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Case Study: Ensuring Accurate Minimum Thickness Data: How One Client Forecast a 225 percent Return on Investment

Learn how we helped a refinery recognize a 225 percent return on investment through the optimization of its inspection schedule, prolonged equipment life, and reduced risk on unexpected failures.

The Challenge

An oil and gas refinery located in Corpus Christi, Texas, supplies petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. This refinery discovered that the minimum thickness data for many of the facility’s assets was outdated and incorrect.

At this particular facility in South Texas, the inspection department found that in a multitude of cases, the minimum thickness data used to drive inspections was often outdated or incorrect. This error resulted in many unnecessary inspections, and in some cases, the early retirement of fit equipment. Therefore, the facility identified the need for a solution that would help them acquire reliable equipment documentation and minimum thickness information, in order to reduce costs and increase confidence in asset management.

As facilities within the refining industry continue to improve their MI programs, they strive to find solutions that will help optimize inspection intervals and maintenance costs. An integral component of building an effective inspection program is understanding the required minimum thickness of each asset. The use of required minimum thickness, in combination with accurate corrosion rates, provides dependable time frames for equipment inspection and replacement.

Pinnacle's Solution

Being recognized as an industry leader in building, implementing, and maintaining effective MI programs, Pinnacle was already running and maintaining an RBI program, following API 510, 570, and 580 standards, at this facility. To further enhance the RBI program, Pinnacle implemented the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Section VIII design calculations to arrive at accurate minimum thickness requirements. As part of the client’s customized solution, Pinnacle developed a multi-pronged approach to validate and update the information associated with any affected assets. This methodology included the following steps:

  • Reviewing equipment inspection documentation to identify vessel conditions.
  • Reviewing all design and construction documents to remove duplicate documents, or documents containing conflicting and/or incorrect data.
  • Performing field strapping on assets without accurate design documentation (in order to gather data and perform design calculations).
  • Establishing updated minimum required wall thickness calculations by using SAGEPlus™ software.
  • Populating the Plant Condition Management System (PCMS™) with updated data, in order to calculate new inspection dates.


As a result of this project, Pinnacle was able to address and correct numerous gaps in the refinery’s equipment data. The facility now experiences the following business benefits:

Mitigated Risk:

Implementation of the MI program enabled the facility to prioritize inspections and mitigate areas of high-risk.

Optimized Inspection Intervals and Costs:

By restoring asset data to become up-to-date and accurate, the facility was able to decrease unnecessary inspections and optimize its inspection intervals. Furthermore, because the solution provided optimization of inspections, avoidance of failures, and prolonged equipment life, the facility will save significant amounts of money down the line, with a forecast return on investment of 225 percent.

In addition to these critical benefits, the facility enjoys an increased confidence in the health of its equipment. Overall, Pinnacle’s solution will help the facility maintain an effective MI program for years to come.

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