Addressing Mechanical Integrity Issues
Our mechanical integrity experts have provided process safety, reliability and risk assessment services to a wide variety of production and process industries since 1977. ABS Group has also contributed to many industry committees addressing mechanical integrity issues, such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR). Our expertise in this subject matter was recognized when we were asked to author the book often referenced as the industry guidance for mechanical integrity programs, Guidelines for Mechanical Integrity Systems (Wiley, 2006), for CCPS.
Services to Help Achieve and Maintain Integrity
Our solutions help you develop and implement cost-effective, technically sound and compliant mechanical integrity programs through the following services:
In-Service Inspection Management
Owners of high-performance industrial and commercial assets count on ABS Group to perform In-Service Inspection services to assess the condition, operation and efficiency of equipment and systems. These assets include everything from offshore drillships and semisubmersibles to floating LNG units and oil, gas and chemical refineries. Our services can be provided during operation or shutdown, and upon completion we will issue a comprehensive report of all activity.
We can evaluate, inspect, maintain, design, analyze and improve various types of equipment, including electronic and mechanical equipment. Our qualified engineers and professionals will work with clients to eliminate or reduce downtime for fixed and rotating equipment, instrumentation and control systems. Our product knowledge and insight enable us to develop optimal solutions, and we work closely and in strict confidence to understand our customer's specific needs, concerns and requirements.
We also believe in the philosophy and practice of Concurrent Engineering. By early involvement with the project, and working closely with our customers' staff, we are able to avoid costly and unnecessary revisions.
Pressure Vessel/Tank Solutions
- ASME Section VIII, Division 1, 2, and 3
- ASME Section I and III
- API 620 and 650
- API 510, 570, and 653
- ANSI – Stack Design
R-Stamp and Re-Engineering
Pressure / Safety Relief Valves
Heat Exchangers and Fin Fan Coolers
Columns and Towers
Wind / Seismic Analysis
Re-Rates / Alterations in accordance with NBIC and API codes
Safety Instrumented System (SIS) / Safety Integrity Level (SIL) Calculations and Verification
Rotating Equipment ITPM / PdM
- ASME/ANSI B31.1 – Power piping
- ASME/ANSI B31.3 – Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
- ASME B31.G & B31.G Modified, and Strength
- API 570 Piping Systems
Fitness for Service
Fitness for Service (FFS) is a well known and important concept in process industries. FFS is the ability to demonstrate the structural integrity of an in-service component even though it contains a flaw. This serves as a rational basis for defining flaw acceptance limits and allows engineers to distinguish between benign and dangerous flaws. Our professionals serve as contributing members of the API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 committee.
ABS Group provides FFS for all damage mechanisms, including:
- Fracture analysis
- Fatigue analysis
- Elevated temperature evaluation
- Failure evaluation
- Crack-like flaws
- General and localized corrosion
- Blisters and HIC/SOHIC damage
- Weld misalignment and shell distortions
- Fire damage
- Dents, bulges and laminations
Finite Element Analysis
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is an approximation method of mathematically defining the geometry and the prescribed loading (boundary conditions) of a structure. We can provide a complete or partial 3D model of any structure or component. The extent of the modeling depends on the symmetrical boundary conditions. We can provide the following analyses for your assets and operations:
- Structural static analysis - steady state and transient
- Static or dynamic analysis
- Modal analysis with harmonic response analysis
- Transient dynamic analysis
- Thermal analysis
- Spectrum analysis
- Buckling analysis
- Linear and non-linear analysis
- Fracture mechanics
- Composite analysis
- Fatigue analysis
Welding Engineering and Technical Support
Our welding engineers are recognized experts in adapting and developing welding procedures for new materials or to meet special project requirements. ABS Group offers a range of welding engineering and field support services, from working with the clients during design and fabrication to responding to an emergency in an operating facility.
We can review supplier procedures and production, welding practices for quality and cost effectiveness, develop new welding procedures, set up a jobsite test shop and welder training program and train project personnel to become welding inspectors and meet the American Welding Society requirements. We also work with client suppliers to verify that specific welding procedures are followed during fabrication.
Our Certified Welding Inspectors can visit supplier shops to review welding procedures and confirm compliance with codes, standards and specifications. We work with suppliers to solve manufacturing problems and help maintain production schedules without compromising quality. We also help clients evaluate subcontractor manufacturing capabilities and quality control and quality assurance programs.
Root Cause Failure Analysis
Identifying and reducing risk at industrial facilities is a key management function. "How did it happen" is likely the first question asked by senior staff and managers after a workplace accident. Identifying the root cause of an incident so it does not happen again is a priority of our failure analysis professionals who work with clients to make major improvements in system design, employee safety and process safety, thus reducing the probability of repeated accidents.
Materials and Corrosion Engineering
We can provide assistance in performing a damage mechanism assessment and developing corrosion control documents with informational integrity operating windows. The process starts with an overview meeting with client operations, inspection and engineering staff to review the process operation shown on each process flow diagram (PFD). Read our insights on what you need to know about damage mechanism reviews.
The process overview will involve a detailed review of the PFD process streams in order to obtain the information needed to identify damage mechanisms and anticipated damage rates. Specifically, the ABS Group and client teams will identify operational and equipment history data/information such as operating conditions parameters, process stream constituents, fluid states, operating modes, failure histories, insulation conditions and humidity of process areas as applicable. Also, we will identify and generate a list of equipment records and data, such as piping specifications or equipment datasheets, needed to complete the damage mechanism assessment.
Based on these data, our engineers will work independently to identify the damage mechanisms and anticipated damage rates to provide:
- Set of PFDs with corrosion loops identified
- Set of corrosion control document tables with the initial assessment of the identified damage mechanisms and anticipated damage rates
- Integrity operating windows anticipated for each process stream
Resourceful people, skilled and dedicated to executing the project, are our keys to sound project management. We provide those people with appropriate project management systems to plan and forecast results. The interrelationship of our core activities and our geographical spread provide synergy and opportunities for the cross-fertilization of ideas and services.
The experience we have accumulated on large projects enables our project managers to combine the requirements of our clients with the logistical and technical support needed to accomplish each task from mobilization to reporting. As a consequence of our extensive international presence and experience, these efforts are seldom hindered by geographic location, local culture or commercial practices.
- Assistance with specification writing
- Material procurement
- Expediting materials/fabrication
- Inspection during fabrication
- Review of fabrication records
- Assistance with field installation
Quality Engineering Solutions
- Vendor evaluations and fabrication support
- Welding technology and technical support
- Nondestructive engineering and testing
- Metallurgical and corrosion studies
- Plant equipment inspection
- Training programs
ABS Consulting offers training in a variety of areas. The programs, taught by professionals who are experts in their disciplines, may consist of lectures and/or hands-on instruction. The training material presented may be aimed at specific client needs, such as regulatory and code requirements, state-of-the-art technologies and equipment, or preparation or certification examinations. We also provide training at client facilities. Subject matter includes:
- Mechanical Integrity
- Fitness For Service
- ASME and other code requirements
- Nondestructive Examination
- Mechanical Testing
No other firm has as much knowledge and experience in the process safety arena. Commercial clients and government agencies worldwide turn to us to upgrade their level of process safety performance. It is part of a larger Safety, Risk and Compliance effort that has helped many industries avoid major accidents, as well as manage and comply with changing safety requirements.
The ABS Group global network of offices and multidisciplined team of engineers and scientists can represent a project owner's interests as a second party and provide the staff, systems and processes to facilitate quality, cost and schedule. Or we can function as an independent third party to monitor and audit project performance.