Inspectioneering
Overview of Inspection

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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Maintenance Mechanical Integrity (MI)
Articles about Inspection
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  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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    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.

  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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  • September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
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  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Melissa Ramkissoon at Petrotrin

    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 ASTs in crude oil service and recommend strategies to prevent and/or mitigate such failures.

  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Joe Frey, PE at Stress Engineering, Inc., Lange Kimball at Stress Engineering Services, and Britt Bettell at Stress Engineering Services

    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 program can give the plant engineer the knowledge he needs to make sound operational and maintenance decisions.

  • July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Rikki Smith at Oilfield Jobs

    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 stringent hiring requirements than just knowing the right person.

  • Partner Content

    Turnarounds are costly in terms of lost production. In many respects a turnaround can be even more complicated than the initial construction of the facility, so a carefully designed plan will reduce overall costs. After execution, safety reviews, Corrosion Monitoring Program updates, MOC documentation, and PHA Revalidations are a must.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Amanda Nurse at BP, and Josh Havekost at BP

    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 Program (CSMP) at the BP Whiting Refinery was developed in 2004. Since the program’s inception, millions of dollars have been spent in the yearly execution of refinery structural repairs.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Ian D. Smith, P.Eng. at Quest Integrity Group, and Michael McGee at Quest Integrity Group

    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 nearly any pipeline territory.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Barbara Lasseigne at Envoc

    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 time, reduce cost, and improve safety over traditional methods.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Rhett Dotson, P.E. at Stress Engineering Services

    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. However, many operators typically set stricter limits on dent depth targeting those above a depth of 2% for evaluation.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David A. Hunter at Neptune Research, Inc.

    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. One critical aspect of these repair systems is how to inspect and validate them for fitness for service. This article covers the testing completed for fiberglass and carbon fiber composite repair systems with specialty epoxy for full inspection capabilities.

  • Partner Content

    AET is a powerful, non-intrusive inspection technique to verify the structural integrity of pressure vessels, spheres, high-temperature reactors and piping, coke drums, above-ground storage tanks, cryogenic storage tanks, and more.

  • May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Vibha Zaman, P.E. at Asset Optimization Consultants, and Peter Dsouza at LyondellBasell

    Direct assessment is often seen as the best option to verify pipeline integrity. But, it's particularly challenging due to the difficulty of pipeline access, as well as the limitations in available technology to perform subsea wall thickness inspections. Addressing these challenges requires action rather than reaction.

  • Blog
    June 8, 2015 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 of the inspection efforts at each operating site, as well sending the message that FEMI is just as important as other plant priorities. Of course, in order to get to that point, inspection scheduling, data quality, data analysis, and...

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Partner Content

    AIM systems should ensure that the your facility’s MI software is accurately performing the calculations needed to calculate minimum thickness, long/short term corrosion rates and remaining life used to predict future inspection intervals. They should evaluate your MI software’s basic design and corrosion monitoring variables.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Blog
    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.

  • Partner Content

    How long does it take for you to receive reports after an inspection has been completed? A week? A month? Does the data come from multiple sources with no way of knowing if it has been manipulated? Traditional inspection contractors do not have the ability to provide reliable and real-time data once an inspection is complete. The only way to ensure accurate, reliable data is with technology.

  • 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, Michael O. Nichols at Marathon Petroleum Company, and Bradley Baudier at Marathon Petroleum Company LP

    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.

  • Blog
    March 23, 2015 By Tyler Alvarado at Inspectioneering

    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 in the business prefer using UAV)

  • January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Robert Schaffler at G2MT LLC, Angelique N. Lasseigne at G2MT, and Joshua E. Jackson at G2MT

    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
    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.

  • Partner Content

    LOTIS utilizes laser profilometry to conduct internal steam reformer tube inspections. The data captured by LOTIS is exceptionally powerful when combined with our LifeQuest™ remaining life assessment capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the process and syngas industries.

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Scott Corey at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc.

    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 was completed in conjunction with the applicable codes, and sometimes that it was completed in conjunction with the client’s own in-house specifications.

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Rajesh Bose at BP, and Terry M. Webb 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.

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelsey Hevner at Quest Integrity Group

    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 important and costly components.

  • November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Pro-Surve Technical Services, Josh Yoakam at Holly Refining and Marketing - Tulsa, LLC, and Jeannie Beth Richey at Sasol North America, Inc.

    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
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    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 minimum thicknesses and corrosion rates are critical in supporting risk based inspection techniques or in setting half-life prescriptive re-inspection intervals.

  • Partner Content

    It is difficult to cover all inspection applications with basic inspection procedures like radiography, ultrasonics, magnetic particle testing, and dye penetrant inspection. Owner-operators are finding that advanced NDE services such as guided-wave ultrasonics, AUT corrosion mapping, and eddy current testing are essential tools to keep their facilities operating safely and efficiently.

