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Popular Articles

In-Service Inspections Using EMAT and MRUT
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

Readers were previously introduced to some of the practical advantages of EMAT Ultrasonic Testing (UT) in the March/April 2013 and July/August 2013 issues of Inspectioneering Journal. In this article, I will cover the practical advantages of EMAT for in-service applications using Medium Range Ultrasonic Testing (MRUT).

3rd Party Joint Integrity Inspections: Compliance and Leak Free Facilities
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

With the increasing demand for oil, gas, and petrochemical products in a highly competitive market, products and services irrespective of their origin must satisfy customer quality requirements. Additionally, the needs to ensure quality control and regulatory compliance are now more scrutinized and critical than ever.

A Guide to Storage Tank Inspection
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Robert Frater at Engineering & Inspection Services, LLC

Refinery, petrochemical, and storage tank operators are responsible for properly cleaning facility tanks on a periodic maintenance basis, typically in 20 to 30 year increments. This article provides a suggested “checklist” of inspection activities to ensure safe and reliable operations after cleaning.

5 Major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity Failures –  What Happened and Why?
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Rarely is there a new and unknown cause of a major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) failure in the petrochemical and refining industry. This article briefly summarizes five major fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures from the petrochemical and refining industry.

There’s an Inspection App for That
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

While performing visual inspections with a pen and notepad is the traditional way to record data, there are now more efficient ways to complete inspections out in the field. Investing in a mobile inspection application can be a great way to save time, reduce cost, and improve safety over traditional methods.

A New Trend for Pipeline Integrity Management: How GIS and Risk-Based   Asset Management (RBA) Integration Can Improve Pipeline Management
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dylan Schrader at PinnacleART, Tom Pickthall at EnhanceCo Inc., and Carlos A. Palacios at CiMA-TQ

Pipeline integrity is critical to ensure maintenance and operational efficiency; however it is becoming an increasingly challenging task for the energy industry. Maintenance managers and inspectors must make sure their pipeline(s) and its associated equipment meet strict integrity requirements and comply with regulations in order to avoid unnecessary downtime and mitigate safety and environmental risks.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ana Benz at IRISNDT, Bradley Baudier at Marathon Petroleum Company LP, and Michael O. Nichols at Marathon Petroleum Company

This article provides a discussion of a recent inspection performed at a U.S. refinery. Industry HF lines are experiencing piping failures in increasing numbers due to the presence of residual elements (such as Cr, Ni, and Cu among others) entrained within their carbon steel components.

API 1169 Pipeline Inspector Certification Program –  A Case for Why it Should be the Industry Standard
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rikki Smith at Oilfield Jobs

Some hiring practices for new employees have been too lax for too long in the pipeline industry. Pipeline inspectors who have ever worked beside someone who was hired via the familiar “friends and family program,” recognize the need for more stringent hiring requirements than just knowing the right person.

In-Place Pipe Support Load Testing & Hanger Surveys – Part of a Best in Class Fitness-for-Service Program
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Lange Kimball at Stress Engineering Services, Joe Frey, PE at Stress Engineering, Inc., and Britt Bettell at Stress Engineering Services

This article introduces portions of a “Best-In-Class” Fitness-for-Service (FFS) program that includes the performance of regular visual inspections of pipe supports and hangers, coupled with in-situ load testing of suspect supports. This program can give the plant engineer the knowledge he needs to make sound operational and maintenance decisions.

Advances in Inspectability & Validation of Non-Metallic Composite Repair Systems
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

In recent years, the growing use of composite repair systems for the rehabilitation of piping systems in the refining and chemical industries has increased the need for associated technologies for their manufacturing, installation, and inspection. One critical aspect of these repair systems is how to inspect and validate them for fitness for service. This article covers the testing completed for fiberglass and carbon fiber composite repair systems with specialty epoxy for full inspection capabilities.

Partner Content

InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the InVista tool is exceptionally powerful when combined with the LifeQuest™ Pipeline fitness-for-service capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the pipeline industry.

