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Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)

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Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) is an analysis methodology and process that, as opposed to condition-based inspection, requires qualitative or quantitative assessment of the probability of failure (PoF) and the consequence of failure (CoF) associated with each equipment item, piping circuits included, in a particular process unit. A properly-implemented RBI program categorizes individual pieces of equipment by their risks and prioritizes inspection efforts based on this categorization.

Probability of Failure

Probability of Failure (POF) is likelihood that a piece of equipment will fail at a given time and an important part of effective risk analyses. POF is half of the equation when determining risk as part of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methodology. The POF, calculated together with the Consequence of Failure (COF), helps operators establish the risk level for a particular piece of equipment and set inspection intervals based on the calculated risk.

POF is calculated for individual pieces of equipment by looking at the potential damage mechanisms it could be susceptible to, a general frequency of failures, and management system factors. More details on POF are provided in the American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice 580 - Risk Based Inspection (RBI), which contains directions on developing, implementing and maintaining an effective RBI program.

Consequence of Failure

Consequence of Failure (COF) is one part of the equation to determine risk as part of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methodology. COF is calculated by reviewing and ranking the potential consequences for the equipment, personnel, environment, etc. in the event of equipment failure. More details on COF are given in API RP 580 - Risk Based Inspection (RBI), which contains directions on developing, implementing and maintaining an effective RBI program.

Why use RBI?

RBI is used to identify and understand risk, risk drivers, and where equipment is in its lifecycle. RBI can indicate whether inspection is needed; however this requires additional data that is extremely targeted to reduce the underlying uncertainties associated with the risks about the current and future predicted damage state of the equipment. RBI should not be used to recommend any inspection when it will not improve knowledge about the damage state. In those cases, where PoF is driving the risk, RBI should point to other mitigation options such as replacement, repair, or other actions that satisfy the risk criteria.

RBI can be used to prioritize inspection-related activities, usually by means of nondestructive testing (NDT), in order to reduce the uncertainties around the true damage state of the equipment and the dynamics leading to such. The resulting inspection plan may outline the type and scheduling of inspection for an asset. In addition to NDE, additional risk mitigation activities identified by an RBI assessment might include a change in material of construction, installation of corrosion resistant liners, operating condition changes, injection of corrosion inhibition chemicals, etc.

Consistency and repeatability of analysis are critical to producing an effective RBI program, as RBI is based on relative risks. Caution should be used when mixing RBI platforms (e.g., using a qualitative method to perform the initial screening and quantitative methods to conduct the final analysis). Complementary methodologies must be calibrated against one another to ensure valid cut sets are achieved.

Codes and Standards

International engineering standards and practices that relate to risk-based inspection include, but are not limited to, API RP 580 and 581, ASME PCC-3, and RIMAP. API RP 580 sets out the minimum guidelines for implementing an effective, credible RBI program. API RP 581 details the procedures and methodology of RBI.

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Articles about Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)
September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering and PinnacleART co-hosted the 7th bi-annual Meeting of the Minds with a select group of mechanical integrity experts from across the industry. The meeting focused on piping RBI and the challenges operators are facing implementing it.

Authors: Jeremiah Wooten
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July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article examines the quantitative tank RBI method found in API 581 and discusses uses for tank RBI other than deferral of scheduled internal inspections.

Authors: Joel Andreani
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Our proprietary furnace tube inspection system, FTIS is an ultrasonic inspection technology capable of rapid, automated fired heater coil inspection in refinery fired heaters. The data captured by our furnace tube inspection system is...

July/August 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

A risk management approach for relief valves should be able to determine the proper interval of maintenance events and the necessity of installing isolation valves, rupture discs, or 100% spare capacity.

May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Ben Charlton
May/June 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses how Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO) can help empower reliability and operations leaders with better data to make smarter and more confident reliability decisions for their facilities.

March/April 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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

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Have you ever wondered why, even though inspection reports are one of the primary keys to a good MI program, they are so rarely reviewed? One of the things I always find when reviewing a program is the lack of concise inspection history.