  • July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Pro-Surve Technical Services, David Jordan at CVR Energy, and Grady Hatton at Versa Integrity Group

    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
    By Scott Corey at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc.

    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 emerging challenges and solutions during these projects.

  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Luciano Narcisi at GIE

    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 minimum required by design, why does the risk stay so low?

  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    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.

  • May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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).

  • Partner Content

    Facilities are facing increasing challenges, including justifying inflated budgets, managing contractor hours, ensuring regulatory compliance and qualifying the work being completed. To help facilities manage evolving inspection requirements, PinnacleART offers Fixed-Price Inspection (FPI), meaning we will develop and execute a comprehensive Risk-Based Inspection plan for one fixed-price. Yes, you read that right – one fixed-price.

  • March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Phil Smith at Chevron

    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 improvement over time. This table provides some information that will hopefully be useful to you regarding the level of acceptance of API 510 by the state, city, province and territorial authorities.

  • March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Neil Ferguson at Hydratight

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

  • March/April 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Gerrit M. Buchheim, P.E. at Becht Engineering Co., Inc., Marc McConnell, P.E. at Pro-Surve Technical Services, and Josh Yoakam at Holly Refining and Marketing - Tulsa, LLC

    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
    By Ron Maurier at Quest Integrity Group, LLC, and Dan Revelle, Sr. at Quest Integrity Group, LLC

    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
    By Scott Corey at Sentinel Integrity Solutions Inc.

    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 published in Inspectioneering Journal, I will begin by detailing a roadmap for pre-turnaround inspection planning activities.

  • Partner Content

    PinnacleART’s engineers and inspectors can help your facility define, prioritize and mitigate risks within your facility. Let our team build, implement and maintain a comprehensive mechanical integrity and RBI program for your pressure vessels, heat exchangers, towers, storage tanks, piping, pump casings, pressure relief valves, critical check valves and more.

  • Blog
    March 31, 2014 By Nick Schmoyer at Inspectioneering

    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.

  • Blog
    March 3, 2014 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    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.

  • January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jason C. Shankle at United Dynamics Corporation

    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.

  • January/February 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Lasser at Imperium, Inc., and Daniel Oehl at Imperium, Inc.

    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 distinct advantages in finding internal corrosion.

  • Blog
    January 13, 2014 By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

    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.

  • Partner Content

    If you are developing a mechanical integrity program, or you would like to optimize your existing mechanical integrity program, do you have qualified MI consultants to meet your regulatory needs? If you already have a sound, defensible MI inspection system in place, do you have qualified and experienced personnel maintaining your program?

  • Blog
    January 6, 2014 By Nick Schmoyer at Inspectioneering

    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; we expect the same trend to continue into 2014.

  • November/December 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard Mills at GE, John T. Iman at GE Oil and Gas Measurement & Controls-Inspection Technology, and Martin Sauerschnig at GE Oil and Gas Measurement and Control

    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
    By Matthew Green at Neptune Research, Inc.

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

  • September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sam Ternowchek at Mistras Group

    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 of service to perform an internal inspection is not an easy determination to make.

  • September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    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.

  • Partner Content

    Industrial Rope Access is a proven method of achieving a safe work position at elevated heights or areas that are difficult to access. When combined with advanced NDE technologies, rope access technicians can substantially reduce the cost of inspections and maintenance activities by virtually eliminating the need for fixed scaffolding.

  • Blog
    September 30, 2013 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 101 Essential Elements of Pressure Equipment Integrity Management for the Hydrocarbon Process Industry"

  • Blog
    August 19, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    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.

  • Blog
    August 5, 2013 By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Pro-Surve Technical Services

    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 inspector or inspection service? Often there are different ideas of what comprises a "Senior" Inspector.

  • Blog
    July 1, 2013 By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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.

  • July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

    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.

  • Partner Content

    InVista is a lightweight, hand-held ultrasonic in-line inspection tool (intelligent pig) capable of detecting pipeline wall loss and corrosion in unpiggable or difficult-to-inspect pipelines. The pipeline geometry inspection data captured by the InVista tool is exceptionally powerful when combined with the LifeQuest™ Pipeline fitness-for-service capabilities, providing an integrated solution set for the pipeline industry.

  • July/August 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By James Widrig at Quest Integrity Group

    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.

  • Blog
    June 10, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    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 uncertainty, risk thresholds, and damage factor targets.

  • Blog
    May 20, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    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 join our LinkedIn Group for more.

  • May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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 also coil designs which contain common headers, linking the individual coil passes together at the inlet, outlet, or even at both ends in some cases.

  • May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    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 failures in petroleum refining.

