Inspectioneering

Inspection is the practice of examining the physical condition of materials, components, or entire pieces of equipment in order to determine if and for how long it will operate as intended. Inspection plays a vital role in any asset integrity management program. Inspection provides information about the current condition of the equipment in question and may provide information to validate the reliability prediction for the equipment (i.e. validate the accuracy of the equipment remaining life estimation).

Types of Inspection

Nondestructive Testing

Nondestructive testing (NDT) uses a variety of inspection techniques in order to locate and monitor defects without causing damage to the component. External and internal corrosion and cracks are often found using NDT methods. Some examples of common NDT methods include: radiographic testing, ultrasonic testing, magnetic particle testing, electromagnetic testing, and many more. When selecting an NDT method to use for a piece of equipment, the following four considerations should be accounted for:

  • The type of damage mechanism to be inspected for
  • The size, shape, and orientation of the defect
  • Where the defect is located (external or internal)
  • The sensitivities and limitations of the NDT method

Destructive Testing (Mechanical Testing)

In contrast to NDT, destructive testing causes damage to the test specimen. The purpose of destructive testing, also known as mechanical testing, is to reveal material properties when external forces are applied dynamically or statically. Important material properties of interest include: tensile strength, elasticity, elongation, hardness, fracture toughness, fatigue, and resistance to impact. Common mechanical tests that provide information about those properties include tensile testing, compression testing, torque testing, bend testing, hardness testing, charpy impact testing, and shear testing.

Inspection for Reliability and Remaining Life

The purpose of performing inspection is to provide information on the current state of a piece of equipment or provide information for remaining life calculations. Risk-based inspection (RBI) and fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments are two standards used in the oil and gas and chemical processing industries.

Risk-Based Inspection

RBI is a process that uses a combined system of methods to identify and understand risk. Put simply, risk can be defined by two elements: the consequence of failure (CoF) and the probability of failure (PoF). The CoF considers and evaluates the consequences of various outcomes (e.g. health and safety, environmental damage, equipment damage, and economic loss). The PoF is the likelihood that a piece of equipment will fail at a given time. Furthermore, both the CoF and the PoF involve qualitative and quantitative assessments. The fundamental concept of RBI is “How much confidence do I need to have in what I believe to be the true damage state of the equipment [1]?” RBI can be used to reduce uncertainty about the damage state of a piece of equipment by prioritizing inspection-related techniques. This is usually done by means of NDT. Learn more about RBI.

Fitness-for-Service

FFS is a recommended practice and industry standard that evaluates in-service equipment for structural integrity. The purpose of FFS is to determine if a component is suitable for continued service. There are three levels of FFS assessments, each increasing in level of detail, analysis, and complexity. Typically, data from NDT and mechanical testing provide critical inspection information used for FFS assessments. The outcome of an FFS assessment, as it relates to inspection, is to establish inspection intervals for specific equipment in order to monitor and eliminate potential failures. Establishing inspection intervals improves the overall safety, reliability, and efficiency of aging equipment. Learn more about FFS.

Inspection for Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) are often confused as being the same process. However, the two processes are distinct.

Quality Assurance

The purpose of QA is to inspect the process that manufactures products. In other words, QA is a process that looks to improve the product development in order to eliminate defects in manufactured products. Inspection relating to QA does not typically involve NDT nor mechanical testing but rather, uses qualitative methods to identify gaps and anomalies in the process.

Quality Control

QC is carried out after QA and involves inspection of the product. The QC process involves activities such as NDT to ensure the quality of the product will operate as intended and for a specified number of cycles (if applicable) before failure. Mechanical testing may also be performed on one part per batch or per “X” number of batches. The number of batches is up to the company and individuals involved in the manufacturing process. The purpose of QC is to detect flaws and to determine if the defect is acceptable or rejectable for service.

Codes and Standards

Relating to NDT and Mechanical Testing

Since there are hundreds of standards relating to NDT and mechanical testing, it is best to list the organizations that develop and publish standards pertaining to inspection. The following standards bodies are well known in the inspection community:

Relating to RBI and FFS

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Articles about Inspection
May/June 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

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May/June 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

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March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

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A study of the level of deterioration on a catalytic reformer support structure, the challenges involved, the solutions presented, and the aggressive schedule that was required to complete the project.

March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses some of the common fitness-for-service (FFS) issues plant engineers in the chemical and refining industry are facing and a handful of recommendations on how to improve them.

Authors: Greg Garic
March/April 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides an overview of some of the more common forms of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) with a focus on effective inspection methods for detecting these forms of cracking.

January/February 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

Applying advanced statistical analysis methods will provide owner/users with a RAGAGEP-accepted method for analyzing corrosion monitoring data while also integrating the latest improvements in inspection capabilities.

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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...

January/February 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes HTHA predictive modeling advances that are designed to demonstrate a direct integration with inspection such that modeling and inspection can be leveraged together in a way never done before.

January/February 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

Within one unit, TriLat combines the power of two probes containing three angle beam sets to identify and quantify cracking at early stages. The result is inspection speeds up to ten times faster than traditional AUT systems, depending on probe size.

January/February 2022 Inspectioneering Journal

With the advent of digital technology, image processing can be done in digital radiographs which can be used for automated detection and quantification of defects. It is important to know the system's limitations and the probability of detection.

November/December 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Utilizing a risk assessment methodology to determine the amount of detail in our QA/QC plans, as well as who needs to be involved, may help us improve both the effectiveness and the efficiency of our QA/QC work process.

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Establishing a proactive touch point corrosion integrity management program using engineered on-stream line lifting is a safe and effective means of mitigating unplanned downtime and related safety and potential environmental hazards.

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November/December 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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November/December 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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November/December 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Dead legs pose a substantial threat to piping integrity as they are especially prone to contamination and corrosion. Tracking dead legs separately from the mainline piping should be done through controlled procedures at operating facilities.

September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

In this article, the author shares a couple of examples for RBI practitioners that will hopefully spur you on toward excellence in RBI modeling.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article illustrates the value of digital radiography as an efficient tool to visualize corrosion and other small bore piping anomalies without disturbing insulation, as well as using PRT in conjunction with UTT to survey small diameter lines.

July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes an owner-user’s evergreening process to maintain accurate data to support the mechanical integrity program and assist in planning inspections, turnarounds, repairs, replacements, and upgrades.

Authors: Ben Charlton
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Asset owners can realize economic and HSE benefits from utilizing internal in-service robots for hazardous fluid tank inspection. Achieving high levels of coverage and collecting enormous amounts of quantitative data are possible for clean tanks.

May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Hydrogen-induced damage mechanisms have been studied endlessly, leading to changes in equipment design and development of new inspection practices. However, the highly localized nature and difficulty of detection of HTHA add additional complexities.

Authors: Jose Aparicio
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This case study of a CO2 absorber tower in a remote location investigates the use of a new type of wireless ultrasonic sensor for monitoring the thickness of equipment while on or offline.

Authors: Martyn Cooper
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Greg Garic
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

In this article, FFS assessment methods are summarized and practical guidance is offered for qualifying CUI damage on carbon and low-alloy steels.

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March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides insights into the AIV damage mechanism, reviews approaches to calculate the probability of AIV failure in piping, provides design practices to prevent AIV failure, and introduces a RBI approach to evaluate risk of AIV failures.

March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

FFS assessments usually originate from inspection results and often end with a recommended inspection plan. This FFS Forum tries to provide a little better understanding of one particular inspection method: Acoustic Emission Testing.

Authors: Greg Garic
March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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In this Reynolds Wrap Up, the author will summarize his key takeaways from a recent robotics event, including interesting applications, challenges that robotic inspection suppliers still face, pros and cons of robotic and UAV inspection, and more.

Authors: John Reynolds
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Authors: Mike Hurley
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This retrospective takes a quick look at two of the most popular topics that were covered in Inspectioneering Journal last year: the accuracy of thickness readings and corrosion under insulation.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Geoff Clarkson
January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

The purpose of baseline inspections is to provide cost savings upfront versus the cost incurred during operations. So, what are the possible heat exchange tubing defects or anomalies and how are they validated?

Authors: Timothy L. Rush
January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses the header specification, design, fabrication, and inspection processes to identify where opportunities were available to proactively address the vulnerabilities that resulted in the header rupture.

Authors: Peter Tait
September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Charles Janecka
September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a methodology for calculating and understanding how many qualified API inspectors you need to staff in order to improve fixed equipment mechanical integrity and reliability at your operating site.

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses some of the common roles of the RBI team and provides a glimpse of an RBI program gap assessment, while offering helpful advice for improvement.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article reflects the first in a series on damage mechanisms that will appear in this recurring Inspectioneering column entitled “Damage Control.” The inaugural topic discussed in this column is thermal fatigue.

July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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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
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Authors: Inspector Frank
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May/June 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

The authors have written a two-part series covering valves and their role in the overall MI process. In this first article, they discuss the various valve types, their common uses, and the governing standards and recommended practices that apply.

May/June 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates how the use of TFM/FMC can be an effective method to screen for potential problem flanges before a planned shut down and can be a very useful tool in planning which flanges require further evaluation.

Authors: Mark Schramm
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Authors: Nick Schmoyer
March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Joey Poret
March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a comprehensive integrity management program for catalyst tubes, including elements on monitoring, inspection, data analysis, remaining life assessment, and control of human factors.

