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Reliability Engineering and System Safety 94 (2009) 810818

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Reliability Engineering and System Safety


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ress

A strategy for the risk-based inspection of pressure safety valves


Chi-Hui Chien a,, Chun-Hung Chen a,b, Yuh J. Chao c
a b c

Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering. National Sun Yat-Sen University. No. 70, Lien-Hai Road, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan Air Products San Fu Co., Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, 300 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29208, USA

a r t i c l e in f o
Article history: Received 7 March 2008 Received in revised form 15 August 2008 Accepted 1 September 2008 Available online 17 September 2008 Keywords: Pressure safety valve Aging Aging trend Analysis of variance Semi-quantitative risk-based inspection

a b s t r a c t
The purpose of a pressure safety valve (PSV) is to protect the life and safety of pressure vessels in a pressurized system. If a weakened PSV fails to function properly, a catastrophic event might occur if no other protective means are provided. By utilizing the as-received test data and statistical analysis of the aging conditions of PSVs in lubricant process units, a risk-based inspection (RBI) system was developed in this study. First of all, the characteristics of PSV were discussed from the practical viewpoint of engineering inspection and maintenance. The as-received test data, which shows obvious PSV damage, will be separated from the data used in the following statistical analysis. Then, the relationship between the aging conditions and the corresponding PSV parameters was analyzed by using the statistical techniqueanalysis of variance (ANOVA). Finally, a strategy for semi-quantitative RBI is proposed. Also, a denitive estimated inspection interval for every PSV is suggested. The outcome indicated most of the risks result from a few PSVs, for which the corresponding inspection intervals will be shorter than the 2 years in accordance with relative standards and local government regulations. & 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction For the past decade, according to the government regulations of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) in Taiwan, the jurisdiction inspection (inspection performed by inspection agencies or designated inspection agencies of CLA) interval for pressure vessels is 2 years except for gas service (3 years) in a pressurized system. During the jurisdiction inspection period, the pressure safety valves (PSVs) in the pressurized system must be tested to ensure these PSVs can perform normally subject to the required criteria based on relative code and jurisdiction requirements. From the safety concerns of the pressurized systems, such a short time-based inspection strategy may be a conservative consideration for all pressure vessels and PSVs. But, from the viewpoint of the risk-based consideration [13], inspection intervals for some high-risk PSVs, especially near its repair or retirement stages, may need to be less than 2 years, while the others may warrant longer inspection intervals. In recent years, the CLA in Taiwan has allowed plant operators to extend the jurisdiction inspection interval of pressure vessels to more than 2 years (the current shortest inspection interval allowed under Taiwan regulations), provided there are some systematic evaluations, including damage mechanism assess-

ments [4], life predictions [5], and risk-based inspection (RBI) [6,7] of each pressure vessel in the pressurized system according to the relative API code [8]. One can simply predict the life of pressure vessels using the tness for service technique in practical engineering practice. However, one cannot take the same measures when dealing with the PSVs because of the uncertainty of process discharge and condition monitoring. Meanwhile, there is no powerful jurisdiction or code criterion that can be applied systematically in evaluating the PSVs performance and the inspection intervals. Therefore, a specic inspection and maintenance strategy should be focused on the aging trend of the PSVs during extended periods to support the safety of the pressurized system.

2. Research structure The research structure of this study can be divided into three sectionscharacteristic of PSV and data assessment, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and the RBI assessment. Details will be described in the sections as follows.

2.1. Characteristic of PSV and data assessment


Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 7 5254223; fax: +886 7 5254299.

E-mail address: chchien@faculty.nsysu.edu.tw (C.-H. Chien). 0951-8320/$ - see front matter & 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ress.2008.09.002

From the practical viewpoint of engineering, the aging condition of a PSV can be expressed as a function of specic PSV