  • Partner Content

    It’s a scary thought to think that with all the new advancements in technology, some facilities still rely on traditional inspection contractors that perform out of date procedures. You rely on technology to keep your home and identity safe, so why run the risk of hiring inspection contractors without technological solutions to provide the vital information needed to keep your facility safe.

  • May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Garic at Stress Engineering Services, Inc.

    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.

  • Blog
    March 3, 2013 By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    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 strategies.

  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Morgan at Thermo Fisher Scientific, and William Fotoples at Thermo Fisher Scientific

    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 injury to workers.

  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Thomas Phan at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate, and Mike Bartholmey at Bureau Veritas Inspectorate

    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 in-depth insight and serves as an important decision-making tool.

  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Thomas Fortinberry at Quest Integrity Group, and James Widrig at Quest Integrity Group

    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 include burner firing, flue gas distribution, and catalyst damage.

  • Partner Content

    Auto-refrigeration can impose low temperatures onto process vessels and piping causing them to be at risk of brittle fracture, the sudden break-before leak phenomena that can result in catastrophic rupture of the equipment.

  • March/April 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Borja Lopez at Innerspec Technologies, Inc.

    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 Ultrasonic Testing (UT) technique that generates the sound in the part inspected instead of the transducer.

  • January/February 2013 Inspectioneering Journal
    By A.C. Gysbers at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc.

    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 what constitutes an effective piping thickness monitoring process and will present several practices that may be new to some readers, but these practices have produced beneficial results in other major piping reliability programs.

  • November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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 is challenging; however, advanced engineering firms and mechanical decoking companies have developed unique common header snorkel delivery systems.

  • November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Gary Penney at ADMA

    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 capabilities, greater operational efficiency, and a much broader user base.

  • September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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.

  • Partner Content

    The Vanta handheld XRF is Olympus’ first full spectrum PMI analyzer that is IP65 rated and drop tested. The analyzer provides accurate, repeatable material chemistry and alloy grade matching in as little as 1–2 seconds. Operation is simple with an intuitive touch screen and swipe interface. Optional Wi-Fi, with the Olympus Scientific Cloud, provides seamless connectivity for efficient data and fleet management.

  • 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
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 organization, as all companies do not have the same risk philosophy and can adapt these elements to fit their own.

  • May/June 2012 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Clay Goudy at GE Industrial Solutions

    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 unpiggable piping such as: buried piping at nuclear plants, oil and gas terminals, refineries, industrial sites, cased pipeline crossings and distribution pipelines.

  • 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 requirements and industry commitments.

  • November/December 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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, Equipment Life-Cycle Management Process. This article is reprinted immediately following this article for ease of reference. The two examples touched upon in the original article were the fitness for service approach as represented by the joint API ASME standard, API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness for Service Standard and the API Recommended Practice 581, representing the specific API RBI technology.

  • September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 programs have led to the development of another voluntary industry initiative, the Underground Piping and Tank Integrity Initiative, which aims to better understand the conditions of and mitigate leaks from these components.

  • September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Pieter VanderWerf at Building Works

    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 management undertakes repair or replacement of the affected sections. While the concrete degrades, productivity can be lost and product quality can suffer. The repairs undertaken can be costly. The production downtime during repairs can cost even more.

  • May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul F. Schubert, Ph.D. at SGS North America Industrial Services, and Travis Keener, P.E. at SGS North America Industrial Services

    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 or not recorded for calculating corrosion rates after the first wave of thickness readings are taken with the equipment having been in service for some period of time.

  • May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Joey Poret at Chevron

    The reliability of equipment is determined by several factors including equipment condition, service history, failure modes, and maintenance. A subsection of equipment reliability is the ability to detect defects before they contribute to the failure of the equipment. In many cases, Nondestructive Testing (NDT) methods are utilized to detect and monitor these defects both in-service and during fabrication.

  • May/June 2011 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Rick Clark at CIA Inspection Inc.

    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 technology with a proven laser and video inspection tool for coke drums.

  • November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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. Though HTHA failures in these units are the focus of this article, it is important to recognize that HTHA damage can also occur in high pressure boiler tubes, hydrogen producing units, synthetic gas units, ammonia plants and other equipment where hydrocarbons may not be involved but high temperatures are involved.

  • November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, B.K. Shah at BARC, and D. Mukherjee at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre

    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 materials are required to perform consistently with optimum efficiency, demands stringent quality control of engineered components.

  • September/October 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 equipment integrity (PEI). This is the fifth article in that series. Clearly, Risk Assessment and Inspection Planning have a major role in achieving excellence in Pressure Equipment Integrity and Reliability (PEI&R).

  • July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Santhosh Lukose at Metalcare Inspection Services Inc.

    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 downs or even the whole facility shut down for emergency repairs.

