Last week, we looked at some different types of inspections, and what is required to become a certified inspector in each. This week, we will take a closer look at API inspections, and why it’s important to utilize an experienced API inspector.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the major trade association for the oil and natural gas industry in the United States, and helps to set standards for the production, refinement, and distribution of petroleum products. The organization develops industry standards related to safety, efficiency, and sustainability. Even in situations where inspection is not required, following API guidelines can save clients money by extending the useful life of equipment, and can protect the safety of workers and the environment by preventing catastrophic failures and spills. An experienced API inspector can quickly identify areas of concern, and recommend feasible solutions.
The more training and experience an inspector has, the more broad and deep their knowledge base becomes. An experienced inspector gains valuable experience in different scenarios, and in a variety of technical areas. This will increase the inspector’s range of perspective and depth of understanding, and allow them to develop better judgement when confronted with issues.
Through proper training and experience, an API inspector will know what to look for in order to properly interpret the results of nondestructive tests and visual inspections. Is the area one random spot, or a larger area? What is the mode of failure that is most likely to occur in a particular set of service conditions? Is there general corrosion, isolated pitting, cracking, delamination, blistering, mechanical damage, or other conditions? Has there been work performed on the equipment previously? If so, was it done correctly?
An experienced API inspector will know the regulations and procedures as second nature, including any recent updates and the reasoning behind them. This means that your inspection can proceed more quickly, and that you can be confident in your inspector’s knowledge.
With years or decades of experience, an inspector will develop an eye for detail. This is important in spotting possible causes of defects, as well as any seemingly unrelated factors which may, indeed, be a contributing factor in the defect or problem. They will know what questions to ask when the problem is not obvious.
Encorus Group’s certified API inspectors have more than 100 years of combined experience and have inspected more than: 3,000 tanks, 15,000 pressure vessels, and over 200 miles of piping! That’s a lot of experience! We would be happy to bring our experience to you.
If you have questions for our Mechanical Integrity Team, or would like a quote on services, please call Keith Taylor at 716.592.3980, ext. 143 or email [email protected].