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Process System Integrity

Business Challenge

According to recent studies, 20% of process piping system failures is due to vibration-induced fatigue. Primary contributing factors include:

  • Increased flow rates due to de-bottlenecking.
  • Increased flow rates due to relaxation of erosion velocity limits.

  • Increased use of duplex alloys for erosion and weight considerations.

  • Little or no structured mean of addressing the potential problems during HAZOP or QRA studies.

Losses of containment can have serious safety, environmental and cost implications. Identifying the risk areas linked to vibration-induced fatigue is becoming a necessity for socially responsible companies.


What is Process System Integrity (PSI)?
To address the problem of vibration-induced fatigue, Bureau Veritas has worked closely with the oil and gas industry as well as the regulatory authorities to develop a risk assessment methodology. New facilities as well as those already in production can benefit from this method.

For new facilities, PSI can identify risk from damaged process piping systems caused by vibration fatigue in the design phase, so the appropriate modifications can be made before the facility is put into operation. PSI can also be applied to operational facilities, particularly where de-bottlenecking is being performed. In such cases, the results of a formal risk assessment, supported by field measurement studies, can often completely eliminate potential failures due to fatigue. If other high-risk areas are identified, PSI can be applied to form a rational basis from which to formulate suitable mitigating inspection programs.


What are the key benefits?

  • Reduction in unplanned downtime.
  • Modifications targeted only at high risk process piping system components and small bore connections.
  • Inspection and vibration monitoring activities targeted at high risk areas instead of “measure everything” approach
  • Ability to update the assessment with any proposed process or operational changes to those potential problems can be identified and solved prior to the plant changes being implemented.

Why Choose Bureau Veritas?

Bureau Veritas is a leader in developing industry-standard risk based methodologies to address the issue of vibration induced fatigue in process piping systems. We have a proven track record in applying methodology to over 40 onshore and offshore plants and many years of experience in solving complicated vibration issues for process plants worldwide. Our world-wide range of global resources is available to support any project phase.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a vibration survey sufficient enough?

    Piping vibration varies with changes to process and operational conditions, and therefore a vibration survey is only a snapshot of the piping vibration at the time of the survey. The risk assessment approach takes into account a plant’s full operational and process scope.

  • Can the methodology be integrated into my piping integrity management system?

    Yes – the procedures, tools and techniques used can be embedded into a company’s integrity management system to provide an on-going assurance process with respect to vibration-induced fatigue.


Contact us: 888.357.7020

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