  • July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Craig Emslie BSc at Sonomatic Ltd., and Karen Gibson at Sonomatic Ltd.

    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 each individual item.

  • January/February 2010 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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 reliability engineers to make critical decisions about the operation and maintenance of fired heaters. Recent advances have increased the capabilities of these tools and extended these benefits to coker heaters containing 3" (76.2mm) nominal piping size and plug headers with radial inserts.

  • November/December 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Stefan Papenfuss at Quest Integrity Group

    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 to maintain optimal profitability while sustaining safety and compliance.

  • November/December 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Andrew Balcar at Bricker and Eckler LLP, Michael S. Holman at Bricker and Eckler LLP, Doug Shevelow at Bricker and Eckler LLP, and Matt Warnock at Bricker and Eckler LLP

    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 making sure that all workers perform their work in as safe an environment as possible. Historically sporadic enforcement of OSHA standards in the Ohio oil and gas industry may be coming to an end. This bulletin explains the information you need to know to be prepared for your company's next OSHA inspection.

  • July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By M.Z. Umar at Malaysian Nuclear Agency

    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 generation plants, oil & gas industries, manufacturing factories, medicine, agriculture and biology etc. The technique has been recognized as a reliable tool for technical diagnostics in particular to condition monitoring and predictive maintenance.

  • July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By WJ Perry at GE Inspection Technologies

    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 joints of the pipes. In a refinery there are several thousands of feet of piping and associated joints, as shown in the photograph presented in Figure 1. Petrochemical leaks don't only cost the companies money for the time and material to repair a leak, but also to remediate the areas affected and the institution of stricter controls. Because of this pressure, the involved companies are looking to replace the current monitoring scheme with a more effective and cost efficient risk based inspection (RBI) program.

  • 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 petrochemical, aerospace and fabrication (which are mission critical for the correct material), to contract testing services, metals recycling applications and many more have employed portable XRF for alloy verification for over 40 years.

  • January/February 2009 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dan Carnevale at Danatronics Corporation

    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 today. Thickness gages are used in a wide variety of industries including refineries, power plants, process control, oil and gas, transportation, automotive and manufacturing to name a few.

  • 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 operation as plants age, utilities periodically inspect critical components, conventional inspection methods for HEP systems are radiographic (RT), ultrasonic (UT), field metallography and replication, and magnetic particle (MT) testing.

  • November/December 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 Post-Construction C/S begin to govern. Within the API Standards Organization, the Subcommittee on Inspection (SCI) produces and maintains most of the ISI standards that govern in the refining and chemical process industry. Also within the API, the Corrosion and Materials Subcommittee (CMSC) produced many recommended practices that are referenced in the ISI C/S. Within the ASME, the Post Construction Committee (PCC) produces and maintains most of the post construction (means the same as ISI) standards that govern equipment after it has been placed in-service.

  • July/August 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek, and W. David Wang at Shell Global Solutions

    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 exchanger tubular inspection planning, data analysis needs, a consequence rating method for scheduling inspection and bundle renewals, tubular cleaning methods and tubular inspection technician qualifications.

  • 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 direction or strongly consider their actions for establishing other jurisdictions' rules.

  • January/February 2008 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, P.R. Vaidya at BARC, and B.K. Shah at BARC

    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 technique for different combinations of pipe diameter and wall thickness. However, there are certain geometries where these conventional radiography techniques are not applicable, mainly because the weld is superimposed on some structural material inside the tube or pipe.

  • November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Vining at Sunoco Inc.

    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 for performing just these tasks relegates a valuable resource to nothing more than a ledger of inspection events. The value of these systems becomes more apparent when they are utilized to show you where you should be inspecting.

  • September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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?”

  • 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
    By Paul Jackson at Plant Integrity Ltd., and Tat-Hean Gan at TWI Ltd.

    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 crawlers, have been used for many years to inspect pipelines with great success.

  • July/August 2007 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, P.R. Vaidya at BARC, and B.K. Shah at BARC

    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 thickness measurement of insulated and non-insulated pipe is a typical non-destructive evaluation technique in the oil & gas, chemical, petrochemical and nuclear industries. Ultrasonic testing is available for wall thickness measurement, but in some cases, it may not be the preferred technique. For ultrasonic testing, accuracy is dependent on the temperature of pipe, which may carry fluid at high temperature. Hence shutdown of the installation is required. Moreover for insulated pipe, insulation has to be removed before ultrasonic testing. The radiation technique is a complementary testing method which can be carried out without disturbing the installation. In this technique electromagnetic radiation passes through the object of inspection and is finally recorded in a recording medium. The recording medium is either an industrial X-ray film or a radiation detector. This paper is devoted to detection of pipe wall thinning by the radiation technique. Two different methods i.e. radiography and radiometry, are discussed with their relative merits and demerits.

