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HOW TO ENGINEER SAFETY & RELIABILITY INTO YOUR INSPECTIONS

Six Engineering Services that Matter

The expertly trained Atlas engineering team brings a deep working knowledge to its full suite of engineering services. The team’s skillful project management, advice, and detailed design efforts ensure that projects are expertly managed and finished on time so that critical assets run reliably and predictably—ensuring the safety of your people and operations.

Inspection Planning

WHAT IT IS:

A highly focused roadmap of a Static or Dynamic inspection campaign. Often overlooked in importance, this engineering analysis is a key component to a successful inspection and ensures that your expectations are met.

WHY IT MATTERS:

The damage mechanism and sometimes multiple damage mechanisms in a system can produce anything from a pin-hole leak to a catastrophic, life changing impact.

HOW IT WORKS:

During the initial Engineering phase, Atlas conducts a short study of the consequences and probability of system failure. This includes constructing the pieces, research material, design information, historical bad actors, damage mechanisms and their effects on the process, chemical input, process chemistry, safety of the unit or equipment and applies the foundation for the depth and level of inspection technology needed to properly predict remaining life.

THE RESULT:

Inspection Planning study results enable selection of the proper NDE technology and most importantly clarify the level of PoD (probability of detection) needed to properly identify anomalies in the system and successfully predict remaining life of components. The study also considers historical bad actors, previous component failures and identifies the steps needed to improve the life of the component.

THE NEXT STEP:

The client and Atlas engineering review and discuss the inspection plan to ensure alignment and partnership. This may include revising the plan with new information. The resulting final analysis is used to set up an actionable pathway forward to accurately manage equipment for safety and reliability.

Actionable Reporting

WHAT IT IS:

Actionable reporting is a direct outcome of the engineering analysis conducted during the inspection planning.

WHY IT MATTERS:

The actionable reporting defines the level of PoD needed and allows for sound Engineering judgment is the ultimate deliverable.

HOW IT WORKS:

The report is an interactive analysis that provides multiple, critical perspectives accessible with the click of a mouse. It includes:

  • Summary – A thousand-foot view of the components health with references to an Inspection Priority Matrix (IPM).

  • Priorities – The IPM considers the many task clients face each day, to enable quick maneuvering to the highest priority items.

  • Code-based Details – Priority items are connected to rich commentary that supplies an overview of inspection findings with priority reference, and code-based recommendations for further action by a certified engineer/inspector.

THE RESULT:

All the information you need is intelligently organized into an action plan. When anomalies or areas of concerns are located, summary-level to in-depth supporting data is supplied in with photographs, grids, visuals, and additional measurements. This creates a virtual electronic tour into the anomaly. Fitness for Service and other Engineering calculations provides a profound study calculation taking into consideration current system damage condition, which allows for safe extended life, or the information needed to determine whether to take the equipment out of service (OOS).

Engineering Toolbox

WHAT IT IS:

A variety of as-needed engineering analysis services to ensure safety and reliability, including Pipe Stress Analysis, Root Cause Analysis, Finite Element Analysis, Risk-Based Analysis, and B31.G Analysis

WHY IT MATTERS:

These services enable clients to make informed, proactive decisions in the design phase, in service changes of process and system health design wise, or post-service studies and corrective action based on engineering principles and calculations.

Metallurgical Laboratory

WHAT IT IS:

Identifies the state of material wear life in a system, which can be semi-constant or changing depending on the system’s operating parameters compared to design thresholds.

WHY IT MATTERS:

Before any type of testing is conducted, such as Service Testing, In-Service Testing or Post-Service Testing, the Metallurgical laboratory supports engineering by identifying the gaps to achieving 100 percent system uptime and what needs to be done to achieve zero failures.

HOW IT WORKS:

The metallurgical lab studies the change in material properties in a systems parameter, either inside or outside of design thresholds.  Understanding the material property changes leads to higher system safety in the system because the anomalous material is identified and replaced helping to avoid shutdowns and ultimately saves lives.

THE RESULT:

This testing enables clients to proactively make safety decisions. Decisions can be analyzed using a Success Tree or a Fault Tree analysis. Testing either a failed system and installing a corrective action, or testing in the systems parameters with accelerated stress testing (ACT) can lead to system uptime improvements and improve facility safety.

COMPONENTS OF A METALLURIGICAL LABORATORY:

  1. Failure Analysis

  2. Corrosion and Wear
  3. Material Identification
  4. Scanning Electron Microscopy ‐ Fatigue/Stress Corrosion Cracking/High Temp Hydrogen Attack/Particle Morphology
  5. Grain Size Measurements
  6. Hardness – Rockwell, Brinell, Vickers
  7. Macro‐imaging
  8. Micro‐imaging
  9. Fractography ‐ study of the fracture surfaces of materials.
  10. Deposit analysis
  11. Mechanical testing – Tensile Testing, Elevated Temp Tensile Testing, Impact Testing, Stress Rupture and Creep testing, Fracture Mechanics etc.

Reliability Engineering

WHAT IT IS:

Enables useful life improvement in dynamic equipment by identifying component risk.

WHY IT MATTERS:

Component Risk involves studying system back-up and parallel processes, production loss upon failure, historical bad actors, spare parts program, failure modes, and component replacement timeframe.

HOW IT WORKS:

A Technology and Frequency matrix is constructed based on component risk.

THE RESULT:

When component risks are identified and matrixed, the Probability of Failure and Consequence of Failure is made crystal clear. This enables client to responsibly plan and commit adequate financial resources to critical decisions such as: Funding of spare parts programs; Investment in inspection technology and frequency of inspections; and human resource planning related to level of plant personnel needed on staff.

RELIABILITY OVERVIEW

  1. Predictive Maintenance – (PdM) Vibration Analysis, Balancing, Infrared, Oil Analysis

  2. Preventive Maintenance

  3. Risk Based Analysis design for Dynamic Equipment- Quantitative or Qualitative Models

  4. Weibull Model design, Poisson Distribution model design, Kaplan-Meier Estimate for Reliability , Mann-Whitney Test and Hypothesis Testing

  5. Engineering Reliability Studies (See next set)

ENGINEERING RELIABILITY STUDIES

  1. Stress Strength Analysis

  2. FMEA – Failure Modes and Effect Analysis

  3. FMECA – Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis

  4. FTA - Fault Tree Analysis

  5. STA – Success Tree Analysis

  6. Common Mode Failure Analysis

PoD Studies per Technology

WHAT IT IS:

A Probability of Detection (PoD) study is used to detect flaws and determine risks related to fitness-for-service.

WHY IT MATTERS:

Once PoD results are reviewed and mutually approved, the proper Inspector Level can be integrated into the inspection process, so that the right expertise can be deployed for subsequent inspections. This is critical to ensuring safety and reliability because the PoD results directly impact the selection of future inspectors and inspection processes, which are not all created equal.

HOW IT WORKS:

The Atlas Inspection Engineering Division conducts a thorough study to identify an accurate PoD for each inspection technology and damage mechanism. Each PoD study includes damage mechanism/inspector training/NDE technology. These studies are used in relation to a specific inspection technology and system damage mechanism and should be different depending on the consequence of failure of the system.