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Operational Benefits From Mechanical Integrity Inspections

By April 30, 2019No Comments3 min read

Encorus Group’s Director of Mechanical Integrity Services, Keith Taylor, has had an article published in “Uptime” magazine.

Are you getting all the benefits you can from mechanical integrity inspections?

For many organizations, these inspections are something they have to do to meet regulations. And, that’s important – those regulations are there to help provide a workplace that is safe for workers, the environment and the surrounding community.

But, some companies are able to leverage those inspections to gain new insights into their operations and build additional efficiencies.

This article shows how manufacturing professionals can work smoothly with a third-party mechanical inspection provider and use inspection results to build greater efficiency in their operations.

Meeting Your Company’s Regulatory Obligations

The most frequent reason why companies call inspectors is for regular professional inspections to meet environment, health and safety (EH&S) regulations. These inspections cover a wide area of issues, depending on what’s being inspected – a pressure vessel, a tank, a pipeline, a boiler, or other pieces of equipment. Each inspection is different in terms of what the inspector is looking for, the type of equipment and the requirements of the regulatory standard.

Inspectors can do their work most effectively, allowing a company’s operations to return to normal as soon as possible, if:

  • Any equipment that needs to be taken out of service for inspection has been shut down, locked out and isolated for safety, particularly if it is a piece of equipment that the inspector will need to enter in order to perform the inspection.
  • Equipment that is excessively hot or cold has been given time to reach a workable temperature.
  • Obstructive coatings of oil, product residue, ice buildup, or other material have been cleaned to permit an unobstructed evaluation of the equipment.
  • Specifications for the equipment are available, including the manufacturer’s data report, construction drawings and details about previous inspections and repair history.

Here’s why that last point matters. Consider, for example, a pressure vessel rated for 200 psi of internal pressure. An inspector calculates the minimum thickness of the shell and the heads, and determines if there is still adequate thickness and whether or not it has corroded away below the standard required. In order to perform those calculations, the inspector needs to know the strength of the material used to build the pressure vessel. Without the original drawings to indicate it was built out of a given type of steel, the inspector has to make conservative assumptions. As a result, the inspector may need to report that, based on available information, the pressure vessel isn’t fit for service. On the other hand, if the inspector knew the material was a higher strength steel and could confirm it through company-provided specifications, then the pressure vessel could be reported fit for service, provided all other conditions are met.

Read the full article here: How to Use Mechanical Integrity Inspections