  • September/October 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Baker at John H. Carter Co., Inc.

    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 organizational awareness of potentially non-compliant control valves. To set the scene for Part 2 for those that might not have seen Part 1 or don't remember it, the introduction portion of this article reiterates the essential elements from part 1.

  • July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 of crude oil a day into many products including automotive gasoline, jet fuel, diesel, petroleum coke, industrial fuel oils, liquefied petroleum gas, asphalt, sulfur, and lubricants. The Shell Martinez Refinery has grown into a sprawling yet efficient assemblage of sophisticated processing equipment; modern control rooms; environmental protection facilities; shipping and receiving terminals for marine, rail, and truck cargoes; maintenance shops; office buildings; quality assurance laboratories; storage tanks; and warehouses. In some ways it resembles a small city with its own utilities, medical facilities, and fire department.

  • July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Julian Speck at TWI Ltd., and Bryan Kenzie at TWI

    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 technique for measuring the height of embedded planar flaws (eg. Cracks, lack of fusion, etc.) that lies perpendicular to the surface.

  • July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Sanjoy Das at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and B.K. Shah at BARC

    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 characterization methods, described by size, shape & Location, require classification of the type or nature of flaw, position of flaw and flaw severity. Accurate sizing of the flaw to assess its severity is important. ISO Guide 25 "General Requirements for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories" (1990), requires one to specify the uncertainty of each measurement. In radiography there are several factors which contributes to uncertainty for quantitive measurement. This paper describes a study undertaken to calculate the uncertainty in flaw sizing and to estimate the real size of discontinuities observed in radiography.

  • July/August 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Jonathan D. Dobis at The Equity Engineering Group, Inc., and David N. French

    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 on the latest knowledge and technology developed for identification of damage mechanisms.

  • March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Julian Speck at TWI Ltd., and Afshin Motarjemi at TWI

    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 capability, usefulness and limitations of the IIT and some of the findings are reported here. IIT is sometimes known as ABI (automated ball indenter) testing. There are many manufacturers' o fIIT or ABI units that provide equipment and/or testing services. Two leading manufacturers of IIT equipment are Advanced Technology Corporation in the USA, and Frontics in Korea. In this investigation, FRONTICS kindly offered to collaborate with TWI on the project.

  • March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Stakenborghs, P.E. at Evisive Inc.

    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 applications were identified. Upon investigation, these applications were identified. Upon investigation, these applications proved to be numerous and varied in nature. This is the result of an apparent lack of reliable inspection techniques for many non-metallic components that are rapidly becoming materials of choice in many industries.

  • January/February 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Hegeon Kwun at Southwest Research Institute, and Glenn Light at Southwest Research Institute

    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 the longitudinal guided wave mode introduced into the pipe with a coil wrapped around the steel pipe with a coil wrapped around the steel pipe and a number of large magnets setting up an axially oriented magnetic baising field in the area of the coil. The longitudinal mode worked well for dry, unfilled pipe. However, in liquid filled pipes, the longitudinal mode didn't work well because it interacts with the liquid, producing extraneous signals that, in turn, cause difficulty in analyzing data.

  • January/February 2005 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Bob Stakenborghs, P.E. at Evisive Inc.

    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 in preventing leeks in large electric power plant steam condensers. In response to this demand, a microwave based inspection technique was developed and patented by Evisive, Inc. Once the technique was developed and tested, it was found to be a powerful NDE technique that had uses for many dielectric materials, the technique can also be successfully used on composite materials containing conductive components but whose construction makes them overall nonconductors or bulk dielectrics, for example, carbon filter composites.

  • November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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 with 2D / 3D high-resolution color graphics of the test results are immediately produced on site showing tube/pipe wall thinning, bulging, swelling, and ovality.

  • September/October 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 recently and what he feels are some of the biggest challenges ahead for the Inspectioneering® community.

  • July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 require computational models that narrow the scatter band and are more accurate that are asking the right questions (which requires practical knowledge, technical knowledge and experience = expertise). In this editorial, I will point out some of the pitfalls I see in the inspection and reliability arenas and present some insight and solutions that will help "IJ" readers stay on track and emerge more successful as a result.

  • March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Badrick at Bahrain Petroleum Company

    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 carry out temperature surveys of furnace tubes using a thermal imager. The issues discussed then i.e. calculation of emissivity and ambient temperatures, reflected heat etc, are still current concerns, but since the writing of that article, an additional equally important challenge has become apparent - "how do we measure the temperature of an externally scaled or fouled tube"? Where the external scale or some other external deposit, such as refractory dust etc. may mask the true tube temperature.

  • March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 of risk mitigation. This led to some unfortunate misconceptions that led to misapplication that led to dead ends in how to evergreen or maintain effective RBI programs. It is important to "get back to basics", with an improved perspective, based on experience, of where the evolution of the RBI process is leading us.