Authors: Mike Hurley
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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.

January/February 2021 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Peter Tait
September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Implementing RBI as part of a Mechanical Integrity system at different sites is not a simple copy and paste project. Each case has its own characteristics and challenges. This article describes implementation in two vastly different facilities.

September/October 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspectioneering chats with Gecko Robotics about the new rapid ultrasonic gridding technique and how it can be utilized to increase the speed and effectiveness of equipment inspections.

July/August 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

This article explores the API RP 581 third edition approach to HTHA damage factor calculations to obtain a probability of failure that subsequently affects risk. Sample calculations are provided to affirm an understanding of the concept.

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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...

May/June 2020 Inspectioneering Journal

The article describes the results from a recent CUI Joint Industry Project which resulted in an RBI methodology for managing the CUI threat. The methodology assesses 4 CUI barriers: material, coating, water wetting, and design.

Authors: Frode Wiggen
November/December 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Brent Ray
September/October 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Ricardo Gonzalez
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Here is four-step process for developing effective and efficient piping management strategies that can help optimize costs, refocus resources, and reduce risk.

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

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

July/August 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Robert Sladek
May/June 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

A well-implemented and managed reliability program incorporating RBI, DMR, and IOWs can identify potential damage mechanisms, optimize maintenance and inspection activities, reduce risks, and improve the governance in managing Ethane Crackers.

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

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

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Training options to meet your needs. E²G contracts with API to deliver training programs for FFS, Risk–Based Inspection, Damage Mechanisms, and Pressure Relieving Systems. ETI and Customized Training offers specialized courses based on industry...

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This blog will walk through practical steps for managing IOWS and will demonstrate what successful IOW management can look like.

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March/April 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

This article shares some benefits of pro-actively performing RBI assessments during the design and construction phase of the plant with professionals involved in fixed equipment mechanical integrity programs.

January/February 2019 Inspectioneering Journal

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

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

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

November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article shares examples of where RBI work processes either broke down or were non-existent, or where the user did not fully understand the technology or overall RBI logic and the results.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discussed the importance of an asset management philosophy that integrates software, maintenance tools (RCM, FMECA, RBI, PM, and PdM), data collection, and analytics to improve and optimize asset management through emerging technologies...

Authors: Mike Asquini
November/December 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Tim Hill
September/October 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a management approach for the implementation of Integrity Operating Window (IOWs) under API RP 584 and discusses the IOW planning process and how input from other programs like RBI and Corrosion Management Plans is critical to...

Authors: Yousuf Hasani
July/August 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Ibrahim Kodssi
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In today's chemical and refining industries, sustained long term reliability of facilities is critical to profitability and competitiveness. In fact, history shows that differences in operating expenses between best-in-class refineries, and poor...

May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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May/June 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Dheeraj Narang
March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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

March/April 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

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

January/February 2018 Inspectioneering Journal

Most of us that work integrity and reliability understand what we do and how we do it. But how many of us understand WHY we do things? Understanding the motives behind our activities, initiatives and programs can help to galvanize and lay a...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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Are you truly prepared for your next Turnaround? Effective work processes are required to successfully plan, manage, review and supervise plant turnarounds. Inspection planning and work scope selection are critical aspects of any turnaround...

September/October 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

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

July/August 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Establishing risk targets is an important aspect of any risk-based inspection (RBI) program and is a requirement of API RP 580. Metrics and consistency are important considerations for those using RBI to measure and manage risks as part of their...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

Steam systems account for almost a third of the energy used in industrial applications for product output. Maintaining their integrity and efficiency is vital. Learn how an effective risk-management process aids in the optimization of these critical...

Authors: Dr. Brian Cane
March/April 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article discusses the use of the RBI methodology supplemented by a well-designed IOW program to assess and manage aging in fixed equipment and piping in hydrogen generation units.

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Murry Funderburg
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Floodlight Software digitalizes inspection and testing operations and eliminates paper forms, filing cabinets, and spreadsheets. Your inspection forms plus our software equals a user-friendly mobile interface for inspectors and a robust reporting...

