Mechanical Integrity (MI) is a means to minimize the potential for loss of containment of hazardous chemicals. While mechanical integrity is viewed by many in industry to be all about testing and inspection at the core, it is much more comprehensive than that and incorporates all 7 elements of MI that manage asset reliability as the real core of an effective MI program.
An effective MI program relies on solid Asset Strategy Management (ASM). As companies mature, ASM imbeds all 7 elements of MI into management of their assets.
Mechanical Integrity has work processes for each element, the following is an example of the testing and inspection work process which should encompass the following key activities.
Inspectors need to access relevant engineering information and enact visual inspections to identify deficiencies at the point of work. OS provides these capabilities, and more, through OESuite®, our enterprise mobile application platform for process safety management and other key business requirements. With OESuite®, as deficiencies are identified, they can be tracked seamlessly while simultaneously prioritizing work notifications and work orders. Inspectors can also manually enter thickness readings or bring in ultrasonic readings automatically using OESuite’s Bluetooth integration. Our mobile applications will help eliminate the need for manual data entry at the end of the shift and reduce overall data entry errors – resulting in enhanced data accuracy and efficiency, and less overall operational risk.
Operational Sustainability® assists clients with Mechanical Integrity by developing business processes, standards, policies, procedures, and field guides. The Operational Sustainability® OESuite® software effectively addresses all aspects of change from an integrated Operations Management System. OS offers 40 Mechanical Integrity technical standards.
Not only does OS offer customizable technical content, we also offer our industry leading OESuite® software platform with nearly 40 modules. To accelerate the implementation of our software, we offer:
Our Technical Content will save you thousands of hours, while allowing you to focus on your organization’s core capability.
OESuite® offers several modules to underpin a mechanical integrity program.
Key integrations from the MI portfolio include:
These integration points also allow for the enablement of robust and unique Key Performance Indicators (KPI) within the OESuite® platform. OESuite® is integrated with leading data historians including OSI PI, IP.21 and enterpriseasset management systems like SAP PM, and Maximo.
Operational Sustainability® can help companies develop a comprehensive mechanical integrity strategy. It starts with developing MI work processes and accountability structures. Next, an MI gap assessment is conducted to assess the existing MI program. The results of the gap assessment will help identify technical standards that are lacking, along with a strategy for MI data management. Finally, an implementation plan will be created to layout a new MI program.
While effective MI is critical to achieving process safety compliance, optimizing equipment uptime is key to maximizing profitability. A holistic MI program contributes to an overall Asset Performance Management (APM) strategy that helps companies leverage data from sensors to predict failures. OS helps you move beyond traditional, human-intensive reliability engineering to utilizing asset strategy libraries to maximize efficiency and effectiveness.
Recent industry incidents and evolving societal views have driven awareness of the need for risk-based MI programs with a focus on Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM). Good engineering practices also advocate for Integrity Operating Windows (IOW) to address feedstock variability and process upsets.
Corrosion Control Documentation (CCD) is a valuable addition to an effective MI program as they help identify the damage mechanism susceptibilities of pressure-containing piping and equipment, factors influencing damage mechanism susceptibilities, and recommended actions to mitigate the risk of loss of containment or unplanned outages. The CCD work process can also be integrated with other plant integrity programs such as Management of Change (MOC), Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), and RCM.
While CCDs have some overlap with IOWs and RBI, it is useful to start by establishing these programs if they don’t exist or aren’t robust. IOWs provide a risk mitigation plan for unexpected equipment degradation and help reduce operating costs.
CCD / IOW Analysis identifies assets, asset components, damage mechanisms, documents, material specifications, and other necessary components that are tied to process streams with fluid operating conditions. Studies can be performed at a unit level, with all loops identified. Potential IOWs are suggested based on damage mechanisms, asset priorities are assigned, and IOW tags can be selected for monitoring.
IOWs need to be proactively monitored to avoid setting up new damage mechanisms that could lead to accelerated equipment deterioration. This in turn assists the inspection planning process.
RBI comes into play when companies want to consider cost savings on their inspection programs, reduce Environmental, Health, & Safety (EHS) risk exposure, and identify, repair, or replace deteriorating equipment in a timely manner.