Inspectioneering Journal

Using RBI for Piping

A Recap of the Spring 2021 'Meeting of the Minds' Roundtable Discussion

By Jeremiah Wooten, Managing Partner at Inspectioneering. This article appears in the September/October 2021 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.


Earlier this year, Inspectioneering and Pinnacle co-hosted our 7th bi-annual ‘Meeting of the Minds’ (MOTM) with a select group of mechanical integrity (MI) experts from across industry. This meeting was once again conducted virtually, hopefully for the last time. Nonetheless, our panel of SMEs were excited to gather for another engaging discussion. As with previous meetings, participants come from various sectors of the industry, including refining, petrochemicals, offshore production, and chemical processing.

Image - Meeting of the Minds

Previous MOTM Recaps have summarized some of the key takeaways from our discussions over topics like emerging technologies, corrosion under insulation (CUI) programs, integrity operating windows (IOWs), corrosion control documents (CCDs), risk-based inspection (RBI), and most recently, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on mechanical integrity programs. This meeting was focused on piping RBI and the challenges operators are facing properly implementing it. Industry surveys attribute some of the biggest and most prevalent MI failures to piping. What can we do to improve this performance? This brief recap of our MOTM discussion on RBI for piping might provide some helpful insight.

Piping Inspection Methodology

This meeting kicked off with a discussion over what inspection methodology(ies) the participants were using for their piping. While most everyone is still using traditional time-based and condition-based inspection strategies to manage piping integrity to a degree, the conversation quickly shifted to who has implemented or is trying to implement RBI for piping at their facilities.

One participant from a major refiner said they were using RBI on piping at 3-4 of their sites, yet his other sites had only partially implemented it. The goal was for all of them to be on an RBI program eventually though. He acknowledged that piping RBI is a little tougher than pressure vessels, but they were seeing benefits to it so they were committed to seeing it through. Some of the benefits include identifying specific damage mechanisms for each piping circuit and being able to really scrutinize the locations where they are looking for them. “We’ve had several finds that weren’t originally detected until we actually went out there to look for them properly,” he said. But of course, this can be done with an effective damage mechanisms review, RBI or not.  RBI has the promise of prioritization based on probability of failure combined with criticality or consequence considerations. The structured process also forces us to think more critically and consider things we may have discounted in the past. RBI also forces us to think about confidence in finding the mechanisms of interest by using properly weighted strategies.

This content is available to registered users and subscribers

Register today to unlock this article for free.

Create your free account and get access to:

  • Unlock one premium article of your choosing per month
  • Exclusive online content, videos, and downloads
  • Insightful and actionable webinars
Interested in unlimited access? VIEW OUR SUBSCRIPTION OPTIONS

Current subscribers and registered users can log in now.

Comments and Discussion

Posted by Christos Christoglou on December 14, 2021 (Edited on December 14, 2021)
Why not implement RBI for piping, taking into... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

(Inspectioneering) Posted by Greg Alvarado on December 20, 2021
Thank you Christos, great recommendations! And a... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Christos Christoglou on December 20, 2021
Thank you for your answer, Greg. WE usually have... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Joyce Mancini on March 1, 2022
We are in the process of trying to move piping to... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

(Inspectioneering) Posted by Greg Alvarado on March 1, 2022
Hi Joyce, thanks for the question. Its really a... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by ARNAB GUPTA on March 12, 2022
Excellent discussion and great inputs from... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by Christos Christoglou on March 14, 2022
Hi Arnab, technically, it makes sense to follow... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.

Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Training Solutions

Improve your skills in key mechanical integrity subjects.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.


Inspectioneering's index of mechanical integrity topics – built by you.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.


Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.


Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos & Webinars

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.


Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.