Every equipment in the plant performs different functions, contains various service fluids, operate at diverse pressure and temperature condition and having varying implication on plant operation. Failure of each equipment has different consequences. Thus every equipment asks for distinctive evaluation for the reliable and safe operation of the plant. There are numerous cases where the plant is following every scheduled inspection/maintenance activity, but still faces the consequences of an accident. This requires a vigilant and innovative approach for the evaluation of each equipment. This is achieved by Risk assessment.
Risk assessment contains two major aspects: first is, assessing the possibility of failure, i.e. how likely the equipment can fail. This evaluation is carried out by meticulous assessment of possible damage mechanisms such as cracks, thickness loss, metallurgical degradation, general or local thickness loss or loss of useful mechanical properties. After identifying damage mechanisms, the probable damage modes are identified such as ruptures, leakages, catastrophic failures, explosions etc. Past inspection history and its effectiveness, what are the inspection methodology applied is also useful to work out the probability of failure.
The second aspect is to estimate consequences due to failure. This is a quantitative evaluation of magnitude in terms of production loss, environmental damage, toxic or flammable effect, affect the health and safety of nearby personnel, etc. This requires careful micro estimation of minute details.
Risk assessment is the ranking of equipment with their decreasing order of severity. This can be arrived by combining the probability of failure and the consequence of failure. Graphical representation of the probability of failure and its respective consequence of failure for each of the equipment gives a risk matrix for overall plant operation.
The risk matrix is very useful in prioritising inspection/ maintenance activity of high-risk equipment. In this way, the time, efforts and money can be concentrated on maintaining critical equipment and thus the failures can be prevented and reliability and availability of plant equipment can be improved which will directly result in the improvement of the bottom line of production.
Although Risk analysis can prevent failures, if not evaluated properly it can cause catastrophic hazards. Thus, the importance of selecting the right team for this assessment is a very critical task. TCR Advanced with its vast experience in the field of root cause analysis, on-field inspection, damage specific inspection approach and battery of experts in corrosion, metallurgy, plant operation and process specialists provides the best service for risk assessment.