About > Top Inspection Issues

What’s Your POV? Here’s Ours.

A sampling of some of the most common inspection challenges our inspection experts hear regularly. What’s your take? Do you agree with our POV? 

› AVOID SURPRISES: PREVENTING OUTAGES & SHUTDOWNS

Finding ways to prevent forced outages and unplanned shutdowns is critical. We don’t believe in changing how you’ve always done things. Instead, we add to it by assessing your approach and enhancing it with proactive strategies. We look at the risks and apply the best engineering, planning, and methods (screening and volumetric) so that when you inspect something you are CERTAIN that you know what you have on your hands. Then we provide an engineered report detailing your priority items so you can easily ACT appropriately.

Being proactive (not reactive) to possible bad actors is key to a successful program and safety. Understanding risks in advance is critical. Performing a root cause analysis or fault tree analysis after equipment fails is too late. A proactive Asset Integrity program using the correct NDE technology based on Probability of Detection (PoD) will identify the damage mechanisms, and the location(s) most susceptible to the damage mechanism in advance. Having a well-defined, asset integrity program with an inspection plan for each equipment will help you avoid surprises, prevent unplanned outages and shutdowns and save lives.

› THE HARM IN A 50 PG. ANALYSIS

The most common thing an over-bloated inspection analysis report does is justify the money you spent to get it. Big, bland reports like this lack the actionable specifics you really wanted. Most chief inspectors/engineers have many scheduled and unscheduled concerns during each day. Time spent reviewing an analysis should be expedited and concentrated on items that need immediate attention of upcoming repairs/actions. A summarized glance of each item inspected, along with a well thought out Priority Matrix, allows a chief inspector or engineer to visually recognize and then navigate to bad actors at the click of a button. A commentary that provides clear findings and code based recommendations is the cornerstone of reporting This commentary should be supported by code-based, inspection- gathered detailed data, drawings, photographs so that you can resolve and bad actors before they become a safety, environmental or production concern.

› CAN THE UNCONTROLLABLE BE CONTROLLED?

Is it possible? In a word, yes. Inspectors know that there is various equipment in each process that have known risks. These are the bad actors and every plant has them. There are steps that can be taken to identify when this equipment falls above the acceptable risk line, and fail-safe measures to ensure that the equipment never drops below that acceptable risk line. Identifying the bad actors is paramount to ensuring safety and controlling what seems uncontrollable. We recommend developing a frequency and technology matrix, depending on the damage mechanism, which allows for the chief inspector/engineer to decide what type of advanced inspection technique is needed—sometimes this may include extreme measures such as continuous monitoring and control room alarms.

› CAN SAFETY BE MANAGED ON A BUDGET?

The most effective way to increase safety and reliability within budget and time constraints is to ensure that your inspection plan has good information, planning, technology, execution and engineering. By using historical data (CMMS etc.), and considering the consequence and probability of failure risks, you can create inspection plans that maximize the probability of detection (PoD). The key is to capture the right information at the onset. With accurate and complete information, you can create a highly-focused roadmap that enables you to test where the most likely problems are and which will cause the most harm, and then act decisively to ensure safety with the information gathered.

› WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN INSPECTION PARTNER?

Beyond just price and convenience, ensuring that you have professional and qualified technicians is an absolute MUST. Additionally, it’s important to assess whether your inspection partner will help raise the bar on your plant’s reliability and safety. To do that we recommend:

  1. Choosing a partner who will look at criticality at all your equipment, historical data, and do a complete damage mechanism assessment.

  2. Using the previous information, a quality partner will engineer an inspection plan with available inspection methods to deliver a probability of detection (PoD), and an inspection roadmap for the qualified inspectors to follow.

  3. Once the data is collected and verified for integrity, a partner committed to providing a competitive advantage, will provide a customized report engineered to deliver actionable information that is supported by code-based recommendations so that you can take appropriate action without wading through reams of erroneous data.

› SUSPICIOUS ABOUT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES?

The emergence of new techniques, technologies and screening tools has never been greater than it is today and the opportunity for our industry to improve reliability is significant. Many new technologies and approaches get a bad rap. Often this is due to improper application, poor training and over stated expectations. This has hindered the widespread adoption of advanced technologies and techniques.

Before considering something like GUL, PAUT, ET, EMAT, Dig X-ray, it’s critical to get clear about what the technique or technology can deliver. The easiest way to do that is to establish a Probability of Detection (PoD) for the inspection that takes multiple variables into consideration, including the limits of the technologies, the experience and qualifications of the inspector, and the environment in which it may be used.

If a decision is made to move forward, successful utilization of new technologies should include:

  • Qualified technicians performing these inspections.
  • A Probability of Detection (PoD) study & spec to identify the highest levels of detection.
  • A procedure that qualifies the spec. and development of a training program to qualify each inspector to a level of PoD

This will provide the technician, operations, and Engineering divisions with the needed confidence in the information delivered and help ensure that it is immediately ACTIONABLE.

› 5-UNDERUTLIZED, BUDGET-CONSCIOUS, PROACTIVITY TIPS

  1. Provide an at-a glance analysis on the highest to the lowest risk equipment and prioritize techniques that can provide the most feedback on system health.

  2. Provide continuous monitoring systems on high probability of failure equipment

  3. Gather and identify Historical Bad Actors utilizing the CMMS program (Ignoring these can be catastrophic). Determine priorities based on how a failure will affect overall safety and production. The visibility will surface previously unseen insights and reveal opportunities to optimize resources, increase the effectiveness of the inspection program, and improve reliability and uptime.

  4. Use NDE screening tools on high risk equipment to cover a large area of the needed inspection quickly (i.e. GUL, EMAT, PEC), and locate anomalies in places not normally inspected. Follow-up quickly with volumetric techniques.

  5. Conduct Failure analysis/root cause analysis on the identified bad actors to allow for proper engineering design, safety and extended life of the system. This could come in many forms e.g. change in materials, updating of the chemical injection program, pipe stress analysis etc.…