INTEGRITY SUPPORT

The development of a new Integrity Support division means Sonomatic can provide clients with a fully integrated service from detailed inspection planning, through to the assessment of the results and the creation of an ongoing integrity management plan. The aim is to bridge the gap between the integrity and inspection activities to ensure that the client's integrity needs are effectively met through a sufficient understanding of the real condition of equipment in service.

It is heavily involved in the fast-growing area of NII, which allows for equipment to continue working while being assessed, thus eliminating the need for costly shut-downs. The creation of the division is in response to customer demand for Sonomatic to use its expertise to provide an integrity perspective to the assessment of its inspection data.

Fitness For Service Assessments

Equipment in service may be subject to a variety of degradation mechanisms including, corrosion, pitting and fatigue cracking. It is possible that after some time in service, the condition of the equipment changes to the point where it no longer complies with the requirements of the original design code. This does not necessarily mean, however, that the equipment is no longer suitable for use. A detailed assessment, based on consideration of Fitness For Service (FFS) following industry recognised guidelines, may be used to demonstrate that continued operation is justifiable. FFS assessments consider the condition of the equipment and allow robust decisions on the continued operation to be made.

  • The first stage in any fitness for service assessment is the identification of the condition that may be of concern, this relies on effective inspection. Sonomatic are world leaders in the application of various inspection methods to identify and quantify areas of degradation. Sonomatic also offers an interpretation of inspection results completed by third parties to determine whether an assessment is required.
  • Once the condition has been quantified, an assessment can be completed to determine whether the equipment can be considered fit for service. Sonomatic complete assessments in accordance with API 579, BS7910, B31G and R6 as appropriate. These codes cover most in-service defect types likely to be encountered in the Oil & Gas and process industries.
  • Finite element analysis is sometimes required in the assessment to demonstrate the integrity of the equipment. Sonomatic can create finite element models, combining design information and inspection data. The models can be tested to determine whether the equipment can be considered fit for service.
  • In some cases, the assessment may conclude that a piece of equipment is not fit for service under the current operating conditions. Where appropriate, Sonomatic can offer advice on changes that can be made to the operating conditions (such as temperature and pressure) that would allow the continued safe operation of a piece of equipment.
  • Following an assessment of the current condition of a piece of equipment, Sonomatic can provide estimates on limiting operational criteria. This, coupled with estimated degradation rates allow future inspection strategies to be defined, allowing the equipment to be successfully monitored and operated safely.

PROJECT EXAMPLES

WALL THICKNESS REDUCTION REVIEW AND FFS ASSESSMENT

Sonomatic were asked to perform an independent review of inspection data, as well as a Fitness For Service (FFS) assessment following significant reductions in wall thickness over a period of 6 months reported by the client’s incumbent inspection team...

PRESSURE VESSEL FFS ASSESSMENT USING ADVANCED DATA ANALYSIS

Sonomatic and Becht Engineering were contracted to provide Fitness For Service (FFS) assessments on pressure vessels which were undergoing twice daily cycles of high-pressure loading, as it was important to fully understand the structural implications...