Industrial Plant Inspection

The Industrial Plant Inspection article provides you with information about in-service inspection of fix equipment in the industrial plants.

The content will introduce you the codes and standards and summaries of important points for each equipment type.

The phrases "Industrial plant inspection activities" refers to the inspection or integrity department in oil, gas, chemical or other industrial plants, which is responsible for carrying out the inspection in an operating unit.

Industrial Plant Inspection

The inspections are done according to the following timelines:

  • Periodic external inspections
  • Overhaul or shutdown internal inspections
  • Emergency shutdown inspections

The inspection department in the industrial plants generally takes care of the static equipment; rotating, electrical and instrumental equipment are not in the scope of the inspection department, and normally, maintenance department takes care of those.

Some local authorities mandate that pressurized equipment be inspected in specific intervals by third party inspection agencies. This is normally called third party inspection of a plant.

The static equipment can be categorized as follows when referring to industrial plant inspections:

Industrial Plant Inspection - Pressure vessels

The in-service inspection code for your pressure vessel inspection is API Standard 510. The other API and ASME Codes can be used as supplementary information.

The following standards, codes and recommended practices are used for pressure vessel inspection:

  • API Standard 510; Pressure Vessel Inspection Code: In-Service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration
  • API Recommended Practice 572; Inspection Practices for Pressure Vessels
  • API Recommended Practice 576; Inspection of Pressure-relieving Devices
  • API Recommended Practice 577; Welding Inspection and Metallurgy
  • API Recommended Practice 571; Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry
  • ASME PCC-2; Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping
  • National Board Inspection Code NB-23
  • ASME Section VIII; Rules for Constructing Pressure Vessels
  • Section IX, Welding and Brazing Qualifications

The last two items are specific codes for new construction; however, most of the technical requirements for design, welding, NDE, and materials can be applied to the inspection, rerating, repair, and alteration of in-service pressure vessels.

ASME PCC-2, NB-23 and API 510 can be used for pressure vessel repair.

The NB-23 code covers the rules and guidelines for in-service inspection, repair, and alteration of pressure- retaining items.

For more information, please review the Pressure Vessel Inspection and the Heat Exchanger Inspection articles.

Industrial Plant Inspection - Piping Systems

The in-service inspection code for your piping system inspection is API Standard 570. The other API and ASME Code can be used as supplementary information.

The following standards, codes and recommended practices are used for pressure vessel inspection:

  • API Standard 570; Piping Inspection Code: In-service Inspection, Rating, Repair, and Alteration of Piping Systems
  • API Recommended Practice 574; Inspection Practices for Piping System Components
  • API Recommended Practice 577; Welding Inspection and Metallurgy
  • API Recommended Practice 571; Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry
  • API Recommended Practice 578; Material Verification Program for New and Existing Alloy Piping Systems
  • ASME PCC-2; Repair of Pressure Equipment and Piping
  • ASME B16.5, Pipe Flanges and Flanged Fittings
  • ASME Section B31.3; Rules for Constructing Process Piping
  • Section IX, Welding and Brazing Qualifications

The last three items are specific codes for new construction; however, most of the technical requirements for design, welding, NDE, and materials can be applied to the inspection, rerating, repair, and alteration of in-service piping systems.

ASME PCC-2, NB-23 and API 570 can be used for Piping repair.

For more information, please review the Piping Inspection article. This article covers both field inspection and in-service inspection. You may review only the in-service inspection section.

Industrial Plant Inspection-Storage Tank

The in-service inspection code for storage tank inspection is API Standard 653. The other API and ASME Codes can be used as supplementary information.

Following standards, codes and recommended practices are used for storage tank inspection:

  • API Standard 653; Tank Inspection, Repair, Alteration, and Reconstruction
  • API Recommended Practice 575; Inspection of Atmospheric and Low-Pressure Storage Tanks
  • API Recommended Practice 651; Cathodic Protection of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tanks
  • API Recommended Practice 652; Lining of Aboveground Petroleum Storage Tank Bottoms
  • API Recommended Practice 577; Welding Inspection and Metallurgy
  • API Recommended Practice 571; Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry
  • API Standard 650, Welded Steel Tanks for Oil Storage
  • Section IX, Welding and Brazing Qualifications

The last two items are specific codes for new construction; however, most of the technical requirements for design, welding, NDE, and materials can be applied to the inspection, rerating, repair, and alteration of in-service storage tanks.

