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Fixed Equipment

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Fixed Equipment, sometimes also known as static equipment, is a term generally used to describe non-moving equipment in the oil and gas and process industries. Some examples include things like pressure vessels, heat exchangers, piping, storage tanks, valves, pressure relieving devices, boilers, furnaces/heaters and structures. On the other hand, fixed equipment does not include things such as pumps, compressors, turbines, electrical equipment, or instrumentation (I&E), even though they typically don't move.

The risks associated with fixed equipment are higher compared to other equipment types because of the sheer number of equipment pieces and quantity of stored fluid. In a typical refinery or petrochemical facility, a significant portion of the capital/maintenance cost and reliability events or failures are associated with fixed equipment. A significant percentage of industry incidents that have resulted in injuries or asset loss also have been associated with fixed equipment.

Fixed equipment is often subjected to fairly extreme operating conditions and varying damage mechanisms. In most cases, the damage is not immediate and damage rates are not linear. A good example of this is corrosion under insulation (CUI) damage, which can develop over time, but is not immediately obvious.

Unlike other types of equipment, fixed equipment doesn’t have complex sensors that can be used to monitor for corrosion and damage in real time. For this reason fixed equipment must be monitored by inspections at fixed intervals. This is why it’s so important to have a reliability plan in place for all fixed equipment.

Fixed equipment is an essential part of every plant and facility, so it is important to keep it in good condition.

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Articles about Fixed Equipment

This article discussed the growing list of API FEMI standards, how some of them came to be, and why they keep getting improved upon with new lessons learned.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Pressure vessel design is crucial in ensuring compliance with safety regulations and facilitating reliability and integrity. This article provides an overview of the ASME Section VIII approach to designing pressure vessels.

July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

In the author's experience, one of the largest gaps in plants is a lack of understanding of what the entire fixed equipment mechanical integrity group does. This article will shed light on the many roles and responsibilities within these groups.

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

A refinery or process facility FEMI program consists of eight Pillars that are fundamental to achieve FEMI excellence. This article describes these Pillars in detail and suggests what distinguishes good Pillars from those that are less than adequate.


Developing a comprehensive turnaround (TA) work scope for process equipment is a critical step for achieving a facility's business goals. Risk Based Work Selection is a proven process for prioritizing and optimizing planned work for an impending TA.

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...


Risk Based Work Selection (RBWS) is an industry best practice used to help refiners better-manage the safety and reliability of operations for a facility. When properly conducted, RBWS can help refiners optimize major turnaround projects.


What do you do when you first discover a mechanical failure? Maybe your pipe sprang a leak, a drive shaft snapped, or a welded joint fractured, and you need to find out why. This infographic details some steps you can take to avoid critical mistakes.

January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides a summary of the 2019 API Inspection & MI Summit keynote address, which offers a past, present, and future outlook on fixed equipment mechanical integrity from an industry professional with 50+ years of experience.

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes how an international oil and gas company built an inspection data management program for its U.S. operations yielding improved confidence in decision-making information, cost savings through increased efficiency, and an...

Authors: Efrain Rios
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides an overview of the key components in establishing IOWs, the levels of IOW limits, and the basic principles and application of API Recommended Practice 584 to achieve reliable fired heater performance.

Authors: Tim Hill
Partner Content

What do you need: CONSULTING - Subject matter experts, consultants, or team of highly skilled engineers to help solve my problem. SOFTWARE - My team requires software, products, or resources that will solve the problem. TRAINING - I require...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

According to API 570, facilities must have a mechanical integrity program in place for critical check valves. But what criteria determines whether or not a check valve is critical in your process? How should check valves be inspected and by whom?

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article intends to use a top-down approach of describing RBI methodology and how it fits in a facility management system. The main idea of this article is to provide a comprehensive picture of RBI methodology in terms of basics, technology...

Authors: Dheeraj Narang
May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

HTHA of hydrogen-containing equipment can be prevented with appropriate material selection and fabrication, appropriate welding procedures, regular inspection of equipment using proven, effective technologies and equipment operated by qualified...

Authors: Samer E. Ibrahim
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is designed to help the reader better communicate their FEMI Mission, Vision, Core Values and Responsibilities to all stakeholders at their site.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The actions you take immediately after a failure are critical in understanding the cause and appropriate steps to remedy the problem. However, the wrong moves might prevent you from getting the answers you need.

Authors: Neil Burns
Partner Content

Piping accounts for roughly 40% of “accidental releases” at major petroleum facilities. Modern robots can inspect every inch of piping while still in service, giving you a clear picture of your most concerning areas.


In 2017, a joint-initiative from API and AFPM released a helpful brochure that summarizes all the key API standards that deal with fixed equipment mechanical integrity. It describes the latest edition of 42 API standards addressing FEMI issues,...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Although value-drivers often differ between facilities, all can agree that effective asset management strategies should lead to better decision making. In this case study, the authors detail how process-based risk management strategies can make for...

September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

I have written numerous technical articles addressing how to improve your fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) program. This time I will deviate from the FEMI technologies and methodologies to address a topic that may be equally...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

I have written numerous technical articles addressing how to improve your fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) program. This time I will deviate from the FEMI technologies and methodologies to address a topic that may be equally...

Authors: John Reynolds

I have written several articles for Inspectioneering Journal to help create successful programs to achieve excellence in pressure equipment integrity and reliability (PEI&R).

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

This series of articles describes the elements for a successful fixed equipment reliability program in a petrochemical facility. These articles will address management systems, engineering practices, preventive/predictive maintenance/inspection...

Authors: F. Walter Pinto
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