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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

On-line version ISSN 2224-7890
Print version ISSN 1012-277X

S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. vol.19 n.2 Pretoria  2008


A risk management methodology for non-metallic process equipment



J.J. ViviersI; J.K. VisserII

IDepartment of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
IIDepartment of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa




Many companies in South Africa have implemented the risk-based inspection (RBI) methodology as a maintenance strategy. The risk involved in operating a piece of equipment, past history, non-destructive examination techniques, failure modes, and many other aspects determine the frequency of inspections required to meet legislation. The main purpose of the RBI methodology is to prevent failures of process equipment. The methodology for risk-based inspection for metal equipment is well-established and has been proven in industry, becoming the norm nationally and internationally. However, it is not possible to apply all the techniques to non-metallic equipment owing to vast differences between the two types of materials. This paper discusses the results of data gathered on the RBI methodology for non-metallic equipment, and proposes a risk-based model that can be used to perform a risk assessment for non-metallic equipment in a process plant. The risk assessment can be used to formulate the next inspection interval for the asset.


Verskeie maatskappye in Suid-Afrika het reeds die metodologie van risiko-gebaseeerde inspeksie (RBI) geïmplementeer as deel van 'n omvattende instandhoudingstrategie. Die risiko betrokke by 'n fisiese item, bedryfsgeskiedenis, nie-vernietigende toetstegnieke, falingsmodusse, en vele ander aspekte bepaal die frekwensie van inspeksies wat benodig word om aan wetlike vereistes te voldoen. Die hoofdoel van die risiko-gebaseerde metodologie is om faling van prosestoerusting te verhinder. Die metodologie vir risiko-gebaseerde inspeksie van metaaltoerusting is goed bekend en word suksesvol toegepas in die industrie. Dis is egter nie moontlik om al die tegnieke toe te pas op nie-metaaltoerusting nie weens die groot verskeidenheid van materiaaltipes. Hierdie artikel bespreek die data wat ingewin is op die risiko-gebaseerde metodologie vir nie-metaaltipeprosestoerusting, en stel 'n nuwe risiko-gebaseerde model voor wat gebruik kan word om die risiko te bepaal vir nie-metaal toerusting van 'n prosesaanleg. Die risikoprofiel kan gebruik word om die volgende inspeksie-interval vir die toerusting te formuleer.



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[2] Department of Labour. 2004. Government Gazette, Vol 471, Notice of Draft Amendment: Pressure Equipment Regulations.         [ Links ]

[3] Tae-Gu, K., Jeong-Hie, K., Young-Dal K. and Kwang-lll, K. 2002. Current risk management status of the Korean petrochemical industry. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 15, pp. 311-318.         [ Links ]

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[6] Viviers, J.J. 2005. Risk Management (RBI) Methodology for Non-Metallic Process Plant Equipment. MSc project report, University of Pretoria, 2005.         [ Links ]

[7] British Standards Institute. BS 4994. 1987. Design and construction of vessels and tanks in reinforced plastics. London.         [ Links ]

[8] British Standards Institute. BS 7159. 1989. Design and construction of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) piping systems for individual plants or sites. London.         [ Links ]

[9] British Standards Institute. BS 6464. 1984. Reinforced plastic pipes, fittings and joints for process plants. London.         [ Links ]



1 The author was enrolled for an M Sc (Applied Sciences) degree in the Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria.

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