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parameters, which can be written as follows:   OP ; Tempop ; Sizeinlet ; Process unit TP=SP f Fluids; Timeservice ; SP (1) where Fluids is of the category of the internal uid which can open the PSV disk during process abnormal condition, Timeservice is the time interval of the in-service period, and OP is the operating pressure under normal condition. The value of the inlet static pressure at which there is a measurable lift of the disk or at which discharge of the uid becomes continuous (as determined by seeing, feeling, or hearing) is SP and it is the inlet gauge pressure at which the pressure relief valve is set to open under service conditions. In this paper, this value is set equal to the cold differential test pressure, or test pressure (TP) in the workshop. Tempop is the operating temperature under normal condition. Sizeinlet the nominal pipe size (NPS) of the PSV at the inlet connection, unless otherwise designated, Process unit is the different service locations of PSVs in this study. Normally, performing the PSV as-received tests in the workshop is the easiest way to evaluate the aging condition of PSV. That is, an increase in value of the ratio of test pressure to set pressure (TP/SP) is a good health indicator of the PSV. In the engineering practices of inspection and maintenance, the PSVs were usually removed from the static equipment and performed the as-received tests before starting the disassembly works of PSVs. Under normal circumferences, without considering the service type and uid category in each PSV, the test pressure of each PSV should not be greater than 150% or less than 90% of the set pressure under normal operating conditions. Following the inspection and maintenance procedures described in API 576 recommendation practice [9], a thorough damage examination should be performed to each damaged PSV if the required performance does not meet the requirements of jurisdiction or process requests. Meanwhile, the root cause damage should be recorded in a root cause analysis report. In this study, if the asreceived test data, i.e., value of TP/SP, are greater than 1.8 or less than 0.7, then it is assumed that the corresponding PSV is clearly damaged, and the data will be deleted from the data set used in the following statistic analysis. The remaining data set will comply with the purpose of obtaining the aging trend of PSVs and identifying the high-risk population of PSVs. 2.2. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) The ANOVA method is the easiest way to measure performance between the parameters and the as-received test data of the PSVs. Typically, before performing the ANOVA, the range of each PSV parameter should be divided into several groups according to the Sturges formula [10,11], in order to gain as much information as possible about the nature of aging conditions of the PSVs. After data grouping, ANOVA will be performed between the parameter and the as-received test data of the PSV by applying Microsoft EXCEL data analysis function. Usually, the obtained ANOVA results will show two important values, F-values and the critical value of F-value, Fcrit. If the obtained ANOVA result shows the F-value of a PSV parameter is below its critical value Fcrit, then this PSV parameter has less signicant inuence on aging conditions of the PSVs. If, on the contrary, the showed F-value is greater than the Fcrit, then signicant inuence will exist between the as-received test data and the PSV parameter. Therefore, for the purpose of PSV management, the plant operator can identify these parameters, which have signicant inuence on aging conditions of the PSVs after the ANOVA is executed. After the ANOVA is executed, the

parameters that signicantly inuence the aging conditions of the PSVs will be used as the input data for the RBI assessments. 2.3. RBI assessments RBI uses risk to assess the results of inspection, testing, and monitoring of a PSV. Typically, risk is dened as the product of the likelihood of a failure and its consequence. So, based on this risk denition, the risk value of each PSV in the RBI assessments can be calculated by the following equation: Risk Likelihood of failure LOF Consequence of failure COF (2) Recognition of both LOF and COF is essential for a complete RBI assessment program. 2.3.1. Likelihood of failure (LOF) Evidently, there are some parameters inuencing the LOF apart from the PSV parameters, which are set according to the required discharge capacity. For instance, the process operating conditions, especially the frequency of process upset, also inuence the health condition of PSV. Therefore, based on the PSV parameters and the process operating conditions, the practical assessment of LOF to each PSV should be divided into two separate assessment groups, the likelihood factor (flikelihood) and generic failure condition factor (fgeneric failure condition). Each assessment group is then divided into several items as the sub-likelihood factor Ai (i.e., PSV parameters such as uid category, service duration, etc.) and the sub-generic failure condition factor Bi (i.e., actual operating conditions such as lifting light or lifting heavy, etc.), as shown in Fig. 1. Meanwhile, because each PSV in the pressurized system is in different services, different corresponding weighting factors for Ai and Bi should be chosen and were dened as W Ai and W Bi , respectively. After the as-received test results were collected and the weighting factors were well dened, the derived flikelihood and fgeneric failure condition to each PSV can be summarized as follows: f likelihood SW Ai Ai f generic failure condition SW Bi Bi (3) (4)

Then the LOF value of each PSV can be calculated as the product of flikelihood and fgeneric failure condition as follows: LOF f likelihood f generic failure condition (5)

2.3.2. Consequence of failure (COF) COF requires huge and complex data such as the number of people injured, costs of adjustments and repairs with the system downtime. A more rigorous analysis would therefore consider the likely and historical demand rate on each PSV. Also, the assessment of COF for PSVs usually requires specic engineering input such as the original design basis, the likely extent of overpressure in case of failure on demand, the ammability and toxicity of the process stream, records of management of change, etc. It may be necessary to call on extra specialist knowledge to support the condition of the pressure vessel being protected and the likely effects of overpressure when assessing the COF. Based on the continuum characteristic of RBI assessments and simplifying the COF analysis of PSVs, one can apply the RBI COF results of the pressure vessels as the input data of the COF of PSV under the assumption that PSV failure will lead to pressure vessels failure. Therefore, the index of toxicity, health, and environmental hazards of pressure vessels will be applied in the COF evaluation of PSV in this study.