Authors: Baher Elsheikh
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March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article reviews the effectiveness of AET for inspecting tank bottoms in two ways; namely, benchmarking regulations in different countries and comparing AET and MFLT results through a case study.

March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Universally, smart or intelligent pigging is now a standard practice for the inspection of fired heater and serpentine boiler coils. Understanding this technology can greatly assist with maintenance planning and the prevention of unexpected failures.

Authors: Tim Haugen
March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Ed Bryner
March/April 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Geoff Clarkson
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Authors: Frank-Uwe Hess
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January/February 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Zach Burnett
January/February 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

The health of piping and piping supports is critical to processing facilities, however there are very few facilities where a documented inspection program exists for spring supports. This article outlines some issues surrounding spring supports

Authors: Ashfaq Anwer
January/February 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

The purpose of this article is to describe some of the pitfalls that operating sites have encountered while trying to implement a program of IOWs in accordance with the guidance in API RP 584, plus how to overcome those pitfalls.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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This article helps shine light on some common industry problems that can occur by having inferior UT procedures and practices, while providing several lessons learned through a case study that resulted in nearly $1 million in turnaround repairs.

November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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This article examines multiple trials that entailed testing robotic systems on different non-magnetic surfaces to identify the feasibility of detecting CUI using robotics in combination with NDE technology.

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November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

I have been involved with risk-based inspection and risk-based work process development for much of my career. The one thing I have learned as I’ve walked this path is that the concept of ‘risk’ extends far beyond our industry.

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November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Joel Andreani
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This article discusses two common challenges for inspectors taking thickness readings in high temperature environments and ways to overcome those challenges.

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September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents two cases studies demonstrating how properly conducting baseline fired heater tube inspection aids in early discovery and correction of defects, avoiding unexpected in-service failures, and more.

Authors: Tim Haugen
September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The author discusses a method being used in most of their refineries and petrochemical facilities that allows them to optimize the scope of NDT during turnarounds, while improving the reliability of bundles.

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September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Ron King
September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Tank inspection to achieve regulatory compliance has often been viewed as just another expense. This article takes the opposite view by utilizing regulatory compliance as a means for enhancing overall efficiency, awareness, safety, and profitability.

July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This case study is intended to demonstrate how a Qualitative Risk Assessment can be a cost-effective and resource-efficient means to prioritize equipment which is often “under the radar”.

Authors: Robert Sladek
July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Major maintenance events require proper planning, scheduling, and execution to achieve a successful outcome. An outage assessment process can deliver an effort that is safe, on budget, on schedule, and ensures long term plant equipment reliability.

Authors: Stephen Thomas
July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is written to provide a brief case study of an acoustic emission test of an FRP storage tank. A method combining acoustic emission with ultrasonics is proposed to ensure reliable long term operation.

Authors: Geoff Clarkson
July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Tanks are ubiquitous and essential in industrial societies. When they fail, the consequences can be dire if products/volumes they store are explosive and/or toxic.

Authors: Ana Benz
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High angle rope inspection can provide immediate inspection and minor repair opportunities, but it’s valuable for long-term planning as well.

Authors: Alexander Turner
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May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering and PinnacleART recently hosted a roundtable discussion for a select group of mechanical integrity experts to discuss strategies for managing corrosion under insulation and corrosion under pipe supports, a.k.a. touch point corrosion.

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses how drone data can impact asset integrity management (AIM) programs, the challenges associated with drone data management, and where the technology is heading.

Authors: Patrick Saracco
Partner Content

Pinnacle's data-driven reliability framework ensures the right data is fueling the right intelligence, helping you make confident, strategic decisions.

May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

While planning methods for thickness data acquisition in any Inspection Data Management Program, PRT should be considered as a cost-efficient, effective way to increase the value of your program for small bore piping or any other suitable situation.

Authors: Ryan Baggett
May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article details an experience assessing the mechanical integrity of a feed pressure vessel, and describes the methodology carried out for detecting CUI and how results were managed for this pressure vessel.

Authors: Andres Salazar
Blog

This is the first article in a new column. In each article, the author will share technical, thought-provoking, and sometimes humorous or emotional experiences garnered in a career that spans over 20 years inside the gates of facilities.

Authors: Inspector Frank
Blog

Corporations now have the flexibility to choose RBI software from vendors offering a variety of tools and features to keep track of calculations, records, and data. This infographic shows 11 things you should consider when selecting an RBI software.

Blog

Over the last six months, Inspectioneering has released a plethora of interesting and educational content that has been read more than 150,000 times online. In case you missed it, here's a recap.

Partner Content

Download Pinnacle's Economics of Reliability Report - Refining to see how reliability is affecting profitability.

March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The quality of the thousands of factory and field welds present in pressure part modules is critical for assuring reliable operation over the life of a plant. Companies should be doing more than paying lip service to quality. Don't just tick a box.

March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

In order to utilize data most effectively and realize the full power of AE testing, it is necessary to bring the capabilities of laboratory testing tools to industrial sites.

Authors: André Viaud
March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

Creating a proper work scope and developing and executing an effective work plan are essential for a successful turnaround. However, behind the scenes exists the glue that pulls the entire effort together: logistics.

Authors: Stephen Thomas
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
January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

The use of drones for confined space inspection is proving to reduce safety risks and create efficiencies in both time and cost. These benefits have been realized particularly in the oil, gas and petrochemical industry in internal tank inspection.

Authors: Philip Buchan
Partner Content

Traditional pressure vessel inspections often require taking assets out of service. However, MISTRAS’ Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) programs provide data as good or better than internal inspections, while assets remain in service. NII is...

January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

An effective RBI system implementation results in, not only safeguarding your assets & people, but can also reduce unnecessary inspection activities that may be required due to conventional & nonsystematic approaches.

Blog

The 2019 API Inspection and Mechanical Integrity Summit will be kicking off later this month in Galveston, TX. This four-day event will begin with 14 high level training courses offered Monday, January 28th, and then a top notch conference and...

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 walks you through a three-step approach, while providing different scenarios, for identifying and proving the value of reliability improvement initiatives.

Authors: John Campo
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

In this edition of the FFS Forum, Greg addresses some issues associated with inspection of vessels that have been in service for a number of decades, and offers some tips for reliability and inspection to follow when inspecting these older vessels.

Authors: Greg Garic
Partner Content

Traditional, paper-based inspection processes can prevent plants from being as effective as they can be. By digitalizing your mechanical integrity process and data with MISTRAS Digital®, plants have realized up to 75% gains in IDMS data entry and...

September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The challenge to find CUI is difficult and one single NDE technique cannot be used to identify it. This remains the case today as we combine NDE techniques to perform CUI assessments. The techniques and strategies commonly used today are summarized...

September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses the advances in NDE that have given owners increased confidence on how to assess equipment integrity in HTHA service providing risk prioritization of equipment as well as providing the ability to make more reliable...

September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Whether implementing a comprehensive AIM strategy for the first time or looking for ways to create overlap between AIM activities and documents that historically have acted as information silos, consider utilizing CCDs. They serve as a useful...

September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The best approach for better inspection confidence and long term asset integrity is to conduct baseline inspections upon receipt of an asset. Baseline inspection can save millions by providing accurate baseline information for later comparisons and...

Authors: Ashfaq Anwer
September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The most valuable unit of measure within a turnaround is not money, but time. Successful turnaround planners are now integrating the Detailed Inspection Planner (DIP) within their teams to increase the accuracy of planning and reduce the time...

Partner Content

Antea delivers highly flexible risk-based asset integrity software with 3D Digital Twin integration to optimize maintenance, reduce risk, and improve mechanical integrity for oil and gas, power generation, and chemical plants and facilities....

Blog

In the fifth and final blog of this 5-part series, readers will learn the key obstacles faced in an implementation project and what measures can be taken to help prevent and mitigate their impact.

Authors: Efrain Rios
Blog

In this article, the author discusses how standardizing IDMS usage can help integrity teams perform more efficiently and effectively.

Authors: Efrain Rios
Blog

Nondestructive testing (NDT) careers are on the rise in today’s economy. These fields are constantly advancing, and there is an ever-growing need for technicians, quality assurance specialists and inspectors as infrastructure in the United States...

Authors: Berg Engineering
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Studying for and passing a test does not necessarily equate to competence as a process or contract inspector for hire. This article explores what it takes to become a capable inspector in this ever-changing industry.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

API 579-1 is a complex document covering several different types of equipment that may contain flaws or damage. Due to its complexity, this article condenses it into six things you need to know.

Authors: Greg Garic
Partner Content

Pro-Surve recently invested in the latest portable Higher Order Modes Clusters (HOMC) Guided Wave Testing tool, a new concept for the inspection of inaccessible regions using short-range guided waves. Inspection is carried out from the accessible...

July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Whether you are implementing an inspection strategy based on RBI or traditional methods, work should be completed according to a well-defined plan. What are you doing to assure that work is executed as prescribed and that results are reported and...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

As mentorship programs continue to fade across the oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical, and other process industries, this article discusses a few of the main causes as well as the importance for stopping this trend.

Authors: David McCann
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

The benefits and advantages of drone inspection over other methods have made this technology a viable solution in industry. As utilization of drone technology continues to grow and expand, it’s important to not only understand what they can do but...

Authors: Philip Buchan
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Software implementation, including RBI, comes with a lot of ad-hoc challenges and pitfalls. There are numerous options for RBI software currently available, and they may differ by design, purpose, function, scope and capabilities. This article...

