Risk-based Inspection (RBI)

Last update: April 16, 2014

Risk-based inspection (RBI) is a methodology that, as opposed to condition-based inspection, involves 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.

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

Codes and Standards

International engineering standards and practices that relate to risk-based inspection include API RP 580 and 581, ASME PCC-3, and RIMAP. API RP 580 is an example of the minimum guidelines for implementation of an effective, credible RBI program. API RP 581 is an example of an RBI methodology's technical basis.

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