Maintenance Strategies for Aboveground Storage Tanks in Crude Oil Service - Part 1
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) are essential to any successful oil and gas operation and must be properly managed to ensure operations function in a safe and reliable manner. In this 2-part series, I will identify some common failures related to ASTs in crude oil service and recommend strategies to prevent and/or mitigate such failures.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Serge Bisson at GCM Consultants, and Hugo Julien, P.E. at GCM Consultants

Are you still hitting the welded joints of pressure vessels with a hammer during hydrostatic testing? If yes, then you’re due for a refresher on the pressure testing requirements of ASME Section VIII Division 1 since this requirement was for pressure vessels back in the mid 1940’s. This article will help you by highlighting the main requirements of, and differences between, the hydrostatic test for new pressure vessels fabricated according to ASME Section VIII, Division 1 and the hydrostatic leak test for new piping systems made under ASME B31.3.

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.

Repair Strategies for Civil Structures Utilizing New Risk Based Inspection Methodology
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Amanda Nurse at BP, and Josh Havekost at BP

Assessing risk is an integral part of working at a refinery. Infrastructure supporting the miles of piping, process vessels, and the platforms and ladders used in daily unit operations are often taken for granted. The Civil Structures Management Program (CSMP) at the BP Whiting Refinery was developed in 2004. Since the program’s inception, millions of dollars have been spent in the yearly execution of refinery structural repairs.

Achieve Comprehensive Reliability by Combining RBI and RCM
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

Today, many managers are finding that they can address the reliability of all types of assets by combining RBI and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) processes together into one comprehensive reliability management process.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

The tubes of heat exchangers (HX), whether for a shell and tube bundle or an airfin, are typically subject to some form of nondestructive examination (NDE) to try and quantify the remaining wall thicknesses and corrosion rates to help a plant to determine remaining life or the need for intervention via re-tubing or replacement of these thin wall components.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Matt Midas at GenesisSolutions

With the advancements in today’s technology and improvements to Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), if we deploy them properly and in line with best practices, it is possible to reach previously unreachable levels of efficiency, data quality, and meaningful reports.

Rating Pressure Vessels with Poorly Kept Records
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

An issue that arises frequently in the oil and gas industry is poor or missing documentation of pressure vessels. It is common in the industry to repurpose old equipment, bring equipment back into operation after a long period of time out of service, or rerate equipment due to debottlenecking of process units.

How To Effectively and Efficiently Clean Heat Exchangers, Part 1
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Harold Marburger at Dunn Heat Exchangers

Whether onsite or offsite, the methods for cleaning shell and tube heat exchangers can vary. Refining and petrochemical operators will agree that high standards must be employed with each method. Choosing the right method can make the difference between smooth operations and unforeseen equipment shutdowns.

Powering Impressed Current Cathodic Protection – Part 1
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gary Mulcahy at Astrodyne TDI

This is the first article of a two-part series to be published in Inspectioneering Journal and will provide a basis for understanding the differences between traditional tapped-transformer, fixed voltage type rectifiers, and High Frequency Switched Mode (HFSM) units.

Partner Content

It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Vibha Zaman, P.E. at Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas, and Peter Dsouza at Lloyd’s Register Energy Americas

Direct assessment is often seen as the best option to verify pipeline integrity. But, it's particularly challenging due to the difficulty of pipeline access, as well as the limitations in available technology to perform subsea wall thickness inspections. Addressing these challenges requires action rather than reaction.

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.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Fred Schenkelberg at FMS Reliability

Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

The Benefits of Laser-Based Inspection
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Connie LaMorte at EWI, and Jon Jennings at EWI

Weld inspection using lasers is not new, but doing it 75 meters inside a pipe or streaming inspection data wirelessly is new. As laser technology has improved, more industries such as oil & gas are beginning to require laser inspection as part of their specifications. This non-contact method can help catch an unacceptable condition before it becomes too late to remedy the weld.

The Industrial Internet’s Role in the Pipeline Industry
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Mauricio Palomino at GE Oil & Gas, Measurement & Control Business

Machine-to-Machine connectivity combined with advanced computing capabilities and industry-focused software enable a wide range of new capabilities. From smart homes controlled over the internet, to smart electric grids with smart meters, sensors and controls that continually monitor the performance of electric distribution and can self-adjust to demand and outage conditions to optimize uptime across the whole network or a combination of networks, the Industrial Internet has opened the door to a new era of efficiency, productivity, and safety for the industrial world.

A New Generation of Predictive NDE Sensor Technologies
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Angelique N. Lasseigne at G2MT, Joshua E. Jackson at G2MT, and Robert Schaffler at G2MT LLC

The future of inspection will be based on predictive and proactive technologies that effectively monitor material properties of structures and systems over their entire service life.

