RBI Methodology – Context and presentation

25 February 2020

What is the "RBI" methodology and what is its context?

Before defining what the “RBI Methodology” is, we must first consider the context and ask ourselves some questions:


  • What does the term “RBI” mean?
  • Who’s concerned?
  • What equipments are concerned?
  • What’s the point of applying it?



What does “RBI” mean?


The RBI – Risk Based Inspection methodology is a method for assessing equipment criticality.


Criticality-based inspection is an approach designed to optimize the inspection of industrial facilities. The term Criticality-Based Inspection (CBI) is also used. This approach is similar to the FMECA process.


By “optimize”, we mean to understand how best to reduce the risk without unnecessary inspections. Indeed, in addition to the financial cost of inspections, an inspection strategy that is “too detailed” drowns staff in data and masks what is really important. The goal of the RBI methodology is to increase the operating time (reduce downtime) and extend the life of equipment while maintaining an equivalent level of risk or even reducing it.



Who is concerned by the RBI method?


The RBI method concerns all industries that manage equipment, but more particularly :


  • Chemical Industries
  • Petrochemical Industries
  • Refineries
  • Papermakers
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Thermal power stations
  • Hydraulic power plants


Other manufacturers may also be concerned by the RBI method. This will depend on the operator’s willingness to implement it. Some recent texts tend to make the practice compulsory. As a result, there is now a trend towards a generalization of the method.




What equipments are concerned?


All equipment, whether under pressure or not, whether containers, piping, steam generators, storage tanks, are concerned.


Equipment that is not subject to pressure equipment regulations can be monitored in the same way. If the operator considers that the equipment may have an economic, ecological or safety impact on his company in the event of a breakdown or incident, he can integrate it into the RBI methodology.


What is the purpose of the RBI methodology?


The RBI methodology allows two things:


  • Define critical equipment in terms of safety, environment and cost, according to a structured criticality assessment. This criticality is expressed by a “Probability-Consequences” matrix described in different guides according to the type of equipment concerned
  • Elaborate equipment inspection plans which are documents that define all the prescribed operations. The purpose of these operations is to ensure that the condition and conformity over time of an item of equipment or a group of items of equipment is controlled, while respecting the safety of people, installations and the environment.
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