  • January/February 2004 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dan Quinn at In TANK Services, Inc.

    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 guidelines in 1991, many tank owners started to proactively inspect their tanks and perform significant tank repairs. However, after a lengthy period of focus on inspections and repairs in the 90's, many tank owners have become complacent with respect to tank maintenance.

  • September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 conclusions.

  • September/October 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

    On September 1, 2003 API has launched an exciting new service for the inspection industry - Individual Certification Program (ICP) Directory, an online listing of certified individuals. The new ICP Directory provides a free and easy to use method for locating inspectors by certification and/or by geographic location. Over the years, API has received many requests to publish the API Individual Certification Programs participants' information, so this program was long expected and much needed. Already since this information was first published on API's website, the ICP Directory drew over 2000 searches. Inspectors' participation in this listing is completely voluntary.

  • May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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.

  • May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David R. Hall at Longview Inspection

    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 of these structures have been routinely inspected by various methods of testing, the wire rope and strand that support and hold these structures in position have, typically, been taken for granted and only elementary visual inspections have been performed. Wire rope and strands in sedentary environments deteriorate and lose their working capability due to many factors. These factors exist both internally and externally.

  • May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 perform a study - Data sensitivity - Use of assumptions - Training - Procedures - Documentation - The RBI team - RBI technology basis - RBI codes and standards This article will focus on, "the role of inspection histories and inspection planning".

  • March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dr. Nand K. Gupta at Omega International Technology, Inc.

    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 Detector Array can be substituted in place of the standard detector array in our ThruVU (TVU) system. The first High Resolution detector array has a total width of 1.00" and consists of 76 channels with 0.013" detector pitch. On the other hand, the detector pitch is 0.130" in the standard TVU detector array. So, the new High Resolution detector array can potentially provide a 10x better spatial resolution compared to the TVU standard detector array.

  • March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Eitan Shibi at Techs4Biz Corporation

    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 utilization of resources, and improve profitability. By combining easy to use but sophisticated software and handheld devices, organizations can save time and money while improving operational efficiencies and minimizing downtime.

  • January/February 2003 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    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 early discussions with the client. Now it is time to examine these inspector costs in-depth. What affects these costs? How can we increase our efficiency in this area?

  • November/December 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 & Standards (BPTCS) have agreed to explore the idea by putting together a joint task group that would report to both organizations. That group will be meeting soon to put together a set of committee operating procedures and the scope/objective of the document for approval by the API CRE & ASME BPTCS. Once the charter/scope and operating procedures are approved by both societies, a committee will be assembled to accomplish the task.

  • September/October 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    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 contractors trying to get in the same gate. Inspectors are a small fraction of the Turnaround workforce. However, they can get caught up in the overall delays.

  • March/April 2002 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    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 aware of varying safety requirements and their nuances as they go through the training processes at safety councils throughout the US. Not all safety councils are reciprocal and inspection companies and inspectors need to be aware of which are and which are not. It is very important that the site safety requirements are understood and are prepared for and complied with before the Turnaround starts.

  • November/December 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Kelley Jones at Pro-Inspect Inc.

    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 turnarounds involving contractor inspectors.

  • September/October 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 Inspect - Metrics for inspection program progress - Role of Risk Based Inspection I will now cover some of the remaining key aspects in assuring healthy evolution of the equipment integrity process.

  • July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 and the future of NDE from his perspective.

  • July/August 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 and simple. Safety and environmental responsibility were not the primary concerns, in some cases not concerns at all! Hence, for safety's sake, terms like "sweatshops" were coined. This was to connote factories and textile mills where human beings, often times young children worked, in poor conditions.

  • May/June 2001 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Russell Orr at Metals Technologies Laboratories, CANMET, and John Bowker at Materials Technology Laboratory

    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 based on fracture mechanics and accurate flaw sizing can be used to assess the risk of operation of a damaged vessel by predicting the amount of damage that can lead to premature failure.

  • 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
    By Paul K. Davidson at WIS, Inc., David Silverling at Tubular Ultrasound, L.P., and Jason Hicks at Tubular Ultrasound, L.P.

    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 two years.

  • September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Russel T. Mack at National Association of Inspection Companies (NAIC)

    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 interrelationships of data by location for trending. Part 1 article areas then included: -UT Data Reporting and Evaluation -Imaging UT Data Evaluating the Quality of Static UT Data -Visual Trending of UT data -Mathematical Trending of UT Data Now, in Part 2, we will cover data quality issue statistics and possible sources of poor quality UT data.

  • September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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, boilers, piping, tanks, relief systems) in the refining and petrochemical industry.