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Fig. 1. Research structure of risk-based PSVs inspection.

Following the index provided by the process specialist, the COF for each PSV can be summarized as follows: COF SC i Indextoxic Indexhealth Indexenvironmental (6)

where Ci is the index of toxic/health/environment provided by the process specialist.

3. A case study of a lubricant process train 3.1. System description and data assessment in this case study In this case study, in the chosen lubricant plant there are seven process units numbered #1200, #1300, #1400, #1500, #1600, #1800, and #1900. A total of 44 kinds of uids and 252

spring-loaded PSVs were used. Roughly, 60% of the PSVs were used in liquid service, while about 4% and 36% were used in vapor and two phase (liquid and vapor) services, respectively. The corrosion conditions of the PSVs were not severe because no highly corrosive uids were used. Following the results of the government service extension audit to the pressurized system, a 6-day PSV inspection and adjusting works were performed on the general service vessels during the second year of the system service duration. After the extension of 1-year service, a detailed inspection and maintenance works were performed on all PSVs in the pressurized system within the 30-day turnaround. Under such partial inspection and adjusting works, different PSV service durations of 1-year operation and 3-year operation were obtained. The average tested interval for all PSVs is 1.65 years. The data sets

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Fig. 2. The distributions of the TP/SP ratios of 229 as-received tested results.

corresponding to rust and debris, sticking due to process deposits, and mechanical damages such as spring washers damage to the valve stem, etc. [3] were deleted from the original data sets and the related preventive inspection and maintenance were followed up. The remaining data sets, whose TP/SP values are between 0.7 and 1.8 and will be used in the aging trend analysis, are 229 asreceived tested results as shown in Fig. 2. The owchart of the assessment of inspection interval of PSVs is shown in Fig. 3. 3.2. Analysis of variation (ANOVA) To simplify the analysis process, the single-factor ANOVA method is used in this case study under the assumption that no interactions exist between the PSV parameters. Following the analysis owchart listed in Fig. 3, the single-factor ANOVA was performed between the as-received test data and the PSV parameters. The results of F-value and critical value Fcrit to each parameter are listed in Table 1. In Table 1, the ANOVA results reveal that there are four PSV parametersuid category, service duration, OP/SP, and operating temperature that show less signicant inuences on the aging conditions of PSVs. Therefore, with the aid of ANOVA results, one can nd that PSV inlet size (represents capacity required in the process train) and different service locations (process units) do have signicant inuences on the aging conditions of PSVs. Following the owchart shown in Fig. 3, correlation was performed on the PSV inlet size (A1) and the different service locations (A2) to identify the weighting factors, W A1 and W A2 , respectively. The correlated results for the weighting factors are shown in Table 2. 3.3. RBI assessments 3.3.1. Likelihood factor assessment of the LOF It is recalled that an increase in TP/SP may be a good indicator of the health condition of the PSV. So, the bias range of each grouped as-received test data (the maximum TP/SP minus minimum TP/SP in each grouped data) will be the information

relevant to the health condition between each group. The bias range distributions corresponding to the PSV inlet size (A1) and the different service locations (A2) are shown in Figs. 4 and 5, respectively. The corresponding linear regression results are also shown in these two gures. Obviously, owing to the lack of sufcient as-received test data provided in this case study, the small R square values of the linear regressions results were expected. However, since the purpose of this study is to establish the scheme of the semi-quantitative RBI system to optimize inspection and maintenance works of PSVs, the effects of small R square values are neglected in this study. By substituting the value of each parameter grouping range into the corresponding linear regression equations shown in Figs. 4 and 5, the values of Ai to each kind of PSV can be obtained and are listed in the second row of Table 3. Then, the score of each sublikelihood factor can be calculated as shown in the last row of Table 3. Thereafter, each PSV can be categorized by using the scores listed in the last row of Table 3 and Eq. (3). For example, suppose there is a PSV with inlet size 200 located in the #1300 process unit, one can obtain the score of A1 as 36.7 (A1 W A1 ) and A2 as 3.0 (A2 W A2 ). As the designated RBI scheme in this case study, the flikelihood of this PSV is equal to 39.7, which is calculated by using Eq. (3).