Authors: Ibrahim Kodssi
Blog

There are cases where selecting the best IDMS application for the company means that the end users will not immediately obtain all desired functionality. In some instances, users must forgo desirable features to satisfy more valuable requirements of...

Authors: Efrain Rios
Partner Content

Tri-Lateral Phased Array is a novel robotic phased array ultrasonic testing technique for the on-stream inspection of fixed equipment in wet hydrogen sulfide (H2S) service. TriLat identifies and quantifies wet H2S damage in the base metal of...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

With no industry consensus documents in existence that provide guidance for determining FFS of FRP, this article provides a case study that illustrates how an existing European design standard on GRP tanks can be used to calculate expected changes...

Authors: Geoff Clarkson
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 presents a case study from a Middle Eastern refinery that explores a heat exchanger that failed unexpectedly after five years in service. There are multiple initiators that can cause under deposit corrosion (UDC) in heat exchangers in...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article details the experience an oil company had when using FEA to evaluate the implications of a damaged pipeline. Specifically, it presents an efficient method that combines analytical techniques with FEA to determine the pipeline’s...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

As assets age and production demands grow, it becomes increasingly critical to implement sustainable long-term AIM strategies and programs. This article dives into the elements that will help ensure the successful management of assets throughout...

Partner Content

The OmniScan™ X3 64 phased array and TFM flaw detector is equipped with enhanced phased capabilities and even faster TFM. The rugged and portable instrument features powerful 64-element probes with a 128-aperture TFM.

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

There is concern in the industry over recent findings of reduced toughness fittings and flanges at risk of brittle fracture. This article provides an overview; possible contributors; measures taken to address; and a proposed FFS approach to address...

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
Blog

In the industry today, there are numerous applications being used to manage asset integrity information, i.e. data and records associated with design, construction, corrosion, inspection, process chemistry, and degradation remediation. In the second...

Authors: Efrain Rios
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates how the use of APM software can help prevent unplanned downtime by quickly identifying potential hidden failures.

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article features a case study on the feasibility of a wall-sticking drone for effectively conducting ultrasonic testing and other NDT methods on equipment at elevated heights.

Authors: Rami Mattar
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article demonstrates the process of converting API RP 576, Inspection of Pressure-Relieving Devices, into a work process that is suitable for conversion into a job procedure. It also explores some lessons learned that will make the document...

Authors: Keith Lapeyrouse
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

As RBI continues to proliferate across industry, there are still those that are reluctant to transition from a time-based to risk-based inspection approach - especially in the upstream oil & gas business. These 4 benefits might help to lessen the...

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
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Implementing RBI for process piping can be a very tedious and lengthy exercise, especially for major process plants with thousands of feet of interconnected piping. This article shares the experience of ADNOC LNG following a structured RBI approach...

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Last November, Inspectioneering and PinnacleART hosted a roundtable discussion for a select group of leading mechanical integrity experts. This forum explored how the MI field will have to prepare for the impending loss of knowledge resulting from...

Authors: Tyler Alvarado
Blog

In the industry today, there are numerous applications being used to manage asset integrity information, i.e. data and records associated with design, construction, corrosion, inspection, process chemistry, and degradation remediation. As the first...

Authors: Efrain Rios
January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection data is vulnerable to flaws in collection and retention. For example, data might be inaccurate, duplicate, or incomplete due to procedural breakdowns. This article introduces Digital Data Management Systems (DDMS) as a response to these...

January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Over the past few years, network technologies have been developed to eliminate the need for long cables for UT thickness monitoring. Coupled with a software back-end, permanently-installed UT sensors have become much more competitive in the...

Blog

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
Blog

Infrared (IR) thermometry has been used for over forty years to monitor tube metal temperatures in refining and chemical furnaces. Recently, IR thermometry has been criticized in the industry for delivering inaccurate readings; however, this is...

November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article explains the Statistically Active Corrosion Assessment, which is a tool for determining appropriate and realistic corrosion growth rates which can assist pipeline operators in optimizing the value of in-line inspection data.

November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Thanks to the development of documents such as API RP 571 and API RP 586, as well as the emergence of qualification demonstration testing, we can align NDT techniques and inspection strategies better than ever. This article examines this progression...

November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article, part two in a series, provides a case study of an inspection and evaluation of a Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer (FRP) column using nondestructive ultrasound readings on the outer surface of the FRP.

Authors: Geoff Clarkson
November/December 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

APM implementation is anything but a pain-free process. Blame tends to fall on vendors, but there are oftentimes activities that do not get completed that tend to have a larger effect on the success of implementation. This article addresses some of...

Authors: Stephen Flory
Blog

Industry SME John Reynolds provides his bi-annual updates from the API Standards Meeting and discusses developments related to the 2019 API Inspection Summit, SCIMI codes, standards, and recommended practices, and the API Individual Certification...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Although commonly lumped together as a singular acronym, there are important distinctions between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). This article defines and distinguishes the role of QA and, in particular, how source inspection...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Fired heaters are among the most critical equipment in refineries and chemical plants. This article provides an overview of what a fired heater tube mechanical integrity program should include.

September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Due to its high-cost, Level 3 FFS is typically carried out after Levels 1 or 2 and only in extreme cases. However, advancements in inspection technology and improved use of inspection data have made Level 3 analysis more practical and affordable,...

Authors: Tyron Kimble
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 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

The challenges companies face when implementing an RBI program from scratch can make the practice seem daunting. To ensure that implementation is completed smoothly and the benefits of RBI are quickly realized, there are considerations that should...

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

3 common repair scenarios include routine maintenance, scope repairs, and major discoveries. An inspector’s ability to properly manage each situation can mean the difference between mechanical integrity success and failure.

Authors: Mark Savage
July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Failure analysis of piping that has experienced corrosion damage provides operators with valuable information needed to prevent future failures. Effective processes and procedures are essential when investigating the cause of corrosion on pipelines...

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Composite technology developed for pipeline repair can be a cost-effective method of improving safety while keeping maintenance costs down. However, composite materials present significant challenges to conventional NDT methods.

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Are your key performance indicators actually driving improvement? Could they be more effective? In this actionable and concise article, John Reynolds is back again to discuss some KPIs you could be using to monitor your progress down the path to...

Authors: John Reynolds
Online Article

The availability of high quality UT data is often the cornerstone for FFS and RBI decisions. As such, the API Subcomittee for Inspection and Integrity Management (SCIIM) has initiated a program for the Qualification of Ultrasonic crack Sizing...

Authors: John Nyholt
May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Effective condition monitoring location selection is a key component of a best-in-class mechanical integrity program. Learn how moving beyond traditional qualitative approaches to optimized CML selection can reduce risk and maximize the value of...

May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

35 years ago, an inspection supervisor, some inspectors, and a project engineer could cover an entire refinery. So why are so many more mechanical integrity resources needed today?

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Are you giving CUF the attention it deserves? Learn the vital role fireproofing plays in maintaining the integrity and reliability of what it protects as well as what's needed for managing potential CUF issues.

Authors: Justin Nickel
Online Article

The Valve World Americas Conference provides an opportunity for people from all sides of the flow control industry to come together to discuss experiences, share insights and work together to resolve common challenges. Sharing knowledge and...

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Myths, challenges, and good practices related to process piping integrity management activities that help inspection and maintenance managers make the right decisions to develop cost-effective piping inspection plans without compromising the...

March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering Founder & Chief Editor, Greg Alvarado, recently had the privilege to sit down with Clay White, Director of Mechanical Integrity for Phillips 66 (Downstream), to discuss the world of fixed equipment reliability in the refining and...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs) have a subset of operating variables that are important for degradation monitoring, but may not have direct operational controls. Per API RP 584 Integrity Operating Windows, these are known as IOW Informational...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Flare systems provide hydrocarbon facilities with safe and efficient discharge of relief and waste gases by controlled open flame burning. This article provides information on the selection, inspection, and maintenance of various types of flares.

Authors: Ibrahim Kodssi
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Application of drones in industrial inspections is not new, although it is still performed by only handful of companies. Market penetration of this technology in the industrial space has been relatively slow.

Authors: Rami Mattar
Online Article

Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Cary Forgeron and Samuel Fisher about the importance of oil analysis to effectively managing the reliability of rotating equipment used in the the O&G and other processing...

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article summarizes a comprehensive survey conducted by the Research & Development Center (R&DC) of Saudi Aramco to understand top corrosion damage mechanisms experienced by its operating onshore surface facilities.

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

In this article, the roles and responsibilities of the corrosion and materials SME will be outlined as I see them, fully recognizing that there is probably no one person out there with all the knowledge and skills suggested herein.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Historically, if asked when or how likely an austenitic series stainless steel component is to crack, the usual answer was “very” or “maybe” or, later, “I didn’t see that coming.” With API’s new risk assessment methodology, the...

Authors: Murry Funderburg
January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Evaluating remaining wall thickness of an asset is not enough to ensure its continued safe operation. Proactive strategies should be implemented to assess the entire environment affecting an asset’s condition, including the development of more...

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Some facilities lead the industry with streamlined RBI/IOW programs, and some facilities are just implementing standard calendar-based programs. Both are still susceptible to inspection interval gaps.

Authors: Chuck Provost
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

As the industry strives to maintain PSM/OSHA compliance through owner/user mechanical integrity programs, inspection professionals should fully understand technical standards to generate an adequate repair recommendation or request further...

