Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI)

Pipeline field service operators, engineers and managers are constantly looking at the risks to their pipelines so that they can protect their investments on important and costly assets, to improve their operations and to maintain their well-earned reputations. When it comes to facility equipment inspection, many facilities still use traditional time based practices. Unfortunately, these practices fail to account for the unique levels of risk posed by specific damage mechanisms for each piece of equipment, leading to inefficient NDT techniques and unreliable inspection frequencies.

What is RBI?

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) is a systematic approach that enables users to make informed business decisions regarding inspection and maintenance expenditure. It identifies, assesses and maps industrial risks (due to corrosion and stress cracking), which can compromise equipment integrity in both pressurized equipment and structural elements.

RBI combines the principles of risk with operational experience to obtain a safe and cost effective inspection program targeting inspection where and when it is needed. Also addresses risks that can be controlled through proper inspections and analysis.

More about RBI?

The RBI methodology improves the running costs as well as the availability of your plant. Safety is also improved since the inspection intervals are set based on detailed analysis of the actual conditions at each individual plant. That is why an increasing number of companies, within different branches, recommend RBI as the basis for inspection planning.

A RBI analysis implies a systematic survey of the plant and comprises detailed analysis of damage mechanisms, consequence analysis and evaluation of inspection methods. For each component the probability and consequence of failure is analyzed, with respect to safety and financial impact, and the inspection interval is set based on the level of risk.

RBI 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.

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.

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

Objective of implementing a successful RBI program

  • The equipment items which require inspection.
  • The optimal periodicity of inspections.
  • The correct techniques that should be performed to identify defects that a particular component is likely to develop.

Why is RBI vital for your business?

RBI helps you to meet the financial, reliability and regulatory needs of the industry by improving your plant’s performance, availability and safety. It extends the lifetime of your plant by establishing a long-term testing and inspection procedure.

Benefits of using RBI

The cost benefits of RBI are potentially extensive, regarding both direct and indirect costs. A RBI analysis gives the following results:

  • Your plant and operations are safer with reduced number of break-downs.
  • Adds value to the mechanical integrity program
  • Increases the level of confidence with the facility's reliability efforts and better inspection strategies
  • Improved availability by identification of, and shortening of, inspection intervals for high risk items.
  • Provides planning and budgeting input to define staffing needs to maintain equipment
  • Extended inspection intervals for low risk equipment.
  • Overall reduction of risk for the facility and equipment assessed

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