Gains with Advanced Data Assessment in ILI: Leveraging pipeline data to eliminate risk, prioritize and schedule necessary repairs
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ian D. Smith, P.Eng. at Quest Integrity Group, and Michael McGee at Quest Integrity Group

For traditional in-line inspection (ILI) vendors, considering 21.4 miles of a piggable 4” diesel pipeline is typically not a big deal. However, significant threats like 3rd party damage and external corrosion seem to come with the territory in nearly any pipeline territory.

Dual Mode Pulse Reflectometry – A New Approach to  Heat Exchanger Tube Inspection
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Noam Amir at AcousticEye

Tube and shell heat exchangers are required to operate continuously in tough conditions for years, coping with thermal cycling, corrosive fluids on the tube and shell side, vibration and fouling of many different types, all collaborating towards degrading the performance of the unit and causing its eventual failure.

Taking Inspection and Maintenance to New Heights with Rope Access
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Andy Kates at Versa Integrity Group

Rope access allows for a wide variety of work to be performed at high elevations or other hard to reach areas without the use of scaffolding or heavy equipment. It has evolved from techniques used in rock climbing and caving to become an extremely safe and cost effective industrial tool.

Testing and Inspection Methods to Improve the Life Cycle of Refractory
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeremy Wimberly at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

Refractory materials have significantly evolved during the past 15 years, testing technology is much more sophisticated, and the need for test technicians to be properly trained and experienced to use that technology is much more important than it has been in the past. Today, operators know that to ensure at least five to six year run times on processing units, production baffle testing and material prequalification and inspection processes and results are absolutely critical.

Partner Content

LOTIS utilizes laser profilometry to conduct internal steam reformer tube inspections. The data captured by LOTIS is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the process and syngas industries.

A New Method for Prioritizing Equipment in HTHA Service for Inspection & Replacement and the Challenges in Obtaining Process Conditions to be Used in the HTHA Assessment
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Gerrit M. Buchheim, P.E. at Becht Engineering Co., Inc.

High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) is a complex damage mechanism that continues to defy investigators trying to make predictions on the anticipated degree of damage or service life. This article provides some background on HTHA, discusses some current developments in HTHA inspection and mitigation, and describes how one Refiner is instituting an HTHA risk management plan for its refineries and the challenges and pitfalls they have encountered.

Combining High Resolution In-Line Geometry Tools and Finite Element Analysis to Improve Dent Assessments
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Rhett Dotson, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services

Historically, regulations regarding dent severity have been governed by one of two metrics: dent depth or strain. In the case of the former, plain dents with a depth up to 6% of the nominal diameter are permitted in both gas and liquid pipelines. However, many operators typically set stricter limits on dent depth targeting those above a depth of 2% for evaluation.

The Top 10 Reasons for FEMI Failures in the Hydrocarbon Process Industries: Part 2
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

Unmanned Aerial Systems and the Regulatory Landscape
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group, and Aaron Cook at Aetos Group

The ability to gain this unique perspective has recently become easier and safer with today’s technological advancements. This new technology comes in the form of a miniature flying machine, better known as a drone or small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS). These systems can be a modified hobby aircraft or highly reliable, military grade aerial robots.

Save Time and Cost for Turnarounds Using Phased Array Technology
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Terry M. Webb at BP, and Rajesh Bose at BP

The introduction of PAUT is a challenging effort initially, but can have a very positive impact on your first TAR and become a routine inspection for future TARs. When fully implemented, radiation safety boundaries can be reduced significantly or eliminated altogether.

High-Energy Piping Systems: Avoid Cracking Under Pressure
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Pamela Hamblin at Thielsch Engineering, Inc.

Avoiding cracking under pressure when managing high-energy piping systems is common subject matter in the power industry. Just as high-energy piping can give way to pressure, stress and fatigue, so can the people in charge of operating them when trying to determine what to inspect, where to inspect, and what to do with those inspection results once they have them.

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Alphonse W. Hegger Jr., P.E. at Stress Engineering Services

Today, more than ever, refinery operators are focused on maintaining safe operations for their employees and extending the life cycle of valuable operating equipment to optimize efficiencies and avoid expensive unforeseen shutdowns. When process unit corrosion assessments, RBI methodologies, and IOWs are properly integrated into refining operations, the result is improved safety and longer run times.

