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Inspectioneering Journal

Implementing an Effective Mechanical Integrity System

By Luciano Narcisi, Senior Consultant at Stork AMT, and Robert Westerhuis, Mechanical Engineer at Stork AMT. This article appears in the September/October 2020 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
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Introduction

This article describes the implementation of a similar Mechanical Integrity System process, applied in two different facilities: a brownfield petrochemical unit and a greenfield crude oil refinery. The aim is to share tips and pitfalls, based on the experience gained through this process.

According to the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), “Guidelines to Mechanical Integrity Systems”, a Mechanical Integrity System (MI) is the programmatic implementation of activities necessary to ensure that critical equipment will be suitable for its intended application throughout the life of an operation. In this article, we focus on the equipment capacity to contain the process fluid. When these activities are performed effectively, MI can provide the foundation for a safe, reliable facility that minimizes threats to the environment, the public, and the workforce.

The baseline implementation of a Mechanical Integrity System can be a challenging process that requires extra effort to complete daily tasks and the involvement of different capabilities and practices within the company. It is a crucial phase that, when done correctly, can maximize the sustainability and long-term benefits from the system.
Each case has its own characteristics and challenges: brownfield/greenfield projects, Upstream/Downstream, Onshore/Offshore, highly/minimally outsourced, different cultures, etc. This also applies to the two cases described herein, leading to an interesting comparison.

The Implementation Process

The implementation process was defined based on recognized RBI standards to assure an acknowledged best practice approach. Figure 1 shows the different steps that were implemented in both cases.

Figure 1. RBI Implementation Process.
Figure 1. RBI Implementation Process.

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