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

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

January/February 2017 Inspectioneering Journal

This article presents a perspective on the human factor and emphasizes the value of using risk tools at all levels in the organization to help provide management focus during times of severe economic pressure.

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This article summarizes seven key questions that an organization needs to answer to create a robust mechanical integrity program that is properly designed to monitor corrosion and indicate when issues increase to a level requiring review or...

November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

This paper provides the background for the technology behind the Third Edition thinning model as well as step-by-step worked examples demonstrating the methodology for thinning in this new edition of API RP 581.

Authors: Lynne Kaley
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September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Kevin Birkby
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Authors: Nick Schmoyer
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Guy Bogar
July/August 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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Partner Content

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

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

May/June 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Dr. Yury Sokolov
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When was the last time you reviewed your Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) methodology? Are you using calculation procedures for probability of failure, consequence of failure, and risk that haven’t had their basis reviewed in years?

Authors: Valerie Magyari
March/April 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Tim Hill
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In this interim report, Pinnacle analysts take data from the oil refining industry and dive into how that key sector is being affected by reliability today. Download your free copy!

Online Article

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

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

The enormous decline in oil prices over the past 14 months has definitely slowed projects and changed the energy and production landscape. Despite this, refineries, petrochemical plants, and chemical facilities must continue to run safely,...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
January/February 2016 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Vipin Nair
Online Article

Offshore platforms pipelines, terminals and downstream facilities, are costly to build, operate and maintain, so it’s imperative that operators keep tight control over the total life-cycle cost of all associated equipment.

July/August 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

Asset managers need to know when repairs and replacement are required for many reasons, including safe operation, accurate budgeting, replacement planning, and on-going reliability. When predicting design life based on a simple, linear corrosion...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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How is reliability affecting your bottom line? Download our Economics of Reliability report, where Pinnacle analysts take data from the oil refining industry and dive into how that key sector is being affected by reliability today.

May/June 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

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March/April 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Walt Sanford
January/February 2015 Inspectioneering Journal

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Authors: Greg Alvarado
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I recently received an inquiry about performing risk-based inspection (RBI) at the design stage of a unit. More specifically, I was asked if it was possible to start an RBI project in the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase even though the...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

Today, more than ever, refinery operators are focused on maintaining safe operations for their employees and extending the life cycle of valuable operating equipment to optimize efficiencies and avoid expensive unforeseen shutdowns. When process...

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

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One of the most significant advancements to come along in the fixed equipment mechanical integrity (FEMI) business in the past two decades is the application of risk-based inspection (RBI) for inspection prioritization, planning, and scheduling. The...

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2014 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Luciano Narcisi
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A paper was presented at the 68th Conference of the Italian Thermal Machines Engineering Association entitled Updated Failure Rates and Risk Management in the Process Industries. It was presented in October 2013 by INAIL, an Italian insurance...

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

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
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Is it possible to develop an internal RBI program without depending on third-party/commercial software?

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

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Those of you who have followed Inspectioneering for any amount of time understand that we publish a vast amount of content dealing with risk based inspection (RBI) methodology. Ever since it was first developed and used in the process industries,...

Authors: Nick Schmoyer
September/October 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Sam Ternowchek
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We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Risk Based Inspection, Fitness for Service using Accuracy, the approach for Equipment...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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We’ve been discussing Scalable Accuracy and its use related to Lifecycle Management technologies available to owner/operators. The last few topics have included Fitness for Service using Scalable Accuracy, the approach for Equipment Lifecycle...

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

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

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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In the next few blog posts, we will be going in depth on scalable accuracy. This post walks through the thinking needed prior to initiating. Then we will discuss two technologies immediately available to plant operators for fixed equipment...

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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This is the third of four blogs in a series about Risk Based Inspection (RBI). You can read the previous blogs on a history and reasons for RBI and on starting to define risk. This post deals with the second half of the equation used to define...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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This is the second of four blog posts on Risk Based Inspection, or RBI. The first post covered a brief history and started the discussion on why you would want to use RBI. The next step is defining risk. 

