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Highlights from Inspectioneering’s 2022 Editorial Board Meeting

By Greg Alvarado, Chief Editor at Inspectioneering. June 30, 2022
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Every year, Inspectioneering hosts a private meeting to glean insights, feedback, and guidance from our esteemed Editorial Board members. Our Editorial Board members are armed with decades of active industry experience as subject matter experts in fixed equipment mechanical integrity and we trust their inputs resolutely.

This time around we posed several questions, with responses to each summarized below.

1. How would you define an Inspectioneer? What makes a great Inspectioneer?

The board members agreed that, at the simplest level, an Inspectioneer is anybody whose primary focus is fixed equipment mechanical integrity, whether they’re a corrosion engineer, unit inspector, or otherwise. However, the truly great Inspectioneers are the ones who are stewards of their assets. That is, they take ownership of and responsibility for their obligation to assure safe and reliable operations. Great Inspectioneers prioritize continuous improvement of their knowledge–both horizontally and vertically–and seek proactive solutions to problems.

2. What integrity-related issues are you personally dealing with at your facilities?

The board spoke at length about the “great resignation” trend that is occurring related to staffing. Sites are not only losing talent to competitors or other industries, but it’s also becoming more and more difficult to recruit competent and capable personnel. As an industry, we must find ways to improve our training and mentoring programs, and we must find ways to make the profession more attractive for job seekers.

Additional issues that were discussed:

  • The need for clarification that may arise when applying the new API 751 document.
  • As refineries continue to convert to renewable energy/biorefineries, what are the challenges that may arise in this new mechanical integrity landscape?

3. What new technologies are currently being utilized to assist, simplify, or improve MI-related work?

The group expressed interest in hearing feedback from owner/users on permanently-mounted sensors: were they successful projects that provided value? What are the use cases that bring value and what are the lessons learned?

Several board members also suggested there is a need for information on how to sustain new technology initiatives, as well as how data should be harmonized across various sources/silos.

I believe these are all important, but the first and last topics seem especially important. How do we best sustain and realize the value of our reliability program initiatives like IOWs, RBI, and EAM programs in the oil and gas and petrochemical markets? Significant issues that must be addressed include work processes, human factors like ownership, incentivization, buy-in, understanding, workload, roles and responsibilities, and business justifications.

As always, we welcome your feedback and input in the comments section on these topics as well as submitting a few of your own.


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