Authors: Blake Stermer
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes a high-level dead leg integrity management program overview and is based on experience, knowledge, and adaptation of inspection management philosophies currently being implemented within the Oil & Gas and the petrochemical...

Authors: Mohamed Amer
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

In the first quarter of 2016, Texas-based DronePro LLC completed the first ever inside-the-derrick inspection of an offshore drilling rig utilizing a proprietary unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, with its associated technology and equipment.

Authors: Joey Johnston
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Human factors, inspection effectiveness, and RBI all play an important role in running an effective asset management program. This article discusses how each is applicable to inspecting equipment in processing facilities.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article will go through the methodology of each process that could be used in determining the structural component for the required pipe wall thickness, but will focus on the use of Beam Flexural Stress calculations and Beam Deflection...

Authors: Nolan L. Miller
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article exhibits how modern inspection methodologies combined with innovative computational analysis practices demonstrate the value of conducting fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments on sectional piping.

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The concept of reducing Condition Monitoring Locations (CMLs) is misguided, and the number and location of CMLs should be OPTIMIZED, not systematically reduced. CML allocation in piping requires a good process, otherwise, you can run into a lot of...

September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Detecting, quantifying, and sizing indications characterized as a “crack" in critical equipment have long been the global benchmark of asset integrity programs. Therefore, the increased precision that inspection programs obtain using advanced...

Authors: Kimberley Hayes
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Risk-based inspection (RBI) programs and processes are front and center, both as a challenge to get it right, and as an integral tool and process to help us achieve success in risk management and equipment reliability. It has to be implemented,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Did you ever wonder where you fit into the entire hierarchy of a fixed equipment asset integrity management (FE-AIM) program? Or who is responsible and accountable for what aspects of FE-AIM at your site? All the way from top management down to...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Although all ultrasonic smart pigging providers claim the ability to detect wall thinning and tube deformations to some degree, the inspection surface coverage, resolution, minimum wall thickness detection and reporting capabilities may vary...

Authors: Tim Haugen
Blog

I hope by now, everyone is aware that the next API Inspection Summit will be held again at the Galveston Convention Center from January 31– February 2, 2017.

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

ASNT’s 2016 Annual Conference took place this week in Long Beach, CA and was a special event celebrating “75 years of Success in Creating a Safer World.” The event brought together over 2,000 technicians, researchers, and other professionals...

Authors: Hannah Boon
Blog

Seasoned and knowledgeable inspectors are becoming harder and harder to keep. But using some of the industry documents in a smart way, inspectors with less experience can perform like an inspector with many more years of experience and even develop...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Many plants inspect PRDs on preset intervals as recommended by inspection code API 510, and implement inspection practices such as API RP 576. Just seeking PRD compliance with codes and standards usually results in mediocre mechanical integrity and...

July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The structural integrity of components is controlled by material properties, the presence of flaws, and levels of applied stress. Several factors such as temperature, type of loading, toughness, corrosion resistance, micro-structural stability, cost...

Blog

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Risk Management are true passions of mine. I have dedicated much of my career to studying them, understanding their intricacies, and witnessing the benefits of their successful...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

Here are five common misconceptions about RBI that should not prevent you from gaining a more advanced understanding of the true state of your site's equipment. After all, the more we know, the better we can manage equipment integrity and make...

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

In the last few years, electromagnetic acoustic transducer (EMAT) has come to prominence for its ability to quickly scan exposed pipelines for corrosion, cracks, and other defects using medium-range guided waves and without the requirement for...

Authors: Borja Lopez
May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Aging equipment, along with more aggressive service, makes it more important than ever to carry out fitness-for-service (FFS) assessments in support of run/repair/replace decisions. Testing material in the service-degraded condition enables...

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

RBI and NII are designed to achieve significant cost savings and risk mitigation benefits over a piece of equipment’s lifetime in the long term.

Authors: Dr. Yury Sokolov
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

We have seen many different inspection recommendation management systems. Most of them struggle to effectively manage all inspection recommendations. However, a few of them are excellent. What makes an effective system?

March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Achieving fired heater reliability in conjunction with meeting performance standards can be a challenging feat. Performance is a measure of the degree to which the fired heater is in an operable condition at any given time.

Authors: Tim Hill
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

It is estimated that there have been more than 250,000 layoffs in the oil and gas industry since the price of oil began to drop precipitously in late 2014. With oil not expected to rebound significantly for at least the next year or so, we should be...

March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article highlights the evolution of corrosion monitoring from conventional ultrasonic to ultrasonic phased array manual and automated solutions and their use for both general purposes and complex applications.

Authors: André Lamarre
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

While there are many methods for measuring equipment wall thickness, a predominant method used in the O&G and power generation industries is portable ultrasonic equipment. Ultrasonic testing is non-intrusive because it is applied to the outside of a...

Online Article

Updated editions of both API 570 and API RP 580 were recently released by the American Petroleum Institute.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

You probably already know that inspection apps for tablets and smart phones exist, and have notions of how these technologies can improve efficiencies in the field and beyond.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

When heading down the path of becoming an inspection professional, it’s helpful to understand the characteristics that truly make someone an outstanding inspector.

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

In Part 1 of this 2-part series, published in the July/August 2015 issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I discussed corrosion control methods and some effective techniques for inspecting ASTs, and also identified several root causes of AST failures in...

January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Pipeline management remains fraught with safety risks for operators and the environment. Last year, the Ontario Energy Board determined that a $12 billion oil pipeline proposed by TransCanada Corp. would pose more risks than rewards for the province.

Authors: Vipin Nair
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

Fixed equipment in a refinery can be susceptible to corrosion from the process side, necessitating an inspection strategy to understand the condition of that equipment. Online measurement of pipe and pressure vessel wall thickness is made possible...

Authors: Dr. Jake Davies
Blog

This article provides a summary of the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) discussions that occurred at the Fall 2015 API Refining Standards Meeting, including the Inspection Summit Planning Committee and the API ICP Task Group.

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

We at Inspectioneering would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our subscribers, followers, clients, and industry partners for a great 2015, and wish every member of the Inspectioneering community a happy and healthy 2016!

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

To ensure the mechanical integrity and fitness-for-service (FFS) of equipment, facility managers, reliability engineers, and inspection technicians must understand the HTHA damage mechanism.

November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

It is often best to rely on properly trained and experienced inspection service providers to determine the proper method for any inspection project. Thus, inspection companies can suggest utilizing the most effective and efficient inspection...

Authors: Mike Brown
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

While they is very efficient and popular, liquid couplants used for ultrasonic inspection have some inherent limitations and disadvantages. An alternative method to using liquid couplant is Dry-Coupled Ultrasonic Testing (DCUT).

Authors: Borja Lopez
November/December 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Once upon a time in the land of Ooze, there were two processing plants that boiled oil to make fuels and various other valuable petrochemical products. On one side of the river, rests a site called Perfecto Process Plant, while just across the river...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

The following article on the art and science of cooling tower inspections is part one in a series. This first is a primer. We recommend that readers consider using this article to edit their engineering practices for cooling tower inspection...

Authors: George L. Getz
November/December 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

In the previous articles, we have put all the Pre-Turnaround and actual Turnaround activities in place to get the job safely done. Now we need to find the API Inspectors and have them approved by the client as quickly as possible. I have indicated...

Authors: Kelley Jones
January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

A meeting of the API Pipeline In-Line Inspection Standards Group was held in Houston, Texas on October 17, 2002. The following is an excerpt from the Draft Scope of the Standard in the working dated, May 13, 2002.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article addresses a debate mechanical integrity professionals in the O&G and Chemical Processing industries periodically have about how thickness data gathered during a thickness monitoring inspection (TMI) should be recorded.

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is intended to provide some helpful insights when it comes to Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), and to hopefully put you on the path to safer and more cost-effective inspections utilizing UAS technologies.

September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The Quality Assurance Engineer (QAE) provides a safety net for mission-critical hardware. The variety and complexity of hardware, and the many dimensions of the QA inspection process, combine in such a manner that even the most experienced QAE may...

Authors: Paul J. Ramirez
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

While computed tomography (CT) scans are common and well-known as a critical evaluation tool in the medical field, they are becoming increasingly important in industrial settings. Recent automation, speed, and accuracy developments are driving the...

Authors: Shana Telesz
Blog

Toward the end of last year, Inspectioneering conducted a survey with the goal of answering the following question: "How many pressure vessels do facilities have compared to the number of inspectors responsible for them?" The answer to this question...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Refinery, petrochemical, and storage tank operators are responsible for properly cleaning facility tanks on a periodic maintenance basis, typically in 20 to 30 year increments. This article provides a suggested “checklist” of inspection...

Authors: Robert Frater
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Rarely is there a new and unknown cause of a major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity (FEMI) failure in the petrochemical and refining industry. This article briefly summarizes five major fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures from...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) are essential to any successful oil and gas operation and must be properly managed to ensure operations function in a safe and reliable manner. In this 2-part series, I will identify some common failures related to...

July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article introduces portions of a “Best-In-Class” Fitness-for-Service (FFS) program that includes the performance of regular visual inspections of pipe supports and hangers, coupled with in-situ load testing of suspect supports. This...

July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Some hiring practices for new employees have been too lax for too long in the pipeline industry. Pipeline inspectors who have ever worked beside someone who was hired via the familiar “friends and family program,” recognize the need for more...

