HomeLearnCase StudiesCase Study: US Petrochemical Facility Sees a 62% Reduction in Loss of Primary Containment Failures Over Seven Years with Mechanical Integrity Program

Case Study: US Petrochemical Facility Sees a 62% Reduction in Loss of Primary Containment Failures Over Seven Years with Mechanical Integrity Program

Learn how we helped a petrochemical facility reduce the number of Loss of Primary Containment (LOPC) failures by implementing a Risk-Based Inspection and Evergreening program.


A large producer of polyurethane chemicals in North America creates materials for various industries, including the automotive, construction, and aerospace sectors. The facility has specific production objectives focused on efficiently delivering high-quality products to its customers while maintaining availability. To meet these objectives, the facility identified a need to implement a robust Mechanical Integrity (MI) program that would provide a long-term, cost-effective way to manage its assets.

The Challenge

While the facility regularly tracked important asset information such as overall equipment effectiveness, failures, and inspection spend for critical and non-critical equipment, the facility recognized there were improvements that needed to be made in their existing reliability program. For example, asset data was stored in different databases and managed by different teams, making it difficult to develop standardized approaches across the facility. As a result, the facility had a more reactive approach to maintenance and faced multiple challenges, including:

  • Inconsistent and siloed data and processes across all groups
  • Lack of focused asset strategies
  • Difficulty building and implementing evergreening processes

To address these challenges, improve reliability, and create consistency across the site, a site-wide initiative was instituted. The initiative aimed to equip the facility with the tools and resources needed to reduce inspection spend, ensure compliance, and guarantee the safety of its employees and surrounding communities. With this end goal in mind, facility leaders sought a third party to help implement a holistic reliability solution.

Pinnacle's Solution

Pinnacle was brought in as a strategic to develop and implement a proactive Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) and inspection program for the site’s fixed equipment. Pinnacle created a multi-year, four-phase implementation plan which included Inspection Data Management Software (IDMS) selection and implementation, RBI analysis, evergreening, and RBI revalidations. The goal of these strategies was to help the facility efficiently manage its operating risks.

Phase 1

One of the most critical steps in the plan was to organize the facility’s data. The facility had relied on data stored in multiple systems and managed by different teams, making it difficult to accurately pinpoint the timing and frequency of inspections. As a result, the facility was wasting money and resources on unnecessary, time-based inspections. To help organize this data, the Pinnacle team aided the facility’s leadership in choosing an IDMS that best-suited facility needs. Pinnacle helped configure the software to the site’s specific needs, and once the data was organized, it was uploaded into the system.

Phase 2

Pinnacle placed a team onsite to work collaboratively with the facility’s personnel to aid in the implementation of an RBI program. This program took place over two years and included piping systemization and circuitization, asset datamining, corrosion modeling, and asset strategies for 13 units. Each task was validated by both Pinnacle and facility Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). As a result of these strategies, the site also leveraged Pinnacle to offer inspection support through API and NDE Technicians.

Phase 3

Once the RBI program was in place, the facility took over the program for the next two years to gather data while Pinnacle continued to work on various special emphasis projects for the site, such as consolidating line specs and updating drawings. Pinnacle was then brought back to implement a robust evergreening program to maintain Management of Change (MOC) requests and conduct inspection grading in accordance with API 581 inspection effectiveness tables.

Phase 4

The final phase, RBI revalidations, came approximately five years after evergreening began and will be completed in 2022. The revalidation process is outlined in API RP 580 and says that an RBI program should be reevaluated on a ten-year schedule if there were changes that would affect the validity of the original study. This reevaluation will take the initial analysis and assumptions made in the original assessment and add them to data gathered over those five years. Depending on what data is available, some assumptions need to be made based on SME knowledge and industry standards during an initial RBI assessment. During the revalidation process, new data that has been collected over the previous five years is integrated into the model and helps to verify previous assumptions about corrosion rates are accurate or if they should be adjusted. In some cases, this data can help remove mechanisms that may not actually be applicable.

Additional elements of Pinnacle’s solution included field drafting, an embedded inspection team to support planned and unplanned inspections, and several special emphasis projects.


The site split its assets into two groups, one for what it deemed critical and one for non-critical equipment. These categories were determined by the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) impact that asset or circuit had if it failed. Over the years of implementation, the benefits started to become apparent. Using failure reports to track the impact, between 2013 and 2020, the site saw a 72% reduction in critical failures and a 48% reduction in non-critical failures, with an overall site failure reduction of 62%. When multiplied by the average cost per type of failure (critical vs non-critical), there is upwards of $500MM in value over that seven-year span that could be attributed to the improvements in the facility’s MI program.


With the help of Pinnacle, the site received a set of prioritized, tailored risk mitigation strategies that will equip facility leadership with the data they need to make strategic, cost-effective decisions. Leadership buy-in from the site and corporate was instrumental in the success of the implementation and sustainability of this program.

The program was kicked off almost ten years ago. In that time, facility leadership has made better strategic decisions, reduced inspection spend, and significantly reduced the number of LOPC events. Overall, the new program in place also allows for:

  • Improved safety and asset integrity
  • Optimized inspection plans and spend
  • Compliance with best practices and industry regulations
  • A robust evergreening plan and procedures
  • Improved understanding across the site’s departments on the impact of the work being completed and increased confidence of facility leadership in their data and programs


The success of this facility’s MI program has led to it being the focal point of corporate improvement strategies. In addition to starting the RBI revalidation process for this facility, Phase 4 of this project included the kickoff of a corporate initiative to improve the overall reliability of all the company’s Polyurethane sites. Each facility has now built its own program based on the framework of this US facility.

The next steps for the facility will be to complete the revalidations and continue to evergreen its MI program. As the site collects new data and makes operational and design changes, it is imperative that those changes are implemented into the analysis in a timely manner. Pinnacle is also currently helping implement a non-fixed asset program as outlined in this case study.

To learn more about how Pinnacle can help your facility build its best version of reliability, set up a discovery call.

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