Risk-based inspection (RBI) technology is a risk assessment and optimization inspection method widely used in the petrochemical industry. It is based on the consideration of both system safety and efficiency. More than a decade ago, after the Chinese chemical industry started using RBI technology, the production was maximized without unnecessary inspections while ensuring high levels of equipment safety and lowering the risk of unnecessary shutdowns. Inspection resources were redirected towards highrisk equipment.
China’s Special Inspection Institute and Hefei GM have taken the lead in applying RBI technology to chemical companies in China over the past decade. Since 2006, Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute started using Synergi Plant RBI it has become the largest special inspection agency in China, specializing in equipment inspection and related technology research. It is a large-scale inspection and research group that integrates scientific research, inspection and technical services and sustainable development capabilities.
Reducing unnecessary inspections with RBI
The institute provides services for periodic inspection and appraisal of various types of boilers, large pressure vessels (including spherical storage tanks), railway tankers, medical oxygen tanks, pressure pipelines (long-distance pipelines, public pipelines, industrial pipelines), safety valves and other equipment. Prior to the adoption of risk-based inspection practices, the following difficulties were commonly encountered during equipment inspection:
- The need to open the equipment on-site
- Most inspections are carried out in the heat of summer, making the working environment harsh
- Inspection would take a long time
Very often, the condition of the equipment was assessed to be good and not targeted, making it inefficient and costly.
“Using the RBI software, we can conduct risk assessments of equipment and assets,” says Ge Zhiqiang, Senior Engineer at Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute. “On higher risk equipment we perform the necessary full inspection, opening the equipment, but for low-risk equipment this is not necessary. This improves inspection efficiency and avoids production loss.”
“Synergi Plant RBI software is well integrated with domestic standards,” he says. “It has a detailed calculation process for each damage mechanism. The calculation results are consistent with the actual test. Also, the user interface is intuitive and easier to operate,” he says.
Increasing risk calculation efficiency with Synergi Plant RBI
Jiangsu Province Special Inspection Institute currently has a team of 15-20 RBI experts using Synergi Plant RBI software. Before using the software, risk assessment was performed manually according to relevant national standards. This was a time-consuming and error-prone process where information was checked item by item. With Synergi Plant RBI, the calculation can be completed with one click after data entry. The engineer’s time is focused on the analysis and optimization, and the calculation efficiency is significantly improved.
Synergi Plant RBI software is developed by engineers according to API 580/581 standards to meet engineering needs. The development is based on DNV GL’s decades of certification consulting experience in the oil and gas and chemical industries. Its reliable and accurate model has been verified during extensive engineering practice of many major companies in the process industries.
Mr. Huang Hao, General Manager of DNV GL Digital Solutions, Greater China, says: “The cooperation between DNV GL and the Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute started in 2006. After more than ten years of development, we have established a deep strategic and cooperative relationship. JSSEI has become one of the largest customers for our Synergi Plant RBI software in China.”.
International and domestic standards
The use of Synergi Plant RBI software has introduced asset integrity management concepts and mature methods of RBI to Chinese companies, based on international standards such as API 580, API 581, EEMUA 159, DNVGL-RP-G101, and domestic security standard risk assessment methods and management systems.
DNV GL’s technical team gives users effective support based on industry expertise and software knowledge, also conveying best practices for using the latest version of the software. “For some of the damage mechanism calculations that are not well understood, DNV GL’s technical support engineers can quickly explain and provide relevant procedures as support,” says Ge Zhigiang. “The result is effective problem-solving.”
DNV GL’s new version of Synergi Plant RBI includes open integration interfaces, a web version and a cloud version. The newest version is now integrated fully with DNV GL’s asset integrity management solution, Synergi Plant. It offers a fully integrated web solution with a modern interface and workflow. It can also integrate with other related software systems, providing support for more efficient division of labour and cooperation between inspection units and owners, including data sharing. RBI operations can be extended to subsequent inspection plans, while the software also allows recording, filing and ongoing management of risk and performance. RBI is not limited to completion of inspection tasks, it helps companies achieve safer operation.
ABOUT JIANGSU SPECIAL INSPECTION INSTITUTE
Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute is focused on the application and development of new technologies in the special inspection industry. The company currently has 1,847 employees, including six doctoral students, 87 Masters students, 14 senior inspectors, 580 inspectors, 275 senior professionals, and more than 1,000 people with non-destructive testing qualifications. In 2010, Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute obtained the Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) qualification issued by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
- Customer name: Jiangsu Special Equipment Safety Supervision and Inspection Institute
- Website: jstzsb.com
- Market areas: special equipment inspection, safety supervision, technical training etc.
- Number of employees: 1847
- Software tool used: Synergi Plant RBI
Why we chose DNV GL - Digital Solutions:
- Synergi Plant RBI has a detailed calculation process for each damage mechanism, consistent with actual inspection
- Working relationship with DNV GL is simple, easy and reliable
- DNV GL's technical support responds quickly, can explain the damage mechanism in detail, and provide related algorithms to solve the problem
- Synergi Plant RBI is in line with operating instructions of Jiangsu Special Inspection Institute and relevant domestic standards
- Simple and user-friendly interface