Stress Assisted Corrosion and Fitness for Service in 66 Year Old Boilers
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Amanda Nurse at BP, John Companik at BP, and Scott Vest at BP

Maintaining mechanical integrity for aging power boilers can be challenging. This article provides a case study on how mitigating one damage mechanism led to the discovery of another, and how refinery engineers collaborated with industry experts to fully understand an unfamiliar damage mechanism and perform a fitness for service assessment for the safe and reliable operation of power boilers.

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Scott Corey at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc.

One of the major challenges inspectors and plant operators face after each turnaround is to ensure that all repair and scope work is and was completed in accordance with the client’s requirements. Sometimes that verification will be to ensure work was completed in conjunction with the applicable codes, and sometimes that it was completed in conjunction with the client’s own in-house specifications.

The Top 10 Reasons for FEMI Failures in the Hydrocarbon Process Industries: Part 1
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

Partner Content

It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

Abnormal Cracks Led to Premature Decommissioning of  Boiler Feed Water Exchanger – What Happened and Why?
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ana Benz at IRISNDT, Dr. Donald H. Timbres at D. & E. Consulting, Inc. , and Matt Stroh

A small leak from top tubesheet-to-tube welds prompted further inspection of the 1¼Cr- ½Mo Ammonia Converter Boiler Feed Water (BFW) Exchanger during a planned shutdown. Further cracks were identified in the top channel to tubesheet butt weld that operated at 700 °F.

Sands of Time Create The Mechanical Integrity Compliance Officer (MICO)
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Marc McConnell, P.E. at PinnacleAIS, Jeannie Beth Richey at Sasol North America, Inc., and Josh Yoakam at Holly Refining and Marketing - Tulsa, LLC

The role of an API inspector is rapidly changing. Necessary skills for success have transformed as technology, standardization, and regulations have become part of the way of life.

The Critical Importance of Application Methodology in Epoxy Resin Success
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Clint Rupert at Engineered Resin Solutions (ERS)

Epoxy products have gone through extensive research and development over the years, and have reached the point that when specified for the correct environment, they should perform exactly as intended.

Leveraging RFID Technologies for  Pipeline Asset Management
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Layne Tucker at EchoRFID, and Peter Forster at ProStar

Recently developed RFID best practices provide an opportunity for pipeline businesses to transform their asset management and pipeline integrity management processes away from traditional paper-based systems to more efficient, highly-integrated electronic data solutions.

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.”

The Current State of Pipeline Integrity Management
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Tiratsoo at Pipelines International

The pigging industry has developed a tremendous range of techniques and technologies, and it is probably fair to say that there are few pipelines in the world that cannot be cleaned and inspected, although the success of such operations will often depend on the available budget.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Matthew Green at Neptune Research, Inc.

Engineered Composite Repair (ECR) systems are moving into mainstream usage at a faster pace than ever. This increased usage and exposure is working to push them into new frontiers and commands a more demanding understanding of their basic functions.

New Technologies Present Opportunities for  Pipeline Asset Managers
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Steve Slusarenko at ProStar Geocorp, Inc., Layne Tucker at EchoRFID, and Jim Anspach at Cardno, Inc.

In the Oil & Gas business we have hundreds of event process chains, each of which bears a cost and contains certain elements of risk. So what can we do to reduce our burden and improve our business? Let’s take a look at the current state of affairs and then have a look at some new technologies that may offer us an opportunity to improve our lot.

Effective Integrity Management Programs for Steam Reformers
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Kelsey Hevner at Quest Integrity Group

Steam reformers are critical assets for the successful operation of hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol plants. The steam reformer is also one of the most expensive assets in these facilities. Catalyst tubes inside the reformer are one of the most important and costly components.

Achieving a Comprehensive Fired Heater Health Monitoring Program
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Tim Hill at Quest Integrity Group

For the past 30 years, infrared (IR) thermometry has been used to monitor tube metal temperatures in refining and chemical furnaces. Tracking temperature levels and variations determine performance capability limits and reliable tube life. However, the application of IR thermometry has often been characterized as highly operator dependent, which can result in less-than-optimal data accuracy as a consequence of poorly applied and interpreted results.

Does your AIM system optimize the consistency, accuracy and manageability of your facility’s Mechanical Integrity program?
Partner Content

AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

Partner Content

Experienced, well-trained engineers can be an invaluable asset to any operation. Whether it’s performing a reliability review or a root cause failure analysis, having access to experienced and knowledgeable personnel could mean the difference between success and failure.