Learn how an RBI pilot helped a mining and metals operator improve fixed equipment integrity compliance and reduce inspection costs.
One of the world’s largest mining and metals organizations has a facility in the Western United States. This facility provides the materials necessary for cell phones, cars, computers, and other products of modern living.
This organization wanted to ensure its fixed equipment integrity program demonstrated compliance with industry codes, standards, and safe work practices, as well as an internal process safety standard. At the same time, the organization also wanted to improve operational performance. Specifically, leaders wanted to reduce integrity-related unplanned downtime events, optimize maintenance and inspection spend, and ensure the operating context is controlled and managed.
To meet compliance, the organization needed to understand all assets’ current health by performing damage-specific focused baseline inspections. To obtain this goal, the facility required documentation updates and for its Asset Performance Management (APM) platform to be up-to-date and fully functional. The work scope included fixed equipment and piping in the concentrator, smelter, refiner, tailings, and utilities.
To help drive asset integrity, Pinnacle supported the organization with a Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) pilot and proof of concept. RBI is a proven methodology which prioritizes inspection activities that focus on the greatest areas of risk. By focusing on risk, RBI identifies the optimal times to perform inspections, in addition to what the inspector should be looking for and which methods will be the most effective. This strategic approach reduces loss of containment risk, increases safety, and optimizes spending. The following tasks were included in Pinnacle’s scope of work:
By completing the asset integrity program build and implementing the RBI pilot, the organization is now set up to have a successful Mechanical Integrity (MI) program and now experiences the following benefits.
Fixed Equipment Integrity Program Foundations
- Master Asset List created and compared to asset hierarchy into the CMMS.
- 280 assets added into the CMMS.
- 1,058 P&IDs field walked, redlined, and updated in CAD to match field.
- 60 assets added to drawings.
- 1,900 piping circuits created.
- P&IDs circuitized to create inspection plans.
- 5,500+ Damage Mechanism assignments created.
- Damage-mechanism driven inspection plans created and loaded into the GE APM IDMS platform.
- 6,000+ inspection tasks created and defined in GE APM IDMS & scheduled through CMMS.
- Condition Monitoring Locations (CML) specific to asset damage mechanisms selected and measured.
- 1,200+ tanks, piping circuits, and vessel inspections (30% of all facility assets) were performed, resulting in over 600 recommendations that were loaded into GE APM IDMS, reviewed, and approved by Senior Asset Integrity Engineers at the facility.
- Integrating Living Program workflows into Asset Integrity program to define data management, processes, decisions, and upkeep.
- Implementing Inspection Data Management System (IDMS) / Asset Performance Management (APM) System and integrating a feedback loop with SAP.
- Reviewing Asset Integrity Management System documents for consistency and best practices.
- Creating a bill of material for pressure relief devices.
Operational Performance Improvements
- Corrosion Model Diagrams visualize systems and damage areas.
- CML placement focuses on optimal coverage for local areas and NDE technology.
- KPIs and reports which deliver insights into asset health and inspection program.
- Detailed inspection and maintenance planning for high consequence assets.
- Optimized PRD testing strategies.
- Asset Integrity systems include low-criticality and/or run-to-failure assets.
- End-of-life strategies for aging equipment and high-wear components.
- Operational control strategy pilot, focused on Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs), Startup/Shutdown Concerns, and other Operations Limits.
- Improved governance documents for craft training and contractor requirements.
- Drive inspection work ticketing.
- House risk mitigation strategies.
- Contain inspection results.
Optimizing Inspections Based on Asset Risk
Through the pilot, the mining organization was able to see how RBI can help to effectively meet compliance and safety goals, while also optimizing inspection spend. With the RBI pilot, inspection strategies are now optimized for task timing and rigor. In addition, feedback loops are now in place to update risk based on inspection results.
When comparing the baseline inspections and time-based intervals to the baseline inspections and risk-based intervals, we found that risk-based inspection will save $101,000 across an 11-year period. This is a 36% reduction in total costs. When excluding the initial overdue nominal baselines (which do not change from traditional to RBI) upfront of $87,000, the difference in savings represents a savings of over 50% of inspection costs from years 2-11.
This RBI pilot was performed on only a selected sub-set of assets within the plant to represent a larger impact. It included 25 total vessels and 15 piping circuits, which makes up approximately 2% of the total plant’s asset base.
Now that the asset integrity program implementation is complete, the organization’s next step is to scale the RBI program to the rest of the site. After that, the organization can take a further step to evolve its program by implementing a data-drive model, such as Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO). QRO is a dynamic, hybrid analysis model that synthesizes and expands upon the best elements of existing reliability models for both fixed and non-fixed assets. QRO uses new data science and analytical concepts to forecast and strategically balance facility availability, improve process safety, and optimize operations and maintenance spending.