For more information, please review the Above Ground Storage Tank Inspection article. This article covers both field inspection and in-service inspection. You may review only the in-service inspection section.

Industrial Plant Inspection - Steam Boiler

The In-Service Inspection code for your steam boiler is ASME Section VII. The API also has recommended practice for boiler inspection.

The following standards, codes and recommended practices are used for steam boiler inspection:

  • ASME Section VII Recommended Guideline for the Care of Power Boilers
  • API Recommended Practice 573; Inspection of Fired Boilers and Heaters
  • API Recommended Practice 577; Welding Inspection and Metallurgy
  • API Recommended Practice 571; Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry
  • ASME Section I; Rules for Constructing of Power Boiler
  • Section IX, Welding and Brazing Qualifications

The last two items are specific codes for new construction; however, most of the technical requirements for design, welding, NDE, and materials can be applied to the inspection, rerating, repair, and alteration of boilers.

For more information, please review the boiler inspection article. This article covers shop, field and in-service inspections. You may review only the in-service inspection section.

Industrial Plant Inspection - Process Heater

The In-Service Inspection code for your process heater is API Recommended Practice 573.

The following standards, codes and recommended practices are used for process heater inspection:

  • API Recommended Practice 573; Inspection of Fired Boilers and Heaters
  • API Recommended Practice 577; Welding Inspection and Metallurgy
  • API Recommended Practice 571; Damage Mechanism Affecting Fixed Equipment in the Refining Industry
  • API Standard 560; Fired Heaters for General Refinery Services
  • API Recommended Practice 556; Fired Heaters and Steam Generators
  • API Recommended Practice 535; Burners for Fired Heaters in General Refinery Services
  • API Recommended Practice 534; Heat Recovery Steam Generators
  • ASME Section IX, Welding and Brazing Qualifications

The last five items are specific codes for new construction; however, most of the technical requirements for design, welding, NDE, and materials can be applied to the inspection, rerating, repair, and alteration of in-service process heaters.

Industrial Plant Inspection - Industrial Valves

The in-service inspection code for your Pressure-relieving Devices is API Recommended Practice 576. This code needs to be used in conjunction with API STD 510.

The API 510 determines the requirement for inspection interval and API RP 576 specifies the inspection practice.

For more information, please review the Pressure Safety Valve Inspection article. This article covers shop inspection and in-service inspection. You may review only the in-service inspection section.

The in-service code for other industrial valves such as Globe Valve, Gate Vale, Check Valve and Plug Valve is addressed in the piping in-service inspection code as stated in above. In other words, in API STD 570 and API RP 574.

If a major repair is carried out, then valve testing might be needed, which can be done based on API Standard 598.

Industrial Plant Inspection - Risk Based Inspection

Based on the API 580 definition, the risk based inspection is a risk assessment and management process that is focused on the loss of containment of pressurized equipment in processing facilities, due to material deterioration.

These risks are managed primarily through equipment inspection.

The technique is almost new and applied in processing plants and is used as a supplementary recommended practice for inspection intervals, method of inspections and scope of inspections.

For example, you may determine your pressure vessel internal inspection based API 510 requirement or carry out the risk based inspection and determine the interval, method of inspection and scope of inspection.

The API 510 allows you to choose this alternative method. API RP 580 is provides the definition and general requirement for risk based inspection and API RP 581 introduces you to a specific quantitative methodology for risk based inspection implementation in your plant.

The Plant inspection is very wide in scope, and a single article might not be enough to cover all aspects of this.

Related Articles:

Third Party Inspection, Pre-Shipment Inspection, Vendor Inspection, Inspection and Test Plan, Industrial Quality Control, Industrial Test System, Industrial Test Calibration, Commodity Inspection, Factory Acceptance Test, Vendor Inspection Services, Goods Inspection Services, Commodity Inspection Services, Preshipment Inspection Services, 3rd Party Shop Inspection, Third Party Inspection for Material Stamp, Quality Control Plan, Quality Control Manuals for Contractors, Quality Control Manual, Contractor Quality Control Plan, Third Party Inspection Expediting, Industrial Quality Control


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