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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Gecko's TOKA Flex robot is designed to give unprecedented access to piping systems with a robust ultrasonic data-collection capability. The Flex, our most advanced RUG robot, is equipped to find and collect the critical inspection data you need....

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

Authors: John Reynolds
May/June 2013 Inspectioneering Journal

Industrial furnaces are used extensively throughout the entire oil and gas industry, as well as other process industries such as pulp and paper, metals and mining, chemical, and petrochemical. An industrial furnace, or direct fired heater, is a...

Authors: Fernando Vicente
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This is my second of three posts on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on requests and discussions on the issue.  In part 1 of this series I provided a brief overview of KPIs and their ability to predict good, poor, and sometimes...

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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The OmniScan X3 flaw detector is a complete phased array toolbox. Powerful tools, like total focusing method (TFM) images and advanced visualization capabilities, enable you to complete your inspection with greater confidence.

November/December 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

As refiners continue operating aging infrastructure, safe operation and equipment availability continue to be key components of a sustainable operation. When considering optimizing inspection projects, more and more refiners are making Risk-Based...

September/October 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Piping failures still represent a frustrating and ongoing problem for processing plants (example in Figure 1). Failures are commonly reported and contribute to large losses. As well per the author’s experience, piping still represents the...

Authors: A.C. Gysbers
July/August 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

Air-cooled heat exchangers (AC-HEs) are used extensively throughout the oil and gas industry, from upstream production to refineries and petrochemical plants, under high pressure and high temperature conditions, as well as corrosive fluids and...

Authors: Fernando Vicente
January/February 2012 Inspectioneering Journal

The various factors of the challenge, e.g. creating effective and then efficient inspection strategies, are at the crux of the decision process. Within each of these factors are questions that must be answered. The answers should be well thought...

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

November/December 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Maintenance has been around since prehistoric man fixed a broken, trusted spear instead of fashioning a new one. One concept of maintenance is any activity that extends the useful life or enhances the performance of an item of interest. A broad...

Authors: Barry Snider
March/April 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Due to increasing market demands for stabilized crude, it is a high priority for oil handling and processing facilities to avoid production interruption. One optimization opportunity is to review our approach for scheduled facility Test and...

March/April 2011 Inspectioneering Journal

Two technologies, immediately available to plant operators for fixed equipment life-cycle management are Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and Fitness for Service (FFS), two best practices that optimally work together or can standalone. Both have...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

Understanding, predicting, detecting and controlling high-temperature hydrogen attack (HTHA), have been elusive goals of materials engineers and scientists for over 70 years. The destruction of low alloy steel components exposed to hydrogen through...

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

September/October 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

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...

May/June 2010 Inspectioneering Journal

This article describes the API Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) methodology for pressure relieving devices (PRDs) as detailed in the soon to be released 2nd edition of API 581 "Base Resource Document On Risk-Based Inspection" This methodology has been...

July/August 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Willis Perry
May/June 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

In the oil and gas industry, pressure vessel integrity is a major concern. After internal and external inspections various anomalies or defects can be reported and repairs could be required for pressure vessels in order to restore its original...

Authors: Fernando Vicente
Partner Content

Superior inspection results, a best-in-class user interface, great ergonomics and rugged design, unrivaled connectivity options, and much more. The Krautkrämer USM 100 is a revolutionary ultrasonic flaw detector that uncomplicates your...

May/June 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Lynne Kaley
March/April 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

The previous article (Part 1) covered Probability of Failure (POF), including modeling of thinning and stress corrosion cracking and demonstrated how API RBI provides credits for past inspections, considering their effectiveness in detecting those...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
January/February 2009 Inspectioneering Journal

This article provides a unique opportunity to guide the reader through API RBI quantitative calculations per API RP 581, Second Edition, September 2008, using real data. The author guides you step by step from input data to final answers including,...

