Is your RBI truly fully risk-based ?

24 March 2022

It is not uncommon that time-based, condition-based, and consequence-based inspection (or joined methods), are falsely mistaken for risk-based inspection (RBI).

Curious, isn’t it? Those are totally different methods you might say – how can one actually confuse them with RBI?


Before answering this question, let´s first have a quick look at the major differences between these 4 types of inspection methodology, as to clear up potential misconceptions.


Time-based inspection is based on recurrent inspections on pre-defined asset locations and time intervals. Condition-based inspection is based on an asset’s condition, meaning that the inspection location and time interval evolve with the asset’s degradation rate and age. Consequence-based inspection determines inspection operations based on the consequences of failure of the equipment in question. Risk-based inspection (RBI) is somewhat a combination of all these techniques, and thus allows to create one of the most efficient inspection methodologies. To be more precise, RBI is based on risk – for the setup of inspection operations. It is the product of probability and consequence of asset failure due to degradation. In this context, corrosion rate, corrosion repairs, failures, and consequences linked to past corrosion events are taken into consideration.


Now, let’s shed some light on our previous statement, so you can make sure, your “RBI”, truly and entirely is one. Ultimately, this will lead to an overly better reliability score of your assets and resources being affected where they really make a difference. Correspondingly, if your process is not fully risk-based, your operations won’t be as efficient, successful, and ultimately, cost-effective.


Hence, the key to implementing RBI is quite evident and yet we often see, that RBI is often only partially implemented: Make sure you take into account ALL the data you can get about the asset in question: past inspection operations, repairs, different types of measurements, any type of applied treatment, functionality, and hierarchy of the asset, its design, etc. Only with all this data, you’ll be able to conduct accurate and complete calculations with regard to the probability and magnitude of failure and its consequences. Thus, accurate risk assessment and the right choice of inspection location and frequency (also in terms of asset life), will only be successful if your data sources are extensive, complete, and accounted for!


Sometimes vendors market inspection software as RBI-compliant without truly being capable of delivering RBI – partially, because companies cannot guarantee a solid database for the calculations in the first place. Therefore, our second tip is the following: Make sure, you get your data aligned, structured, and extensively stored in one place. If that is not the case, make sure you combine RBI software with a digital data governance tool – compliant with all your different data sources and files.


Check out our SwiftData and Inspection software, if you wish to know more and invest in a software, that will guarantee the best possible outcome for your company thanks to a fully scalable and tailor-made composition between RBI and data governance.


To find out more, get your free brochure or inquire a one-on-one meeting with one of our experts:




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Sirfull is a software vendor with a strong industrial culture and French know-how, which develops solutions that enable its customers to anticipate changes in their market.

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