Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is a proven method used to optimize inspection activities based on risk analysis. RBI defines the risk of operating process equipment as the combination of two separate elements: the consequence and the likelihood of failure.

The objective of RBI is to determine what incident could occur (consequence) in the event of an equipment failure, and how likely (probability) it is that the incident could happen. For example, if a pressure vessel subject to damage from corrosion under insulation develops a leak, a variety of consequences could occur.

Inspection intervals for equipment have in the past been defined in a prescriptive manner. However, industry is now embracing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) approach which in contrast prioritizes inspections based on an assessment of the risk to each individual item. The key outcome of any RBI scheme is a prioritized and focused inspection schedule. The RBI Inspection Program as shown below depicts the essential elements of inspection planning based on risk analysis. Regardless of which RBI approach is applied, i.e. each of the essential elements are necessary for a complete RBI program regardless of approach (qualitative, semi-quantitative, or quantitative).

RBI Inspection Program

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