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Inspectioneering Journal

The Application of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Evolution to Risk-Centered Maintenance

Part 1

By Gene R. Meyer at The Dow Chemical Company. This article appears in the November/December 1999 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Risk based inspection, RBI, is a method currently changing how corporations view their maintenance programs. Application of a systematic analysis process that focuses on the likelihood of a given failure and the consequence of this failure happening provides a different philosophy in maintenance resource allocation. Maintenance planning will now focus on what has the greatest impact rather than what we think is the most important. This will allow formulation of a plan to have some equipment “run to failure” and other equipment to have a “no tolerance” maintenance plan.

Risk based inspection can be applied to equipment where process conditions can be determined and failure history is known or may be estimated. This includes pressure vessels, heat exchangers, piping, pumps, compressors, valves, motors and other equipment types. Consideration of pressure vessels and rotating mechanical equipment is included in this article.

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