Other Benefits of Risk Based Inspection Implementation

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Tags: Data Collection Data Validation Human Factors Inspection Risk Based Inspection


Aside from the direct benefits of implementing a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) program such as cost savings, optimized inspection planning, and reduced risk, RBI programs have a number of other benefits. This article looks at some of these secondary benefits including equipment verification, better organization of data, deeper understanding of facility status, and improved inter-team collaboration.

Other Benefits of Risk Based Inspection Implementation

Processing facilities are large, complex environments of interconnected assets, each of which contain their own unique monitoring considerations. Smaller facilities still have an extensive amount of equipment and miles of piping. When a company decides to use a Risk Based Inspection program, there are secondary benefits that may not be immediately recognized. Depending on the scope of the project, there are many tasks that involve data dives and organization.

Equipment Verification - The scope of the project is defined from the start by listing out the included assets. After review, any equipment discrepancies will be verified (new install, recently removed, etc.). This gives facilities better understanding of what is in the field and can be a starting point of building a photo library of the equipment.

Data Discrepancies - Throughout the RBI implementation process, large amounts of historical data are processed. While compiling the information, issues will inevitably be found with the data. Drawings that need updates, corrosion rate errors on the inspection reports, and U1s assigned to incorrect assets are just a few examples of the discrepancies that can be found.

Data Organization - Different groups at a facility may have different file locations on the server they use. This can lead to duplicate files, old versions, and general confusion of the correct documentation to use. All the information used to build out the program will be housed together. Up to date PIDs, isometric drawings of the circuits, past inspections, and more are organized into folder structures that allow users easy, centralized access to diverse information. The consolidated data storage also leads to better file management, which reduces the likelihood of errors from incorrect information and highlights any missing information on assets.

Also, paper copies of records will be scanned in and added to the document library. Digitizing hard copies creates backups for the data and increases efficiency in searching for information.

Understanding Facility Status -

  • Inspection Status - Once all the assets are listed and their inspection histories have been analyzed, an operator can quickly determine the priorities of inspections. They can see how many assets are (or will go) out of compliance so turnaround work can be prioritized.
  • Operating Status - Through discussions and validation meetings, facility personnel will become more acquainted with the processes. For example, a corrosion specialist may be under the impression that an insulated pipe is operating at 325°F but find out that operators run the system at 285°F in a validation meeting. Corrosion under insulation now becomes more of a concern.
  • Delayed Activities - As a result of the RBI implementation process, tasks that have been postponed will be listed out. Activities sometimes fall by the wayside due to more pressing concerns, which can lead to tasks being delinquent or forgotten about.

Inter-team Collaboration - Different teams within the facility participate in the many validation meetings, leading to discussions of different aspects of a unit's operation. This knowledge sharing, that otherwise may not happen, contributes to deeper understanding of the facility for all parties involved.

RBI is a logical way to develop inspection programs based on risk and prioritize future inspection plans. There are also many ancillary benefits that are not as obvious. Building risk-based inspection programs requires large amounts of data organization and analysis, which leads to manageable file structures and more familiarity of the processes for the facility personnel.


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