  • 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 tube wall metal wastage. The analysis of tens of thousands of UT readings from black liquor recovery boilers is an intimidating and time-consuming task. Problem areas in the boiler are easily identified and many engineering hours of labor are saved. The graphical prensentation permits the quality (accuracy and consistency) of the UT data to be carefully examined.

  • May/June 2000 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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, piping, tanks, relief systems) in the refining and petrochemical industry.

  • November/December 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group

    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 hundred vertically oriented straight tubes, referred to as catalyst tubes. These tubes represent a significant cost for replacement and can be a major source of plant unavailability if unplanned failures occur.

  • September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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, under the right circumstances, to supplement or in lieu of invasive and turnaround inspections, usually at much lower cost. Cost savings associated with using OSI techniques in lieu of internal inspection may include lower total inspection costs, lower turnaround costs, avoiding lost production opportunities, and avoiding vessel cleaning and decontamination costs. On-stream inspection also avoids the safety hazards associated with confined space entry of vessels. However, to achieve these savings and benefits, and still maintain high levels of pressure equipment integrity, the owner-user must understand the technologies in order to intelligently select, apply and interpret the results of these nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods.

  • September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Reggie Cross at ND Tech

    This paper describes 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 of the tube in the tubesheets.

  • July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul Marks at NDT Training and Placement Center, Ken Miertschin at Iris Inspection Services, Inc , and Nick R. Skinner at Iris Inspection Services, Inc

    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
    By John Reynolds at Intertek, and Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions

    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 circumstances, to supplement or in lieu of invasive and turnaround inspections, usually at much lower cost. Cost savings associated with using OSI techniques in lieu of internal inspections may include lower total inspection costs, lower turnaround costs, avoiding lost production opportunities, and avoiding vessel cleaning and decontamination costs.

  • July/August 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Art Leach at Krautkramer

    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 easy to use and many allow the creation of multiple files. The multiple files are typically used to separate the storage of data from different pieces of equipment or different locations.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek, and Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions

    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 supplement or in lieu of invasive and turnaround inspections, usually at much lower cost. Cost savings associated with using OSI techniques in lieu of internal inspections may include lower total inspection costs, lower turnaround costs, avoiding lost production opportunities, and avoiding vessel cleaning and decontamination costs. On-stream inspection also avoid the safety hazards associated with confined space entry of vessels. However, to achieve these savings and benefits, and still maintain high levels of pressure equipment integrity, the owner-user must understand the technologies in order to intelligently select, apply and interpret the results of these nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Art Leach at Krautkramer

    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 equipment is common in most plants. A traditional testing method is digital ultrasonic thickness gauging for the measurement of wall thicknes. This one method has become the most widely used method of assuring mechanical integrity of equipment items that are prone to erosion / corrosion.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard L. Lopushanksy at Southwest Research Institute

    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 cost of operations.

  • May/June 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul K. Davidson at WIS, Inc.

    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.

  • March/April 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mike Sparago at CorrSolutions

    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 or at the next inspection or the next turnaround. Statistical techniques can help us understand and control the probability of early retirement, allowing us to make better remaining life and re-inspection decisions.

  • March/April 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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.

  • January/February 1999 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Joseph E. Pascente at Lixi, Inc.

    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
    By Bruce A. Pellegrino at Sensor Networks, Inc.

    Remote visual testing (RVT) of large surface areas (1 sq. meter) associated with vessel inspection requires a unique hardware approach compared to that of commercially-available borescopes, fiberscopes, and video borescopes. Faced with stricter OSHA regulations and the increased global competitiveness of today's marketplace, process facilities have looked toward a technical solution, including man-less entry into vessels, pressure vessels, and tanks for their internal inspections. A unitized pan, tilt, light, color, zoom video inspection system was developed for use in confined space and hazardous area locations associated with these components.

  • July/August 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Constance Reichert at Edison Welding Institute

    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 had been the better crack detection in comparison to x-ray techniques, especially in view of an increased use of steels and welding technologies with a the presence of diverse cracking phenomena (e.g. cold cracking, transverse cracks etc.).

  • May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group, and Tim Cowling

    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 internal surface of tubes and ultrasonic thickness mapping.

  • May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mike Badeen at Phillips 66 Co.

    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, one facility's experience indicates that this practice, when used in conjunction with current and newly advanced technology such as automated ultrasonic (AUT) and profile radiograph (PRT), is more effective than using only new technology.

  • May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Paul K. Davidson at WIS, Inc.

    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 aren't any commercial applications out there."

  • May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 initial construction, no further information was available about routine inspection or maintenance procedures.

  • March/April 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions

    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 additional important issues.

  • March/April 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Richard D. Roberts at Quest Integrity Group, and Tim Cowling

    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) employs the combined capabilities of high-speed laser and advanced ultrasonic wall thickness measurements and is propelled through the piping via a column of clean water which provides a path for the laser beam, and the coupling for the ultrasonic signals.