Authors: Rikki Smith
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Assessing risk is an integral part of working at a refinery. Infrastructure supporting the miles of piping, process vessels, and the platforms and ladders used in daily unit operations are often taken for granted. The Civil Structures Management...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

For traditional in-line inspection (ILI) vendors, considering 21.4 miles of a piggable 4” diesel pipeline is typically not a big deal. However, significant threats like 3rd party damage and external corrosion seem to come with the territory in...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

While performing visual inspections with a pen and notepad is the traditional way to record data, there are now more efficient ways to complete inspections out in the field. Investing in a mobile inspection application can be a great way to save...

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Historically, regulations regarding dent severity have been governed by one of two metrics: dent depth or strain. In the case of the former, plain dents with a depth up to 6% of the nominal diameter are permitted in both gas and liquid pipelines....

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

In recent years, the growing use of composite repair systems for the rehabilitation of piping systems in the refining and chemical industries has increased the need for associated technologies for their manufacturing, installation, and inspection....

Authors: David A. Hunter
May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Verifying pipeline integrity is particularly challenging due to the difficulty of pipeline access, as well as the limitations in available technology to perform subsea wall thickness inspections. These challenges require action rather than reaction.

Blog

There should be a policy in place and enforced by management at each operating site of not allowing equipment and repair recommendations to become overdue for inspection and handling. Such a practice goes a long way toward increasing the credibility...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Today, many managers are finding that they can address the reliability of all types of assets by combining RBI and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) processes together into one comprehensive reliability management process.

Authors: Walt Sanford
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Rope access allows for a wide variety of work to be performed at high elevations or other hard to reach areas without the use of scaffolding or heavy equipment. It has evolved from techniques used in rock climbing and caving to become an extremely...

Authors: Andy Kates
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Refractory materials have significantly evolved during the past 15 years, testing technology is much more sophisticated, and the need for test technicians to be properly trained and experienced to use that technology is much more important than it...

Authors: Jeremy Wimberly
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The tubes of heat exchangers (HX), whether for a shell and tube bundle or an airfin, are typically subject to some form of nondestructive examination (NDE) to try and quantify the remaining wall thicknesses and corrosion rates to help a plant to...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

With the advancements in today’s technology and improvements to Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems and Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), if we deploy them properly and in line with best practices, it is possible to reach...

Authors: Matt Midas
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Weld inspection using lasers is not new, but doing it 75 meters inside a pipe or streaming inspection data wirelessly is new. As laser technology has improved, more industries such as oil & gas are beginning to require laser inspection as part of...

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The ability to gain this unique perspective has recently become easier and safer with today’s technological advancements. This new technology comes in the form of a miniature flying machine, better known as a drone or small Unmanned Aerial System...

Blog

We talk about heat exchangers quite a bit here on Inspectioneering, most recently in the January/February issue of the Journal. This is because heat exchangers are vital pieces of equipment in nearly every type of plant or facility.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

An issue that arises frequently in the oil and gas industry is poor or missing documentation of pressure vessels. It is common in the industry to repurpose old equipment, bring equipment back into operation after a long period of time out of...

Authors: Paolo Torrado
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides a discussion of a recent inspection performed at a U.S. refinery. Industry HF lines are experiencing piping failures in increasing numbers due to the presence of residual elements entrained within their carbon steel components.

Blog

Lately, I’ve heard quite a bit of discussion surrounding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), also known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones. (However, due to the negative connotations associated with the word drone, we’ve learned that people...

Authors: Tyler Alvarado
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

The future of inspection will be based on predictive and proactive technologies that effectively monitor material properties of structures and systems over their entire service life.

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Tube and shell heat exchangers are required to operate continuously in tough conditions for years, coping with thermal cycling, corrosive fluids on the tube and shell side, vibration and fouling of many different types, all collaborating towards...

Authors: Dr. Noam Amir
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the major challenges inspectors and plant operators face after each turnaround is to ensure that all repair and scope work is and was completed in accordance with the client’s requirements. Sometimes that verification will be to ensure work...

Authors: Scott Corey
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The introduction of PAUT is a challenging effort initially, but can have a very positive impact on your first TAR and become a routine inspection for future TARs. When fully implemented, radiation safety boundaries can be reduced significantly or...

November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam reformers are critical assets for the successful operation of hydrogen, ammonia, and methanol plants. The steam reformer is also one of the most expensive assets in these facilities. Catalyst tubes inside the reformer are one of the most...

Authors: Kelsey Hevner
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The role of an API inspector is rapidly changing. Necessary skills for success have transformed as technology, standardization, and regulations have become part of the way of life.

July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the more common inspection monitoring programs for pressure vessels is to perform thickness measurement at Corrosion Monitoring Locations (CMLs) to allow monitoring of minimum thicknesses and provide estimates for corrosion rates. These...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

One difficulty new company inspectors typically have is becoming comfortable in their new role. This is due to the fact that they have received little guidance about where they fit in with the "team." Where are they on the organization chart?

July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

In this issue of Inspectioneering Journal, I detail a roadmap for inspection activities during turnaround executions. This roadmap includes the critical elements of turnaround inspections, the keys to optimizing inspection activities, and the...

Authors: Scott Corey
May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

As an RBI consultant, I frequently get involved in discussions spawned from a misunderstanding of the relation between Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approaches and Fitness for Service (FFS) assessments. Questions like: If thickness is below the...

Authors: Luciano Narcisi
May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The following interview with Rich Roberts provides answers to some of the questions our readers have about small, specially designed pigs carrying NDE technologies that can inspect nearly every area of a tube from the coils interior surface.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
May/June 2014 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).

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The rules and regulations applying to U.S states, cities and Canadian provinces and territories concerning piping, pressure vessel and storage tank inspection can be described as "a coat of many colors," and are meant to represent continuous...

Authors: Phil Smith
March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Joint integrity programs (JIP) should be an integral part of every refinery, petrochemical, production, or other industrial-complex facility operations.

Authors: Neil Ferguson
March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

High temperature sulfidation is probably the most well- known corrosion mechanism in the oil refining industry because it occurs in large sections of the refinery.

March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

New inline inspections and integrity management systems allow operators to understand the complexities and economics of terminals’ and station’s complex aging pipeline infrastructure.

March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Periodically, oil refinery and petrochemical plant operating companies conduct complex turnarounds for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to, scheduled maintenance, facility upgrades, and code compliance. In this series of articles...

Authors: Scott Corey
Blog

Occasionally, we like to provide recaps of articles written by our authors on a specific subject related to asset integrity management. This week, we're highlighting four of our most popular articles written about storage tank inspection.

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
Blog

In many ways, fertilizer plants are no different than most process industry plants including refineries and petrochemical facilities. Information in documents like API 510, 570, 653 and RPs 580, 581, 571, 577, 579, etc. is essential.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

UAS (Unmanned Arial System) drone technology has numerous applications, including anything at elevated heights or where human access and/or occupancy are prohibited, or in the case of confined spaces, limited.

Authors: Jason C. Shankle
January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Technicians inspecting oil & gas installations and petrochemical plants employ a wide variety of nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques. A new technology has recently been developed that utilizes a real-time portable imaging device which has...

Blog

One of Inspectioneering's editorial themes this month is High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA). It is a highly contentious issue that the industry is still struggling to fully understand.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
Blog

In 2013 Inspectioneering published content covering a wide array of topics, from risk-based inspection, to advanced nondestructive testing methods, to pipeline integrity management systems. Last year, we published more content than any year prior;...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Over recent years large strides have been made in application, development, and utilization of Digital Detector Arrays (DDAs) in field radiography environments (an application previously limited to film and computed radiography [CR] techniques).

September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Composite repair systems can be a great option for owner/ operators to extend the life of their assets without disrupting operations.

Authors: Matthew Green
September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Maintaining the mechanical integrity of above ground storage tanks (AST’s) is the focal point of tank inspection programs. Performing internal inspections is an integral part of a tank integrity program, however, deciding when to take a tank out...

Authors: Sam Ternowchek
September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is the fifth of a series of articles that will focus on one critical sub process within a PEIP that is key in managing the integrity of process piping; Thickness Monitoring Programs for Internal Corrosion.

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
Blog

This post concludes the Top 7 reasons why some operating sites "just don’t get it." Reference the previous post for here and here. And for examples of all of the management systems for a sustainable PEI program of excellence, read my article, "The...

Authors: John Reynolds
Blog

Continuing from last week’s blog, I want to go in depth into scalable accuracy for fixed equipment lifecycle management. In this post, I want to outline the scalable accuracy approach to fixed equipment lifecycle management.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

At PinnacleAIS, we often get requests for a Senior API Inspector. But what does that mean exactly? What qualifications are required? Is there a test or a certification that provides the end user with assurance they are getting a higher caliber...

Blog

I will emphasize the systems, work processes and procedures for identifying and controlling the rate and types of deterioration in pressure equipment. These are not in any particular order, as they are meant to operate interdependently.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Non-contact ultrasonic testing with EMAT was formally introduced in part one of this series found in the March/April issue of Inspectioneering Journal. Readers were introduced to the practical advantages of EMAT Ultrasonic Testing.

Authors: Borja Lopez
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection and fitness-for-service assessments of critical in-plant piping systems are a concern for the chemical industry. This presents a potentially insurmountable task and discovery of a number of areas where the condition is at risk.

Authors: James R. Widrig
July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Remote metallography, in-place metallography, in-situ metallography, and field replication are all examples of typical trade names of this great tool used for assessing the condition of a metal component.