Authors: Lynne Kaley
July/August 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

The following is an interview with Scot Haines, (Corrosion Engineering Advisor). The IJ wishes to thank Scot and the Hess Corporation for taking the time to share with the "IJ" community.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2008 Inspectioneering Journal

Do we know how to free ourselves from the current level of thinking to rise to a higher level? It will take this for us to overcome many of our current challenges in the arena of equipment reliability.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Mark Vining
November/December 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

Over the past 18 years of serious RBI involvement, it has become clear to me that there are certain hurdles, that when "cleared", have paved the way to jurisdictional acceptance of RBI (and fitness for service, for that matter). This article will...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

This is part 2 in a multi-part series. Part 1 set the stage in explaining the basics of RBI. As I am most familiar with API Base Resource Document 581, I will continue to use this technical basis for this article.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

From time to time, I'm asked why some operating sites don't seem to pay adequate attention to the need to protect and preserve pressure equipment integrity (PEI). Too often a few sites don't seem to "get it" until they have a major process safety...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 2007 Inspectioneering Journal

An earlier version of this updated article appeared in the January-February 1998 issue of the Inspectioneering Journal. It is hard to believe that nine years have passed so quickly. Fortunately the industry, as a whole, has learned much and...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

On July 26, 2006, the State of California revised its Petroleum Safety Orders. The Petroleum Safety Orders are part of the California Code of Regulations Title 8 and address the health and safety requirements for places of employment in the State of...

Authors: Don Cook
July/August 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

Revisions to the California Code of Regulations Title 8 Petroleum Safety Orders are nearly complete and the new regulations should be published late summer 2006. The regulations will affect both drilling and production facilities and refining,...

January/February 2006 Inspectioneering Journal

This survey did not make metrics the primary focus. More importantly, our focus was on practices that lead to better performance. You still have to link these practices to performance.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2005 Inspectioneering Journal

We are happy to announce the 10-year anniversary of the inaugural issue of the Inspectioneering Journal!

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Several new API inspection recommended practices exist in which inspectors need to be knowledgeable and qualified. This article details some of those standards.

July/August 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

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

March/April 2004 Inspectioneering Journal

Data management is an important issue in today's world. We have data all over the place. Every manager is looking for ways to migrate data from platform to platform to save on the cost of re-gathering data and ways to share output from various...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

"Low Hanging Fruit" and "Step Change" are analogies that have been bantered around in our industries for some time. Picking the low hanging fruit is just the beginning and something that most passersby can glean. Also, real change that affects an...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
May/June 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

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

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2003 Inspectioneering Journal

The large LNG facility is located on DAS Island, offshore of Abu Dhabi, in the Persian Gulf and experiences extremely high humidity year round. These conditions are known to produce a high potential for external corrosion and under insulation...

November/December 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

The Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) issued the requirements document, Risk Based Inspection Programs for Pressure Equipment, in March 2001. This document defines the minimum requirements for the development and use of risk based inspection...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

In May 2002, after 6 years of preparation, the API published the first edition of API 580 Risk-based Inspection. The document is now an ANSI/API Standard, which was balloted and approved using the ANSI consensus process for creating American...

Authors: John Reynolds
July/August 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) is an emerging technology available to plant engineers and managers as theyapply risk directed activities to prioritize work and available resources for equipment management. This paper describes the learning of highly...

July/August 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) analysis is a powerful tool that all of us can use to help with the complex issues of risk. The opportunities for application are exciting and open the door for new ways of conducting business and focusing resources....

Authors: Mark Geisenhoff
May/June 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) is an emerging technology available to plant engineers and managers as they apply risk directed activities to prioritize work and available resources for equipment management. This paper describes the learning of highly...

March/April 2002 Inspectioneering Journal

The American Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice for Risk Based Inspection, RP 580, is expected to be available for purchase in early May 2002.

November/December 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

A typical risk based inspection (RBI) analysis should include past inspection results, tempered by confidence in those results. For example, API's (American Petroleum Institute) RBI methodology and software when calculating the likelihood of failure...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
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.

