Insights on Improving Inspection Effectiveness

, Be the first to comment

Tags: Data Collection Inspection Risk Based Inspection

Don Conger, Senior Consultant at AOC, discusses the inherent subjectivity of evaluating inspection effectiveness. Too much subjectivity can lead to inconsistent results in your inspection effectiveness evaluation. This subjectivity can be mitigated through up-front activities including training, documentation, quality control, and planning.

Insights on Improving Inspection Effectiveness

Although evaluating inspections to determine the confidence in or effectiveness of finding potential damage mechanisms plays a relatively significant role in determining Probability of Failure (POF) in many Risk Based Inspection (RBI) software tools, it remains one of the most subjective pieces of collected data required to support an RBI implementation.

This subjectivity is in part due to:

  • Variation in inspection report formats
  • Different levels of training and experience of those performing the inspections and populating the report forms
  • Varying levels of qualification / competence of those researching historical inspection reports to determine inspection confidence levels as part of an RBI assessment

Tips on improving the process involve training and guidance.

Prior to the start of an RBI study, consider the importance of assigning inspection confidence, how inspection confidence can be assigned, and how it impacts your risk assessment and associated inspection plans. Consider how your inspection reporting has evolved over the years as well as what your typical inspection procedures are. Summarize this and share it with your RBI team members who will be evaluating the historical inspections. (In one extreme case, a client informed our RBI team in the Kickoff Meeting they had absolutely no confidence in their historical piping inspections and not to bother giving credit for them.)

Develop inspection strategies that, in part, provide guidance about the information that should be returned as inspections are complete. This helps insure the risk analyst has the information necessary to accurately assign inspection confidence.

Prior to the start of a turnaround, provide training to the TAR inspectors on how to properly report their inspection activities and what forms to use before they perform inspections. The inspectors should be made aware of what level of detail and what inspection techniques will be needed in their inspections and associated reports in order to achieve a Very High, High, Medium or Low inspection effectiveness. More importantly, prior to the inspection activity, what effectiveness level will be required to potentially reduce the POF of the asset(s) in question, based on risk projections, for any predicted damage mechanism.

Provide ongoing quality control of the historical inspection evaluation effort during the RBI study and of the quality and uniformity of inspection reporting during the turnaround in order to ensure consistency.

Inspection reporting has improved significantly over the years. Unlike some older reports, very rarely do you see a recent inspection report that merely says, "Performed internal inspection - OK". RBI outputs will be improved by following these tips.

Be the first to comment


There are no comments for this article.

Add your comment

Related Services

Inspection Services

Asset Optimization's Inspection Group provides our partners with comprehensive inspection resources to further support our internal needs and the needs of our partners. Consisting of both API-certified inspectors and ASNT-compliant technicians, our inspection team offers a variety of visual inspection and NDE services.

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) Implementation and Planning

AOC has delivered thousands of sustainable Risk Based Inspection (RBI) programs earning the trust of owner operators.

Related Training

RBI/MI Overview

What is Risk Based Inspection?

API 580 RBI Overview

What impact does Risk Based Inspection (RBI) have on my organization?

API 580 Training

Is your Risk Based Inspection (RBI) program aligned with the API 580 Recommended Practice? Are you ready for certification?

API 581 Overview

What's actually going on inside all of that fancy software? An introduction to the API 581 methodology.

Related Knowledge

Guidelines for Providing Process Conditions for RBI - Part 6: HTHA

A simple screening to determine HTHA susceptibility and factors to consider when more data is required.

Guidelines for Providing Process Conditions for RBI - Part 5: Low Temp

This article suggests additional factors to consider when providing process conditions for equipment exposed to low temperatures.

Qualitative Risk Assessment of a Commercial Refrigeration System

A case study presenting the methods used to calculate qualitative risk for a critical refrigeration system and the results of the assessment.

Managing Reliability of Ethane Crackers using DMR, RBI, and IOWs

How RBI, DMR, and IOW programs can be used to manage reliability of Ethane crackers.

Guidelines for Providing Process Conditions for RBI - Part 4: High Temp

This article suggests additional factors to consider when calculating probablity of failure for equipment exposed to high temperatures.

"What you do is important" - A young NDE tech's journey

How a young NDE technician's critical discovery caused a shell and tube exchanger to be pulled and returned to the fabricator.

Announcing Our New Inspection Services Group

Scott Jones, President of AOC, talks about our decision to add an Inspection Service Group to our team. This addition to AOC is indicative of our continued commitment to providing high quality services to our clients and partners.

Guidelines for Providing Process Conditions for RBI - Part 3: Fluids

This article offers guidance on the selection of a representative fluid for use in your RBI consequence evaluation.

Steam System Risk Mitigation Using Risk Based Inspection

The benefits of utilizing risk-based methodologies for the inspection programs of often overlooked utilities systems

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Your API Training Provider

Not all vendors are created equal. Some up-front research can go a long way toward a high-quality learning experience.