Authors: Oscar Quintero
Blog

This post is the last in a series about Risk Basked Inspection (though, of course, this will not be the last time I discuss RBI). The earlier posts were on reasons for RBI, defining risk, and on managing risk. In this post, I want to talk about...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
Blog

Anyone who knows me knows that Risk Based Inspection (RBI), and Risk Management, are a passion of mine, so my next few posts will feature these topics. These are not all-inclusive, but Inspectioneering.com has dozens of articles and you can...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Refineries and chemical plants own and operate numerous process heaters (e.g. gas reformers, CCRs, etc.) as part of the standard assets throughout the facilities. Many heater coil configuration designs are flanged at both ends; however, there are...

May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants. Failures are still commonly reported and contribute to large losses. In the author’s experience, piping represents the highest percentage of fixed equipment...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Predicting the remaining life of components operating in the creep regime is one of the trickiest problems encountered in the fitness-for-service (FFS) world.

Authors: Greg Garic
Blog

This is a question with which I frequently like to start the API RBI 580/581 training course when I am instructing. It is meant to provoke the attendees to really think hard about why they order an inspection or really think about inspection...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Sulfidic corrosion of piping and equipment within the refining industry continues to be a significant cause of leaks and issues that can lead to early replacements, unplanned outages, and incidents potentially resulting in loss of property and...

March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

For crude oil refiners and traders, information is the lifeblood of their operations and business decisions. The information obtained by crude oil assays, which includes physical properties and compositional analysis of a crude oil, provides...

March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam reformers are critical assets to many refining and chemical manufacturing plants and facilities, and it is well known that the reformer is one of the most challenging assets to maintain and operate. Common problems in reformer operations...

March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the first in a series of three articles that will introduce Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer (EMAT) and its practical applications in the field of nondestructive testing (NDT). EMAT, or Electro Magnetic Acoustic Transducer, is an...

Authors: Borja Lopez
January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is the third of a series of articles that will focus on one critical sub process within a PEIP that is key in managing the integrity of process piping: thickness monitoring programs for internal corrosion. These articles will discuss...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Various fired heater designs in refineries and chemical plants contain common headers (e.g. Arbor coil configurations, CCRs, etc.) as part of their overall serpentine coil design. Accessing the interior of individual coils through the common header...

November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

A unique technique for inspecting and cleaning the floors of an Above Ground Storage Tank (AST) emerged in the late 90’s based on In-Service Robotic Technology. The technology has come a long way since then, with new inspection and tank cleaning...

Authors: Gary Penney
September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

The refining industry has applied ultrasonic-based intelligent pigging to inspect serpentine coils in fired heaters since the 1990s. Today, thousands of serpentine coils in fired heaters are inspected annually at process facilities around the globe.

September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

On August 6, 2012, a piping failure occurred in the #4 Crude Unit at the Chevron U.S.A. Inc. refinery in Richmond, CA. Chevron U.S.A. would like to share some potentially significant preliminary information regarding the incident.

July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

The question of how to set risk targets is a logical one and should be addressed prior to or in the very early stages of RBI implementation. This article will guide readers through the basic elements required to address this question within an...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

A self-propelled in-line inspection tool tested at Electric Power Research Institute and utilized in Europe can traverse a complex piping configuration and discriminate areas of metal loss. This tool is becoming available to inspect traditionally...

Authors: Clay Goudy
March/April 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

The new capabilities being developed through the Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Modeling and Simulation Center are expect- ed to reduce the time, cost and complexity of approaches used to develop and demonstrate NDE techniques to meet regulatory...

November/December 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

The original article on scalable accuracy which laid the groundwork for the concept was published in the March April 2011 issue of the Inspectioneering Journal, entitled Scalable Accuracy, Key Roles of Risk Based Inspection and Fitness for Service,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Leaks or spills over the life of nuclear power plant operation can lead to undesirable consequences. The nuclear industry’s GroundwaterProtectionInitiativeandthelessonslearnedand experiences gained from implementing groundwater protection...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Deterioration of concrete structures has plagued petrochemical production facilities. As a result of sulfur compound exposure, concrete corrodes and weakens continuously over time. The proper operation of the structure deteriorates with it until...

May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Putting off the initial inspection (i.e. baseline) of piping and vessels in a new process unit is both common and problematic. The tendency of owners is to rely on the nominal thickness because the actual original thickness was either not measured...

May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

As the technology of NDT systems improve, it is important to assure that the people and processes using this technology are adequately prepared in order to take full advantage of the enhancements of the system.

Authors: Joey Poret
May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

In the summer of 2005, as part of CIA Inspection's (CIAI) ongoing, in house, research efforts to improve inspection capabilities for coke drums, a development program was initiated to integrate ACFM (Alternating Current Field Measurement) inspection...

Authors: Rick Clark
November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

High Temperature Hydrogen Attack (HTHA) is a long known and still occurring degradation issue for fixed equipment construction materials in the hydrocarbon process industry where hydroprocess plants (hydrogen plus hydrocarbons) are in service....

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

Rapid industrial and technological growth throughout the world makes it necessary to develop new materials along with advanced Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) Methods to ensure their quality without premature failures. The complex modern system, where...

September/October 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

In the first article in this series entitled How to Put It All Together - Guide to Organizing a Successful PEI Program, (1) I provided an overview of the necessary Management Systems (MS) for a successful program to achieve excellence in pressure...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

CUI (Corrosion Under Insulation) has always been a challenge for plant operators, quality assurance/reliability engineers and equipment owners. It is hard to identify the problem until it has become an emergency situation, often leading to unit shut...

Authors: Santhosh Lukose
July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection intervals for equipment have in the past been defined in a prescriptive manner. However, industry is now embracing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach which in contrast prioritises inspections based on an assessment of the risk to...

January/February 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

For years refinery and chemical plant operators have utilized ultrasonic-based intelligent pig technology to inspect coils in convection and radiant sections of fired heaters. This proven technology provides accurate inspection data which allows...

November/December 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

Pipeline integrity management programs are largely driven by regulatory compliance and are typically budgeted years in advance. Operators of all sizes are looking for ways to reduce expenditures related to operational efficiency and safety in order...

Authors: Stefan Papenfuss
November/December 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

A recent well publicized Ohio fatality highlights the simple truth that the oil and gas industry can be a dangerous business. This has been recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA, which is charged with...

July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

We have been introduced to Infrared Thermography (IRT) since World War I and over the last decade the application of this technique has gained impetus. Today, the IRT application is widely used and accepted by many industries such as power...

Authors: Zaki Umar
July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

In the current economic environment, there is increasing pressure on petrochemical refineries and delivery systems to be more productive and to minimize unscheduled shutdowns due to leakage. Leakage can occur from either the piping itself or the...

Authors: Willis Perry
May/June 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

This article is Part 3 of a 3-Part series. The articles in this series provide a step-by-step example of utilization of API RP 581 and build off of each other. This article (Part 3) will cover the final risk analysis, inspection planning, provide a...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
March/April 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

History has taught us that we should trust, but verify! Verification of alloys to ensure they are composed of the correct alloying elements has been the realm of handheld x-ray fluorescence for the past four decades. Industries ranging from...

January/February 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

Ultrasonic thickness gages have progressed a long way since their early development in the 1960's. The first thickness gages were large and bulky although they used the same conventional longitudinal (compressional wave) techniques still in use...

Authors: Dan Carnevale
November/December 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

High energy piping (HEP) systems, main stream lines and hot reheat lines (typically low chrome molybdenum steels), are susceptible to creep damage can lead to leaks, and in extreme cases, catastrophic rupture. To ensure safe and reliable...

November/December 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

After pressure equipment (aka fixed or static equipment) is designed, fabricated, and constructed to new construction codes and standards (C/S), it is placed in-service, at which time the API In-service Inspection (ISI) C/S and ASME...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper covers most of the common (and some not so common) types of NDE methods for heat exchanger (HX) tubular in-service inspections. In addition to noting some of the various advantages and limitations with these methods, the paper covers heat...

May/June 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

The latest revision of this code (AB-506) is dated January 28, 2008. For many readers in the province of Alberta Canada these rules will impact you directly. Others may see effects or feel indirect effects as you jurisdictions may look to ABSA for...

January/February 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

Most common radiographic practices for circumferential weld testing are single wall and double wall techniques with certain variations in technique details. Different Codes deal with the number of exposures required and applicability of the...

November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Facilities are often content in compiling event data, entering thickness measurements, assigning a system description, tracking work requests and recommendations in their databases. These are certainly valuable data points but using your database...

Authors: Mark Vining
September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

In my travels around the world as one of the primary API RBI 580/581 training course instructors the question always comes up, “What risk threshold or tolerable risk should I be using?” and “If I do not have one, how can I implement RBI?”

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Interested in a review of liquid pipeline leak detection technology focused on monitoring and detection of small leaks?

July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

The integrity of pipelines is a natural concern for pipeline operators, and so the ability to detect corrosion, erosion and mechanical damage in pipes is therefore of significant interest. Traditional methods of detection, such as pigging and...

July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Degradation of materials with time during service is a common phenomenon for all engineering components. Hence periodic inspection is required to ensure structural integrity and availability for service. During in-service inspection (ISI), wall...

November/December 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
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
September/October 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

The July/August 2006 issue of the IJ contained Part 1 on the integrity of salvaged, remanfactured and repaired control valves. This second part includes recommendations for the straightforward and efficient identification, abatement, and ongoing...

