|Description / Abstract
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Although the risk management principles and concepts that RBI is
built on are universally applicable, this RP is specifically
targeted at the application of RBI in the hydrocarbon and chemical
Flexibility in Application
Because of the broad diversity in organizations' size, culture,
federal and/or local regulatory requirements, this RP offers users
the flexibility to apply the RBI methodology within the context of
existing corporate risk management practices and to accommodate
unique local circumstances. The document is designed to provide a
framework that clarifies the expected attributes of a quality risk
assessment without imposing undue constraints on users. This RP is
intended to promote consistency and quality in the identification,
assessment, and management of risks pertaining to material
deterioration, which could lead to loss of containment.
Many types of RBI methods exist and are currently being applied
throughout industry. This document is not intended to single out
one specific approach as the recommended method for conducting an
RBI effort. The document instead is intended to identify and
clarify the essential elements of an RBI analysis and program.
Mechanical Integrity Focused
The RBI process is focused on maintaining the mechanical
integrity of pressure equipment items and minimizing the risk of
loss of containment due to deterioration. RBI is not a substitute
for a PHA or hazard and operability assessment (HAZOP). Typically,
PHA risk assessments focus on the process unit design and operating
practices and their adequacy given the unit's current or
anticipated operating conditions. RBI complements the PHA by
focusing on the mechanical integrity related damage mechanisms and
risk management through inspection. RBI also is complementary to
RCM programs in that both programs are focused on understanding
failure modes, addressing the modes and therefore improving the
reliability of equipment and process facilities.
The following types of equipment and associated
components/internals are covered by this document.
a) Pressure Vessels—All pressure containing components.
b) Process Piping—Pipe and piping components.
c) Storage Tanks—Atmospheric and pressurized.
d) Rotating Equipment—Pressure containing components.
e) Boilers and Heaters—Pressurized components.
f) Heat exchangers (shells, floating heads, channels, and
g) Pressure-relief devices
Equipment Not Covered
The following equipment is not covered by this document:
a) instrument and control systems,
b) electrical systems,
c) structural systems,
d) machinery components (except pump and compressor
However, these systems and components may be covered by other
types of RBI or risk assessment work processes such as RCM.
The primary audience for this RP is inspection and engineering
personnel who are responsible for the mechanical integrity and
operability of equipment covered by this RP. However, while an
organization's inspection/materials engineering group may champion
the RBI initiative, RBI is not exclusively an inspection activity.
RBI requires the involvement of various segments of the
organization such as engineering, maintenance and operations.
Implementation of the resulting RBI product (e.g. inspection plans,
replacement/upgrading recommendations, other mitigation activities,
etc.) may rest with more than one segment of the organization. RBI
requires the commitment and cooperation of the total operating
organization. In this context, while the primary audience may be
inspection and materials engineering personnel, other stakeholders
who are likely to be involved should be familiar with the concepts
and principles embodied in the RBI methodology to the extent
necessary for them to understand the risk assessment process and to
be able to accept the results.
The purpose of this document is to provide users with the basic
elements for developing, implementing, and maintaining a risk-based
inspection (RBI) program. It provides guidance to owners,
operators, and designers of pressure-containing equipment for
developing and implementing an inspection program. These guidelines
include means for assessing an inspection program and its plan. The
approach emphasizes safe and reliable operation through
risk-prioritized inspection. A spectrum of complementary risk
analysis approaches (qualitative through fully quantitative) can be
considered as part of the inspection planning process. RBI
guideline issues covered include an introduction to the concepts
and principles of RBI for risk management; and individual sections
that describe the steps in applying these principles within the
framework of the RBI process include:
a) understanding the design premise;
b) planning the RBI assessment;
c) data and information collection;
d) identifying damage mechanisms and failure modes;
e) assessing probability of failure (POF);
f) assessing COF;
g) risk determination, assessment, and management;
h) risk management with inspection activities and process
i) other risk mitigation activities;
j) reassessment and updating;
k) roles, responsibilities, training, and qualifications;
l) documentation and recordkeeping.
The expected outcome from the application of the RBI process
should be the linkage of risks with appropriate inspection, process
control or other risk mitigation activities to manage the risks.
The RBI process is capable of generating:
1) a ranking by relative risk of all equipment evaluated;
2) a detailed description of the inspection plan to be employed
for each equipment item, including:
— inspection method(s) that should be used [e.g. visual,
ultrasonic (UT), radiography, wet flourescent magnetic
— extent of application of the inspection method(s) (e.g.
percent of total area examined or specific locations);
— timing of inspections/examinations (inspection intervals/due
— risk management achieved through implementation of the
3) a description of any other risk mitigation activities [such
as repairs, replacements or safety equipment upgrades, equipment
redesign or maintenance, integrity operating windows (IOWs), and
controls on operating conditions];
4) the expected risk levels of all equipment after the
inspection plan and other risk mitigation activities have been
5) identification of risk drivers.
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