In part 2 of this series, I discussed design codes and standards and the importance of documenting those for the individual pieces of equipment or components in the cover process. This information will be the basis in which the hazard analysis and subsequent inspections and tests will need to be completed to ensure that the equipment continues to achieve those minimum requirements. With that, the next area of RAGAGEP is that for mechanical integrity or MI. Again, a list of RAGAGEPs is not what is needed nor required. A specific RAGAGEP must be utilized for inspections and tests that coincide with the RAGAGEP used for design. This may include the original equipment manufacturer’s requirements since the equipment was designed to RAGAGEP, then it would also be acceptable to use that as an MI RAGAGEP. In choosing an MI RAGAGEP, it is important that you understand their application and limitations. For example, it is fairly common for a facility to indicate that they are utilizing a Risk Based Inspection (RBI) protocol such as API 580. However, they have not conducted any previous inspections, or they have limited or no historical data to allow them to evaluate their risks to set inspection intervals. Mainly, the facility selected a RAGAGEP that allowed them to do “less inspections” only and did not ensure they were aware of the requirements to use that RAGAGEP.
It is important that each component in your process be inspected and tested in accordance with the appropriate RAGAGEP, and when those inspections and tests are conducted, we compare the results with the original design specifications to ensure the component still meets or exceeds the minimum design requirements.