Equipment reliability, along with efficient operation of aging infrastructure, is key to success in the refining industry. It is not surprising that more refiners are making RBI a vital part of their plant work process. Using risk as a basis for prioritizing and managing an in-service inspection program, RBI refocuses inspection dollars and critical efforts where they are needed most. This is accomplished by utilizing technology that considers the probability and subsequent consequences of an unwanted event.
A large percentage of risk in an operating plant is related to a small percentage of the equipment. RBI shifts inspection and maintenance resources to provide a higher level of coverage on high-risk items and the proper coverage on lower risk items. With RBI, you have the ability to increase run lengths of process facilities while reducing or maintaining the level of risk.
The methodology and software developed by the API Joint Industry Project (JIP) has become the industry standard for implementing RBI.
Various companies have developed qualitative RBI approaches that meet the requirements of API 580, a less rigorous standard than API 581. However, most approaches tend to be too subjective to consistently quantify risk and create a reproducible inspection planning process. The primary goal of API and E2G|The Equity Engineering Group, Inc. is to offer sound technology that produces probability of failure (POF), consequence of failure (COF), and risk values that can be trusted.
API RBI software, maintained and updated by E2G, is a validation of API technology. This software is continually updated as new technology is developed, standardized, and tested against API 581 for accuracy. What differentiates API RBI from its competitors is that the technology behind API RBI software is documented in the public domain, allowing users to review and understand the calculated results and recommendations.
E2G’s approach to RBI differs from other service providers in that it does not end with an RBI study. We believe RBI should be combined with Fitness-For-Service (FFS) and Materials & Corrosion to manage mechanical integrity through the useful life of equipment. As equipment nears its “end of life” for RBI, our collaborative Life Cycle Management Approach upgrades analyses to more measurable FFS or materials evaluations. This facilitates decision making on whether to replace the equipment in-kind, upgrade its design, or initiate new equipment.
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