A Fitness for Service, or FFS, evaluation is a standard evaluation used by the oil, gas, and chemical processing industries to determine the condition of in-service equipment. The standard defines flaw acceptance limits and allows engineers to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable flaws, helping reduce the amount of dangerous and unnecessary repairs.
Fitness for Service evaluations are critical to asset integrity management and can provide insight into the current state of equipment as well as remaining future life. Often, equipment has small flaws, but is still able to provide service, in which case repairing or replacing it would be unnecessary and expensive. For example, unnecessary welding repairs are risky to maintenance employees, and often cause more harm than good, making it critical to determine if such repairs are truly necessary. This can be accomplished through an FFS assessment.
An FFS evaluation is usually performed in increasingly thorough levels, from 1 to 3 as referenced by the API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 standard. This standard was developed and published jointly by the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade organization which represents the oil and natural gas industry, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), a not-for-profit organization that organizes collaboration across engineering disciplines to help the global engineering community, to describe viable FFS assessment techniques.
FFS evaluations can be useful in detecting welding defects, corrosion, general and local thinning, dents, gouges, pitting, brittle fracture, blisters, laminations, shell distortion, creep damage, flaws from overheating or fire damage, and more. An FFS evaluation usually assesses the integrity of the component and its current state of damage, and estimates the remaining life of the equipment.
Knowing more about the condition of your equipment can be a critical part of any business operation. Without monitoring your assets, you open yourself to the liability of asset failure which can resulting in financial losses or even dangers to workers, the public, or the environment.
Encorus Group is experienced in many fields of inspection, including Fitness for Service evaluations. If you believe you may be in need of these services, contact Keith Taylor, our Director of Mechanical Integrity, at 716.592.3980, ext. 143 or [email protected].