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Technical Integrity Engineering is a term applied to the engineering disciplines associated with the design, assurance and verification functions that ensure a product, process, or system meets its appropriate and intended requirements under stated operating conditions. Application of these disciplines should not adversely impact a program, but should in fact minimize cost, schedule, technical and legal risks and improve the overall life cycle cost.
It is also considered as the discipline and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, legal and practical knowledge to the assurance, and verification functions that ensure a product, process, or system meets (and is meeting) its appropriate and intended safety, legal and business requirement(s).
In a post-Macondo Prospect world, see (Deepwater Horizon explosion), the role of integrity engineering has been placed under increased scrutiny. Not only can a well-managed integrity engineering programme help operators identify and reduce safety risks before they escalate, but focusing on asset integrity can also play a major role in both achieving operational excellence and extending the life of ageing assets.
Typical responsibilities for an Integrity Engineer would be, to coordinate efficient and cost effective implementation of inspections and integrity management programs and to ensure integrity of plant facilities including all onshore and offshore structures, pipelines, stationary equipment, piping systems, etc.
Integrity Engineers may be required to manage, develop, or conduct the following:
- A 3 P's process (People, Process and Product)
- A high level Integrity management Philosophy which includes verification and assurance of Facilities (Basic repair methods and strategies, Static equipment repair and temporary repairs, Fabric maintenance, Corrosion Engineering, Inspection Engineering, Chemical management and Maintenance management).
- A Competency Management scheme.
- An RBI analysis.
- Integrity processes. i.e. Write Risk Based Inspection methodologies, Temporary Repair methodologies, Maintenance Strategies, Mechanical Integrity Management Strategy (MIMS), Structural Integrity Management Strategy (SIMS), Pipeline Integrity Management Strategy (PIMS), Well Integrity Management System (WIMS) and circuitise the plant process.
- Verification Schemes and performance Standards management
- Conduct Life extension studies.
- A Fitness-for-service review.
- Write and review Integrity Management Plans
- Identify, investigate and assess deterioration/corrosion and ensure timely maintenance of the affected facilities.
- Implement Inspection and Corrosion Control Policy and Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methods to manage integrity, and optimize inspections frequency, maintenance cost and plant availability.
- Lead and conduct RBI reviews
- Participate in preparation of Capital and Operating budgets for Inspection.
- Monitor and oversee the execution of inspection programs and activities.
- Liaise closely with Operations, Technical Services, Corrosion engineering, Inspection Engineering, Verification Engineering, Process/Chemical and Mechanical Engineering and other Maintenance Units to coordinate major shutdowns and turn-around activities.
- Supervise, witness and participate in certification process of hydro tests and load test of lifting devices and cylinders
- Ensure systematic and consistent implementation of work methods and procedures used in Maintenance and Inspection and recommend improvements.
- Ensure systematic update of maintenance management systems.
- Participate in technical studies, Process and Instrument diagram reviews, Safety Integrity Level (SIL) assessments and HAZOP’s.
- Lead in Failure investigations
Integrity Engineering encompasses the concept of:
- the common PDCA (Plan, Do, Check and Act) cycle
- Consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes.
- An undivided or unbroken completeness or totality with nothing wanting
- Knowledge of many interfaces of technology
- Balancing and countering the materials degradation process during the in-service life cycle of equipment.
This may be applied to management, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of assets.
The Integrity Engineer (IE) may also be involved with other asset life-cycle issues such as basis of design (Process design basis) through to recycle. During the Front End Engineering Design stage i.e. (FEED) aids in the selection of vessels, piping, pipelines and other equipment. At this FEED stage, the optimum material requirements, mitigation and maintenance requirements for the intended period of operation become the basis for the detailed engineering. It is the role of the IE to develop/validate the integrity management plan and implement the monitoring and management procedure for the intended period of operation. It may also be the responsibility of the integrity engineer to incorporate and manage any variation identified (metal loss, material degradation, cracking mechanisms, mitigation issues i.e. CP potentials, coating failures etc.) during the monitoring regime.
It may be generalist in nature and or applied with specific prior knowledge denoted using a pre-nominal of Mechanical, Inspection, Asset, Well or Well head, Technical, Pipeline, Signal, Fabrication or Commissioning depending upon the equipment or system under scrutiny.
Integrity Engineers construct and implement Integrity Management plans which detail the requirements of the item or asset under scrutiny and study any adverse effects from internal and or external sources which damage / impair that item or system. These are used to build suitable inspection and condition monitoring forward strategies. The monitoring may include both physical (pipes / vessels) and nonphysical systems (Management legal obligations). This diversity will depend upon the requirements of the task at hand.
Integrity Engineers also oversee or carry out Integrity Engineering Audit(s) to ensure legal compliance with company, National and International standards and ensure that there is a level of quality assurance within the process that meets good engineering standards.
- Oil and Gas Fundamentals The Fundamentals of Asset Integrity
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1 Integrity Of Engineering Components Journal Sadhana Publisher Springer India, in co-publication with Indian Academy of Sciences ISSN 0256-2499 (Print) 0973-7677 (Online) Issue Volume 20, Number 1 / February, 1995
2 NASA and Engineering Integrity Michael D. Griffin Administrator National Aeronautics and Space Administration Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium American Astronautical Society 21 October 2008
3 Implementation of Asset Integrity Management System Muhammad Abduh PetroEnergy Magazine April – May 2008 Edition http://abduh137.wordpress.com/2008/05/04/aims/
4 API RECOMMENDED PRACTICE 584 Integrity Operating Windows FIRST EDITION, MAY 2014
5 Pressure Equipment Integrity Incident Investigation API RECOMMENDED PRACTICE 585 FIRST EDITION, APRIL 2014
6 Process Integrity in Engineering and Manufacturing [Kindle Edition] Jim Williams (Author) Published on Amazon.com