company's computer system? Is the problem with the commercial programs that they give you answers that don't fit reality and management won't give you any flexibility to adjust to reality?

Do you need a quantitative or semi-quantitative program or is a qualitative program good enough?

Developing an extremely specific program would be fun but very time consuming. I can't imagine the cost of generating a good program would ever be less than the cost of buying a commercial program, but if the results are better, then the cost may be justified. As Gregory said, you have to start with the right theory of RBI and develop a program that will practice that theory properly."


Inspectioneering would like to thank those of you who have provided your input. The Inspectioneering Community is built around the sharing of knowledge and information. If you have any additional insight into this topic, add your comments below. Or, if you would like to participate in similar discussions, join Inspectioneering's LinkedIn group by clicking the following button:


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