Inspectioneering Journal

The Three Tiers of Most Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) Programs

By John Reynolds, Principal Consultant at Intertek. This article appears in the May/June 2014 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


There are typically three tiers to pass through for most fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) programs before they reach excellence in FEMI.  In my 45 years in the FEMI business, I have observed FEMI programs in all three tiers (phases).  In this article, I will describe the kinds of activities in each tier and what it takes to move from one tier to the next in order to “get it all together” and move your program up into the “Circle of Excellence” in FEMI.

But what does it take to be in the Circle of Excellence in FEMI shown in Figure 1?  Those of you who have read previous articles that I have written know full well that I am not talking about “gold plating”, or overdoing, or spending excessively on the FEMI program.  Achieving excellence in FEMI is simply doing everything that needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and doing it in an effective, efficient manner, in order to create, implement, and sustain the FEMI program to avoid breaches of containment (4).  You will know when your FEMI program has moved up into the FEMI Circle of Excellence because you will seldom have any FEMI leaks and almost never have to shut down or slow down production because of FEMI leaks/releases. As such, your lost profit opportunity (LPO) will rarely, if ever, be impacted by FEMI leaks/releases.

Figure 1. The Three Tiers of Most FEMI Programs.
Figure 1. The Three Tiers of Most FEMI Programs.

Of course, no entire FEMI program is fully in one tier or another at any one time.  Very often most FEMI programs will have FEMI facets in each tier; so placing your program in one tier or another is a matter of determining in which of the following tiers/phases the predominance of your FEMI activities lie.  As those of you know who have read my previous articles on FEMI/PEI&R, I believe there are ten FEMI Management Systems, which are supported by 101 FEMI subsystems(4).  I sometimes write/speak in terms of pressure equipment integrity and reliability (PEI&R) and sometimes in terms of fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI).  I use these two different names interchangeably to describe the same programs.

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