March/April 2001 Inspectioneering Journal

With the publication of API RP 579 For Fitness-For-Service and the planned publication of API RP 580 for Risk Based Inspection in 2001, these technologies will find increasing application in maintenance and inspection planning.

September/October 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

In part 1 of this series the importance of keeping the RBI process as simple as possible was stressed. Software, consequence and likelihood issues were covered. Consequences were handled directly while likelihood issues were covered in discussion...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
July/August 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

Hundreds of risk based inspection analyses have been completed by contractors and owner users worldwide, by now. Much is being learned as the various approaches gain acceptance. This editorial is only one perspective built upon the experiences of...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

Two API projects are co-sponsoring an effort to develop a risk based inspection (RBI) method for atmospheric storage tanks (AST). One of the projects is the long standing RBI project that is developing RBI methods for all types of pressure...

Authors: John Reynolds
January/February 2000 Inspectioneering Journal

Part 1 provided a review of RBI for pressure vessels and piping and an introduction to application of RBI to rotating equipment and the differences between approaching the two different types of equipment. As promised, Part 2 will delve more deeply...

Authors: Gene R. Meyer
November/December 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Risk based inspection, RBI, is a method currently changing how corporations view their maintenance programs. Application of a systematic analysis process that focuses on the likelihood of a given failure and the consequence of this failure happening...

Authors: Gene R. Meyer
November/December 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

Here are some of my observations based on numerous discussions with owner users and involvement in over 30 projects. This learning is from plant operators who have taken the RBI "plunge", after they have had time to think about their decisions and...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 1999 Inspectioneering Journal

There are many analysis tools available in the market that lay hold of the "RBI" claim. I wanted to bring you, the reader, "up to speed" on some of the available technology based on my experience as an RBI project manager, client manager and member...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

I have observed through literally hundreds of discussions and reading numerous articles on risk-based approaches that at least one potential business pitfall is appearing when owner-operators choose to begin with a "Level 1" (very qualitative)...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

Inspection to determine mechanical integrity is important to verify that equipment is suitable for intended use, i.e. to prevent or minimize the consequences of catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals as required...

May/June 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

The API Subcommittees on Inspection and Pressure Vessels & Tanks are ever vigilant in keeping up with current trends and state-of-the-art technology for in-service inspection of pressure vessels, process piping, and aboveground storage tanks. One...

January/February 1998 Inspectioneering Journal

There is a potential for misconceptions about terms used regarding risk by non-risk management professionals. Understand that some risk is unavoidable. We can attempt to minimize risk to any extent desired, but without an effective process that...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
September/October 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

The amount of serious questions regarding the various technology options for implementing an effective RBI program is growing by leaps and bounds. I, for one, have seen many forms of what various organizations refer to as RBI. Remember that there...

Authors: Greg Alvarado
March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

The API Commitment on Refinery Equipment (CRE) has chartered a task group to develop an API recommended practice (RP 580), which will detail all the vital aspects of Risk-Based Inspection. This standard will not detail or propose any one specific...

March/April 1997 Inspectioneering Journal

Our business paradigm is going through tremendous changes, as most of our readers can attest to. Look at the mega-mergers looming and happening in the petroleum business along with the tight margins most of them operate on.

Authors: Greg Alvarado
November/December 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

Three levels of risk based inspection have been developed by the API sponsor group. Level 1: Qualitative RBI which utilizes a step-by-step workbook to rank entire process units or process systems into a 5 x 5 risk matrix...

Authors: John Reynolds
September/October 1996 Inspectioneering Journal

In the January 1995 issue, I introduced the concept of Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) being developed by an API (American Petroleum Institute) project. This article is an update and status report on that project, which now has 20 sponsor companies,...

Authors: John Reynolds
March/April 1995 Inspectioneering Journal

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.

Authors: John Reynolds
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        Sponsored Checklist

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

        Sponsored Asset Intelligence Report

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

        eBook

        This publication outlines 101 Essential Elements that need to be in place and functioning well in order to effectively and efficiently preserve and protect the reliability and integrity of pressure equipment (i.e. vessels, exchangers, furnaces,...

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