Authors: Bob Baker
July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

The Shell Martinez Refinery has been in operation since 1915, and is located 30 miles northeast of San Francisco on about 1,000 acres of land. The refinery combines state-of-the-art facilities and equipment to convert approximately 165,000 barrels...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

The ultrasonic Time of Flight Diffraction (TOFD) technique was developed for the UK nuclear industry during the 1970s to provide a method for measuring the height of planar flaws. TOFD is now generally recognized as the most accurate ultrasonic...

July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

Radiography is the most widely used volumetric examination technique for non-destructive evaluation of components, as it offers the advantage of direct viewing of the flaw image, judging the type of flaw and provides a permanent record. Flaw...

Authors: Sanjoy Das, B.K. Shah
July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

This bulletin is part of a series of WRC Bulletins that contain the technical background and other information to evaluate damage mechanisms in various industries to facilitate the use of API 579. These bulletins, shown below, will be updated based...

March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

TWI's Members recently requested an evaluation of the instrumented indentation technique (IIT). IIT is claimed to be capable of determining tensile properties from a local indentation similar to a hardness test. TWI subsequently investigated the...

March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

Once the microwave inspection method was determined to be capable of providing reliable and meaningful inspection results for defects located on the exterior, interior, and interior surfaces of non-metallic components, potential industry...

January/February 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

Nearly ten years ago the magnetostrictive sensor (MsS) technology was reported in this journal (July/August 1996 Issue, Volume 2 Issue 4) as a method to detect corrosion in insulated piping. At that time, the MsS Technology consisted primarily of...

January/February 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

Several years ago, a need was identified to develop an improved nondestructive inspection method to volumetrically inspect dielectric materials. Specifically, an inspection method for detecting defects in rubber expansion joints was needed to assist...

November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Reliable "intelligent pig technology" is now readily available to the refining industry which can provide quick / comprehensive inspection to both "convection" and "radiant" sections in process furnace piping coils. Both tabular data formats along...

September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Exactly two years ago, an interview with John Nyholt appeared in the “IJ”. New ground will be covered in this interchange. We at the IJ thought it might be valuable to spend some time chatting about his background, challenges he has faced...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

The following is the final part of a 2-part series outlining the relationship between key operating parameters and corrosion that has been used to develop a set of guidelines to define an operating envelope.

July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

The "low hanging fruit" has been harvested in most places. Now comes the challenge of gathering the most bountiful harvest, that which is amongst the leaves and branches, without harming the tree. This will require practical expertise. This will...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Corrosion and fouling in HF Alkylation Units are closely linked to feed quality and operating conditions. This article outlines the relationship between key operating parameters and corrosion that has been used to develop a set of guidelines to...

March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

The title question is often asked and more often than not, impossible to answer. This paper follows on from a previous discussion (Inspectioneering Journal Volume 4 Issue 1 Jan/Feb 1998) relating to the difficulties arising whilst attempting to...

Authors: Mark Badrick
March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

In the early days (circa 1988-1991) of introducing the petroleum refining and chemical industries in the US, to the idea that RBI implementation could be valuable many fell into the trap of focusing on how much money could be saved, to the exclusion...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
January/February 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Storage tank owners can reap large financial benefits by shifting from a reactive tank repair strategy to a proactive inspection and maintenance program. In reaction to well publicized tank failures in the 80's and the development of API 653...

Authors: Dan Quinn
September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

The API Inspection Subcommittee has issued the second edition of their inspection benchmarking survey. We are encouraging as many sites, worldwide, to participate as possible, so that we have the most amount of data available for analysis and...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

A new recommended practice from the API is in the final stages of preparation before publications. It is API RP 577 on Welding Inspection and Metallurgy.

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

Many of the guyed flare stacks and wire rope or strand supported structures in use in U.S. and overseas refineries, pipelines and chemical plants were erected in the 1950's, 60's and 70's. Some were built even earlier. While many of the components...

Authors: David R. Hall
May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

There are many aspects to successful, effective and efficient implementation of RBI 1, such as; - Data collection - Operations data - Mechanical data - The role of inspection histories and inspection planning - How much data do I really need to...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

During the past two years, a new High Resolution Gamma Ray Detector Array System to detect and measure small corrosion pits in real-time in the inservice piping in process industries, has been in development. This High Resolution Gamma Ray...

March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

Many engineers are still performing their inspection and service activities and daily tasks using manual, paper-based forms. However, applying appropriate technology and providing simple-to-use automation tools can increase productivity, improve...

Authors: Eitan Shibi
January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

We have discussed most of the pre-turnaround planning details. We are ready for the next step. The cost for the Turnaround is normally the most important item right behind SAFETY. In many cases the salary, per diem and travel costs have been part of...

Authors: Kelley Jones
November/December 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

An effort is currently underway to create a new code for in-service inspection and maintenance of pressure equipment in the hydrocarbon process industry. The API Committee on Refinery Equipment (CRE) and the ASME Board on Pressure Technology Codes...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

If you enter a petrochemical facility to work everyday, you realize the security issues. It is very important to have this issue resolved before the inspectors begin to arrive. The first morning of the Turnaround there are usually several thousand...

Authors: Kelley Jones
March/April 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

We all agree that safety is the most important item on any Turnaround. It is also one of the most difficult items to sort out prior to the Turnaround. The fact that API Turnaround Inspectors travel all over the country increases the need to be...

Authors: Kelley Jones
November/December 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

The use of contractor inspectors for turnarounds has increased in recent years. Mergers with reductions in staff personnel for major oil and chemical companies have fueled this growth. Still, we hear "horror" stories about problems that occur during...

Authors: Kelley Jones
September/October 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 we covered: - Evolution of the emergence of advanced NDE - External and internal motivators to develop more effective inspection programs - Risk based approaches - Sources of industry reference materials - Setting the Course - Why...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering caught up with Dave Wang at the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Spring 2001 Refining meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. We spent some time, near the pool at a break between meetings, discussing Dave’s background, experiences...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

We've come a long way since my introduction to plant inspection processes in 1975 and certainly since the industrial revolution in the late 1800's. As I recall from history class it was the intent of the wealthy industrialist to make money, plain...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

The use of engineering critical assessment (ECA)of "fitness for service", for the evaluation of flaws and local wall thinning in pressure vessels is receiving a lot of attention in the petrochemical and utility industries. A rigorous methodology...

May/June 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

This is a summary about RBI application to plant utility boilers in a liquefied natural gas plant with a design life of 20 years, now 27 years old.

January/February 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes a new inspection technology for rapid, on-stream,quantitative examinations of piping under support areas. This portable production system has been in commercial operation in the major U.S. Gulf Coast refineries for the past...

September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 of this article we covered the importance of quality assurance of UT data, that is, understanding for each particular application, the accuracy required of the UT data, and new ways/graphical program to analyze and show the...

September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

This article continues to outline the 101 essential elements that need to be in place, and functioning well, to effectively and efficiently, preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (vessels, exchangers, furnaces,...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

The American Paper Institute Recovery Boiler Reference Manual Volume 1, October 1979, indicates that the two main goals of conducting ultrasonic thickness (UT) inspections are to determine (1) the current tube wall thickness and (2) the rate of...

May/June 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the first of a series of articles that outlines the 101 essential elements that need to be in place, and functioning well, to preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (vessels, exchangers, furnaces, boilers,...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam reformers are an integral part of ammonia, methanol, hydrogen, and gas process plants around the world. THey are one of the highest cost, both in capital and maintenance, pieces of equipment in the plant. Typically, reformers contain several...

September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

This is part three of a three part article for the IJ describing some of the advanced on-stream inspection (OSI) methods available for use in inspection of pressure equipment in the petroleum and petrochemical industry. These methods can be used,...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper describes the use of a UT fixture for detection of stress corrosion cracking in ferrous heat exchanger tube-to-tubesheet welds and external tube corrosion or pitting near the tubesheets including crevice OD corrosion.

Authors: Reggie Cross
July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

The new Sludge Profiler for Oil Tanks system (S.P.O.T.) solves the major problem of accurately quantifying the volume of sludge in oil storage tanks with floating roofs.

July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

This is part two of a three part article describing some of the advanced on-stream inspection (OSI) methods available for use in inspection of pressure equipment in the petroleum and petrochemical industry. These methods can be used, under the right...

July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Many digital ultrasonic thickness gauges have internal memory that allows the storage of thousands of thickness readings. Some instruments have "sequential" data loggers that store the thickness values in a numerical series. These data loggers are...

Authors: Art Leach
May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

This three-part article describes some of the advanced on-stream inspection (OSI) methods available for use in inspection of pressure equipment in the petroleum and petrochemical industry. These methods can be used, under the right circumstances, to...

May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Keeping critical equipment on-line can be a challenging task. Monitoring the wall thickness of equipment subjected to corrosive chemicals, temperature and operational changes is both a safety and manufacturing concern. Thus, on-line testing of...

Authors: Art Leach
May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed an innovative method for rapid screening of heat exchanger tubing using Guided Wave technology. This screening method can lead to an improvement in heat exchanger reliability and a reduction in the...

May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

EMATs (Electromagnetic Acoustic Transducers) have been used for over six years for field service inspection of in-service piping. Recent advances in technology have allowed us to inspect new types of on-stream piping.

Authors: Paul K. Davidson
March/April 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection data analysis tools, like risk-based inspection, help us to focus on quantitative reliability targets. When considering thinning mechanisms, there is a certain probability that a piece of equipment will reach retirement thickness before...