  • January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Bell at Ethos Mechanical Integrity Solutions

    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 information (not being a computer type, a piece of information to me is a piece of information, not a Byte). A statistician with my company recently compared our management of information with trying to get a drink of water from a fire water hose. The information is there, but good luck trying to use it.

  • January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Mark Badrick at Bahrain Petroleum Company

    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 measurements.

  • 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.

  • November/December 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dave Palmbach at DBA Systems, Inc.

    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 boxes.

  • September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Michael Twomey at CONAM Inspection Inc., and Jay N. Rothbart at Conam Inspection Inc.

    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 addition, the adage "garbage in = garbage out" keenly applies. To avoid this concern, it is vital to quality assurance check the data prior to input.

  • September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 deals with improving the accuracy of profile radiographic inspection techniques, also called isotope radiography, wall shots, or tangential radiographic inspection.

  • March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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.

  • January/February 1997 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 worse, a catastrophic event, where people can get hurt.

  • November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Michael Twomey at CONAM Inspection Inc.

    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 the result of localized corrosion and not general wasting over a large area. These failures can be catastrophic in nature, or at least, have an adverse economic effect in terms of downtime and repairs.

  • November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    The API-570 Piping Inspector Certification Program is nearing the end of the grandfather period. Five hundred thirty-one (531) inspectors have been certified to date under this provision, which will remain in effect through November 15, 1996.

  • September/October 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

    The August 1 signing allows the DOE (Department of Energy) direct access to all Responsible Care resource materials, workshops, seminars, regional meetings, newsletters and on-line services. Responsible Care references/covers mechanical integrity & inspection aspects in addition to many others related to the safe and responsible operating of chemical facilities.

  • 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...

  • 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 safety and plant/personnel protection 3. exposure to civil suits and fear of high cost judgments 4. increasing cost of shut downs

  • March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 third party inspectors to perform boiler and/or pressure vessel inspections, when you have fully qualified, competent inspection resources on staff? Are you having to shut down safe, reliable boilers and/or pressure vessels annually (or bi-annually) just to comply with outdated boiler and/or pressure vessel (B&PV) inspection requirements? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" for your company, read on: you may be interested to know that times are changing.

  • March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By P.E. Myers at Chevron Research & Technology Co.

    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 performing tank inspections and the consequences of poor inspection practices.

  • March/April 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Steven L. Braune, P.E. at AEC Engineering, Inc.

    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, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington) have referred to or incorporated API-653 into their petroleum AST regulations. At the very least, API-653 has become the new buzz word throughout the industry and the phrase "inspected in conformance with API-653" is tossed around freely in most inquiries for inspection services.

  • January/February 1996 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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 equipment integrity and reliability was critical to our success. Engineering management knew that if we didn't have that, we could not succeed in our business strategy, no matter how good we were at all other necessary functions.

  • November/December 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By David A. Mauney at Southwest Research Institute

    Many critical industrial plant components are in the aging part of their life cycle. This is because many of the US plants were built during the 50's and 60's. In the aging portion of life, the failure rate is exponential. This creates a need for predictive maintenance expenditures to maintain reliability

  • September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dr. Nand K. Gupta at Omega International Technology, Inc.

    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 accuracy over traditional ultrasound testing, and at a lower cost. Perhaps best of all, scanning can be performed while the pipe is in service, insulation in place.

  • September/October 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 a long way in minimizing this possibility.

  • July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

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

  • July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    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.

  • July/August 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Rick Clark at CIA Inspection Inc.

    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 cycle time and increase throughput of the unit. This typically accelerates the cumulative damage/aging of the drum. Large, non-uniform shell distortion is common over time, often leading to failures which require repetitive repairs.

  • May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Dr. Russell D. Kane at CLI International Inc., and Dr. Michael S. Cayard at Flint Hills Resources

    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 (SSC). Documented cases of leaks and failures of pressure containing equipment have been attributed to these forms of corrosive damage.

  • May/June 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 be applied to any and every area of our lives?

  • March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Greg Alvarado at Inspectioneering Journal

    We dedicate this forum to the owners/operators of Chemical, Refining and Utility process facilities. The Inspectioneering Journal will publish articles on a bi-monthly basis. Some of the topics we will cover as they relate to mechanical integrity...

  • March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By John Reynolds at Intertek

    Many promising advances are being made in inspection technologies, today. Some are going to provide opportunities for companies to maintain and increase equipment mechanical integrity, quite possibly at lower costs.

  • March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal
    By Charles L. Foster at Pacific Gas & Electric

    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
    By Greg Alvarado at 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 like AUT and AE, at a premium. Another group of companies attempt to merge the two.

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