Last update: March 30, 2015

The act of determining the physical condition of a piece of equipment. Inspection can be achieved visually or through the use of advanced instrumentation, or both.

Inspections ensure the mechanical integrity and reliability of equipment for its intended service.

Special thanks to the following contributors:

Mohammed Aboul Gheit, KNPC, MAA

Recommend changes or revisions to this definition.


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The Benefits of Laser-Based Inspection
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Connie LaMorte at EWI, and Jon Jennings at EWI

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 their specifications. This non-contact method can help catch an unacceptable condition before it becomes too late to remedy the weld.

Testing and Inspection Methods to Improve the Life Cycle of Refractory
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeremy Wimberly at Sentinel Integrity Solutions

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 has been in the past. Today, operators know that to ensure at least five to six year run times on processing units, production baffle testing and material prequalification and inspection processes and results are absolutely critical.

Achieve Comprehensive Reliability by Combining RBI and RCM
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Walt Sanford at PinnacleART

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.

Unmanned Aerial Systems and the Regulatory Landscape
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Nick Harwood at Aetos Group, and Aaron Cook at Aetos Group

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 (sUAS). These systems can be a modified hobby aircraft or highly reliable, military grade aerial robots.

Assess Your Mechanical Integrity Program with Material Testing and Inspection
Partner Content

Material testing can be applied at any stage of the production process, but the emphasis should always be to reduce risk as early as possible. Coupled with robust inspection procedures...

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Matt Midas at GenesisSolutions

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 previously unreachable levels of efficiency, data quality, and meaningful reports.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

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 determine remaining life or the need for intervention via re-tubing or replacement of these thin wall components.

Taking Inspection and Maintenance to New Heights with Rope Access
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Andy Kates at Versa Integrity Group

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 safe and cost effective industrial tool.

April 20, 2015

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.

Rating Pressure Vessels with Poorly Kept Records
March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Paolo Torrado at Engineering and Inspection Services, LLC.

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 service, or rerate equipment due to debottlenecking of process units.

March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Ana Benz at IRISNDT, Bradley Baudier at Marathon Petroleum Company LP, and Michael O. Nichols at Marathon Petroleum Company

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 (such as Cr, Ni, and Cu among others) entrained within their carbon steel components.

UAV/Drone Inspection in the U.S. - Something You Should Take Seriously
March 23, 2015

We thought it would be helpful for our readers to know more about this revolutionary technology; so we reached out to Aetos Group, a company that specializes in UAV and other forms of robotic inspection, to get the scoop on the technology.

A New Generation of Predictive NDE Sensor Technologies
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Angelique N. Lasseigne at G2MT, Joshua E. Jackson at G2MT, and Robert Schaffler at G2MT LLC

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.

Join Inspectioneering at the 2015 API Inspection Summit
January 26, 2015

If you plan on attending, feel free to stop by the Inspectioneering table in the main registration area to say hello. All attendees will have an opportunity to sign up for a free 1 year subscription and enter to win some great prizes, including a Yeti Tundra 65 qt Cooler, Streamlight ProTac LED Flashlight, Havalon Piranta Knife, and much more!

Are drones illegal to use for inspections?
Partner Content

The FAA currently prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for any commercial purpose, which includes refinery and other plant inspections. However, through the Section 333 Exemption, the FAA has approved the operations of a select number of companies meeting strict criteria, including that the drone pilot also hold at least an FAA private pilot’s license. Companies holding a Section 333 Exemption include…

Dual Mode Pulse Reflectometry – A New Approach to  Heat Exchanger Tube Inspection
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Dr. Noam Amir at AcousticEye

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 degrading the performance of the unit and causing its eventual failure.

Save Time and Cost for Turnarounds Using Phased Array Technology
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Terry M. Webb at BP, and Rajesh Bose at BP

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 eliminated altogether.