Authors: Mike Sparago
March/April 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Some Middle Eastern and European operators are now using AE successfully to screen tanks for internal inspection by listening for active tank bottom corrosion, and then grading the tank as high, medium or low need for internal inspection.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

One of the greatest challenges facing many of refining, fossil power, and pulp and paper industries is: How to effectively examine their insulated piping?

September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Faced with stricter OSHA regulations and increased competitiveness in the global market, process facilities have looked toward a technical solution, including man-less entry into vessels, pressure vessels, and tanks for their internal inspections.

July/August 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Visual inspection is the most common nondestructive testing method. For critical applications, machine vision technology provides advantages over visual inspection.

July/August 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

The debate about advantages and drawbacks of the application of the TOFD (time of flight diffraction) approach for ultrasonic weld inspection should not forget the original reasons for its introduction in the 1960s. The major advantage at that time...

Authors: H. Wuestenberg
May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Part 1 included a review of current tube inspection practices in convection and radiant sections of heaters/furnaces in the refining and chemical industries. The authors also presented a new inspection device combining laser image mapping of the...

May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

New inspection technology, when added to the proven practice of using tell tale holes (TTHs), proves effective in reducing significant releases and or catastrophic events that are related to internal corrosion / erosion of process piping. In fact,...

Authors: Mike Badeen
May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

During the past year, WIS has presented a number of papers about EMATs. The type of discussions that have followed the presentations has surprised us. The overall view of industry to EMATs has been: "Aren't EMATs still just a good lab tool? There...

Authors: Paul K. Davidson
May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the report on this catastrophic failure that involved two storage tanks in a Pennsylvania refinery. The report issued March 20, 1998, stated that while both tanks had roof replacements since their...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

In Part 1 of my article that appeared in the previous edition of the IJ, I focused on several issues that are vital to the successful application of any inspection information management system. In Part 2 of my article, I will concentrate on several...

Authors: Mark Bell
March/April 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Furnace tubes in the petrochemical and refining industries lengths' can exceed 2,000 ft., often with multiple serpentine bends. This can make them extremely difficult to inspect using conventional NDE methods. The following inspection tool (FTIS)...

January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection record systems, used to be just that, a place to "record" data. Our industry has spent many millions of dollars collection data to put into our "record" systems. The problem was trying to manage and utilize the millions of pieces of...

Authors: Mark Bell
January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

The use of Infrared Thermal Imagers, particularly for temperature measurement within an operating furnace environment, is reliant on the accurate evaluation of specific parameters, which the pyrometer requires in order to produce true temperature...

Authors: Mark Badrick
January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

TODF (time-of-flight-diffraction) is proposed as an option to Pulse-echo methods by some practitioners. It suffers from shortcomings that can limit its effectiveness.

Authors: Ed Ginzel
November/December 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

Radiographic film provides an inexpensive method of ensuring the quality and structural integrity of construction over time. Much of today's analysis being performed with Non Destructive Test (NDT) radiographic film is done visually using light...

Authors: Dave Palmbach
September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This task though tedious and exasperating is a key part of the operation. Plant personnel often find ingenious uses and filing systems for key data such as UW 1 forms. The more remote the plant site is, the more extraordinary the hiding places. In...

September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the fourth in a series of articles on piping inspection that I'm writing for the Journal. One of the previous ones dealt with improving thickness data taking accuracy with digital ultrasonic methods. This article is a "sister article" that...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

This is the second in a series of articles on piping inspection. In the last article, I enumerated four inspection issues that I believe contribute to inadequate piping mechanical integrity in the hydrocarbon process industry.

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

It's probably more important to those of us who don't have a brain tumor. Unfortunately, it's precisely because piping inspection is not neurosurgery that it's often done poorly, which can lead to significant impacts on process unit reliability, or...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

Corrosion under insulation (CUI) is a real threat to the onstream reliability of many of today's plants. This type of corrosion can cause failures in areas that are not normally of a primary concern to an inspection program. The failures are often...

Authors: Michael Twomey
July/August 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

All FRP tanks should be fabricated to a national standard as a basic requirement. Additional requirements may be appropriate and should be agreed to by the purchaser and fabricator. Very acceptable basic standards are...

Authors: John E. Niesse
May/June 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

In today's environmental and legal climate, industry is looking for guaranteed high reliability of vessel quality for most chemical fluids. Failures are more costly than in the past due to: 1. environmental laws and requirements 2. emphasis on...

Authors: John E. Niesse
March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

Are your jurisdictional boiler and/or pressure vessel rules and regulations too stringent, too costly, too bureaucratic, without adding real safety value commensurate with the time and resources necessary for compliance? Are you having to hire...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

This case study is an example of an incident that started with a routine API 653 inspection and resulted in a very difficult repair to a tank bottom contaminated with hydrocarbons on the underside. This case highlights the potential risks with...

Authors: P.E. Myers
March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

Since the publication of API Standard 653, Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration and Reconstruction in early 1991 it has gained wide acceptance within the petroleum and chemical industries. In addition, six states (Alaska, Arkansas, Florida,...

January/February 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

There are a lot of vital roles in the success of any refinery or petrochemical process plant. But none are more important to success than that filled by the pressure equipment inspector (PEI). Years back, we recognized that world class pressure...

Authors: John Reynolds
November/December 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

In the aging portion of an asset's life, the failure rate is exponential. This creates a need for predictive maintenance expenditures to maintain reliability.

Authors: David A. Mauney
September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

In May 1995, Omega International Technology, Inc., began testing a new system to measure pipe wall thicknesses using digital radiography (RT) scanning. This new system has the potential for being faster, less labor intensive, and shown improved...

September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

If it's glass-lined, chances are the environment is very corrosive to most metallics. In general, once the glass lining is breached, through-wall corrosion doesn't take very long. An effective maintenance, operation and inspection program will go...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

With miles of piping and tons of equipment to consider for on-stream inspection or monitoring you probably have:

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Late in 1994, the API surveyed their committee on refining equipment members in order to provide benchmarking information on the extent of Pressure Equipment Inspection (PEI) activities and programs underway at member companies.

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Delayed coker vessels experience severe loading sequences as they are routinely filled with hot liquid product (approx. 9000 F) and quenched to ambient temperature in a relatively short time period. The industry trend is to shorten the operating...

Authors: Rick Clark
May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Exposure of carbon steel equipment to wet H2S service environments can lead to various forms of attack, e.g. hydrogen blistering and hydrogen induced cracking (HIC), stress oriented hydrogen induced cracking (SOHIC) and sulfide stress cracking...

May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Never have I known or read of anyone, who sought out wisdom, to regret it, nor to help but benefit from it. Wouldn't you agree, wisdom recognizes, holds onto, operates out of and values timeless, tried and true principles that can be, and should...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

High energy piping (HEP) systems, main steam lines and hot reheat lines (typically low chrome molydbdenum steels), are susceptible to creep damage. Such damage can lead to leaks, and in extreme cases, catastrophic failure.

March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

Most inspection companies, including those who dabble in engineering, today, go about things in much the same way as they have in the last five to ten years. Some offer routine services at bargain-basement prices. Others provide high tech services...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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          Using this interactive corrosion rate form, you can automatically calculate the short- and long-term corrosion rates, remaining life, next inspection, and retirement dates for your piping circuits.

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          This helpful guide is designed to help you understand the benefits that CCDs and IOWs can bring to your mechanical integrity program. It also provides a 9-step process for the successful implementation of CCDs and IOWs at a facility.

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          This eBook offers practical guidance for, and real examples of, in-service degradation attributed to corrosion under insulation. It provides a detailed discussion on CUI detection, characterization and evaluation, and mitigation or remediation.

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          This helpful guide provides an outline of current jurisdictional regulations (as of July 2021) in the United States for the use of RBI as a means of determining the next inspection date for initial and subsequent internal inspection of storage tanks.

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          This eBook offers practical guidance for, and real examples of, in-service degradation attributed to thermal fatigue. It provides a detailed discussion on thermal fatigue detection, characterization and evaluation, and mitigation or remediation.

          Sponsored Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report on Risk Based Inspection serves as a primer to increase your familiarity with the principles of RBI, RBI implementation, and maintaining an RBI program.

          Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report provides an introduction to Conventional NDE and its applications across industries and equipment lifecycles.

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          This checklist serves as a companion piece to the Inspectioneering webinar, CUI: A Proactive Approach, and contains some elements to consider when looking for data gaps in your CUI program.

          Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report on Ultrasonic Testing provides an introduction to the NDE method as well as further information on the various ultrasonic testing methods and industry applications.

          Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report on Radiographic Testing provides an introduction to the NDE technique, as well as further information on the various types of radiography and industry applications.

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          The IR Thermometry Field Data Collection Checklist serves as a companion piece to the Inspectioneering webinar, Debunking the Myths Behind Infrared Inspection, and contains a list of procedures and steps to consider when using IR thermometry to...

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          The Mechanical Integrity Audit Checklist serves as a companion piece to the Inspectioneering webinar, Auditing My Mechanical Integrity Program, presented by Mr. Reuben Laurel.

          Asset Intelligence Report

          This Asset Intelligence Report on Sulfidation Corrosion serves as a primer to increase your familiarity with one of the most well-known corrosion mechanisms in the oil refining industry.

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          This Asset Intelligence Report on Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT) serves as a primer to increase your familiarity with this well-established nondestructive evaluation technique.

          eBook

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