Mechanical Integrity (MI)

Last update: Jan 13, 2017

Mechanical Integrity (MI) can be defined as the management of critical process equipment to ensure it is designed and installed correctly, and that it operates and is maintained properly (i.e. no leaks and all elements are fit for service). A mechanical integrity program should take into account the inspection and testing of the equipment using procedures that are recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP), and should also consider the suitability of newly-fabricated equipment for usage. Written procedures should be established and implemented, and employees tasked with maintaining the ongoing integrity of process equipment should be adequately trained.

The term mechanical integrity is often used in reference to preventing loss of containment. In the United States, OSHA Regulation 1910.119 requires that the mechanical integrity of equipment is properly managed in order to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals.

 

Special thanks to the following contributors to this Integripedia topic:

  1. Pat Williams, KBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.

 

Recommend changes or revisions to this definition.


September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Virginia Edley at Trinity Bridge, LLC.

If everyone in an industrial setting actively looked for things that were not right or seemed different, or looked at small mistakes as opportunities to prevent larger ones, what would the future look like?

The Evolution of Reliability:  A Q&A with  Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton
September/October 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Jeremiah Wooten at Inspectioneering, LLC.

Inspectioneering recently had the opportunity to sit down with Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton and discuss the evolution of reliability in the oil and gas industry.

5 Major Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity Failures –  What Happened and Why?
July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

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

10 Ways to Improve Process Safety Management Success
Online Article
July 20, 2015

In the oil & gas, chemical and petrochemical industries, identifying, understanding, and controlling process hazards in order to prevent process-related injuries and incidents is of the utmost importance. EPA and OSHA have released numerous regulations aimed at eliminating process safety incidents on American soil. Help ensure your facility stays in compliance with these 10 simple tips for improving your PSM program.

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.

January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal
By Fred Schenkelberg at FMS Reliability

Reliability engineering tools and concepts can be used to avoid or delay failures, thus increasing product service life. Design or maintenance teams use reliability engineering techniques to identify failures and their causes.

The Top 10 Reasons for FEMI Failures in the Hydrocarbon Process Industries: Part 2
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

Sands of Time Create The Mechanical Integrity Compliance Officer (MICO)
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By Marc McConnell, P.E. at Versa Integrity Group, Jeannie Beth Richey at Sasol North America, Inc., and Josh Yoakam at Holly Refining and Marketing - Tulsa, LLC

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.

Integrating Mechanical Integrity Risk Management Systems with PHAs
Blog
December 1, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

One of the reasons we continue to have too many fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) events in the refining and process industries is the lack of understanding and appreciation by site management for the hazards posed by the 101 FEMI issues.

Blog
November 24, 2014 By Nick Schmoyer at Inspectioneering

For over 20 years, OSHA's process safety management (PSM) standard worked to guarantee safe and healthy workplaces in industries that use hazardous chemicals. For most of that time the standard had remained largely unmodified. This all changed last year.

The Top 10 Reasons for FEMI Failures in the Hydrocarbon Process Industries: Part 1
September/October 2014 Inspectioneering Journal
By John Reynolds at Intertek

Based on my 45+ years of experience working with fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) issues in the refining and petrochemical processing industry, this article summarizes what I believe are the top 10 reasons why pressure vessels and piping systems continue to fail, thus causing significant process safety events (e.g. explosions, fires, toxic releases, environmental damage, etc.).

ABSA’s Unique Approach to Pressure Vessel Safety Administration
July/August 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

The Province of Alberta has a long history of pressure equipment safety dating back to 1897 when the first boiler laws were introduced to regulate the new technology of steam boilers. Boiler inspectors were hired, and soon thereafter the Alberta Boilers Branch was established as the government organization that administered those laws.

Does your AIM system optimize the consistency, accuracy and manageability of your facility’s Mechanical Integrity program?
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.

Avoiding 5 Common Pitfalls of Pressure Vessel Thickness Monitoring
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.

Does your AIM system optimize the consistency, accuracy and manageability of your facility’s Mechanical Integrity program?
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.

The Top Ten Reasons for Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity Failures - Part 2
Blog
August 11, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

This blog post is the second part of a two part series that assesses the top ten reasons for FEMI failures that cause process safety incidents. The ten reasons I’ve outlined are a result of doing 60+ FEMI audits within refineries and chemical plants in the last 45+ years, tracking 150+ serious FEMI incidents in the petroleum and petrochemical industry and their causes, and defending numerous clients in the industry from lawsuits pertaining to FEMI issues.

The Top Ten Reasons for Fixed Equipment Mechanical Integrity Failures - Part 1
Blog
July 28, 2014 By John Reynolds at Intertek

Fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) failures are not caused by damage mechanisms; rather, they're caused due to failure to create, implement, and maintain adequate management systems to avoid failures. Nearly all failures that have occurred in our industry could have been avoided if these human systems were more robust and sustainable in providing the primary layers of protection for FEMI.