3.3.2. Generic failure condition factor assessment of the LOF In some situations, the variation degree of lifting light, heavy, or leaking of a PSV can play an important role in the alarm message of the process units outside actual process condition monitoring. Furthermore, in the viewpoint of process specialists, the generic failure conditions of the PSV can accurately reect the process condition. In this case study, the assessment of generic failure conditions of the PSVs would not apply in the primary RBI assessments because some potential process problems may be hidden in the applied data. However, with the accuracy and precision of the RBI assessments to all PSVs, the generic failure condition factor should be inserted in the RBI reassessment after a thorough discussion and operation treatment of potential process problems.

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Turnaround Start

Remove PSVs from the static equipments

Perform the as-received tests

Record and deletes the data sets corresponding to rust and debris, insect nests, galling parts, sticking due to process deposits, and mechanical damages

Data Grouping
Parameters of significant influence Parameters of nonsignificant influence

ANOVA Grouping and correlation performed between aging data and these parameters

Check high aging trend PSVs data by scatter plot


Condition monitoring results and aging model analysis
Data input (1) Data input (2)

Verify the service type by checking relative data

Likelihood of failure

Consequence of failure

High-risk population needed to be monitored carefully

Risk ranking

Decision of inspection plans and next inspection date

Fig. 3. Flowchart of the assessment of inspection interval of PSVs.

Table 1 ANOVA results of the PSV parameters PSV parameters Fluid category Service duration OP/SP Operating temperature PSV inlet size Process unit F-value 0.9333 0.0008 1.2687 1.6705 2.7687 3.7792 Fcrit

Table 2 Correlation results and weighting factors contribute to the likelihood factor Correlation factors 1.4501 3.8620 1.9807 1.9228 1.9807 2.1396 Inlet size of PSVs Process unit Correlation results 0.1789 0.0128 Weighting factors (W Ai ) (%) 93.31 6.69

The generic failure condition may therefore be assumed temporarily to equal the current as-received test condition without distinguishing the degree of TP/SP bias condition of each PSV. That is, the sub-generic failure condition factor value of each PSV, Bi, is equal to TP/SP. The weighting factor of the current asreceived tested data, W Bi , is assumed to be unity.

Following the designated scheme of RBI assessment in this case study, the LOF of each PSV was evaluated according to the listed values of Table 3, Eqs. (3)(5). The ranking results and the distributions are shown in Table 4. 3.3.3. Assessment of the COF For the sake of simplicity, it is assumed that containments are released through the fracture of a pressure vessel due to the failure of a PSV. Therefore, it is reasonable to apply the index of

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the toxicity, health, and environmental hazards from the RBI COF results of the pressure vessels in evaluating the COF of PSV. From the calculation of the index of toxicity, health, and environmental hazards for each PSV by Eq. (6), the COF ranking results and the distributions are listed in Table 5.

Table 4 Ranking results for LOF category LOF category PSV quantities located in each LOF category 1 0 8 16 25 123 50 2 2 2 LOF (flikelihood) (fgeneric failure condition) PSV percentage located in each LOF category (%) 0.44

LOFp3.6 3.6oLOFp12.4 12.4oLOFp21.2 21.2oLOFp30.0 30.0oLOFp38.8 38.8oLOFp47.6 47.6oLOFp56.4 56.4oLOFp65.1 65.1oLOFp73.9 73.9oLOFp82.7

100% 90% 80% TP/SP max-min 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Inlet size (inches)
Fig. 4. The bias distributions of the TP/SP ratios vs. inlet sizes.

10.48

64.63

22.71

y = -0.0624x + 0.5185 R2 = 0.3328

1.75

Table 5 Ranking results for COF category COF category PSV quantities located in each COF category 109 18 27 5 8 15 46 0 0 1 COF (SCi) PSV percentage located in each COF category (%) 55.46

100% 90% 80% TP/SP max-min 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 y = -0.0004x + 0.9647 R2 = 0.1411

COFp0.5 0.5oCOFp1.6 1.6oCOFp2.7 2.7oCOFp3.7 3.7oCOFp4.8 4.8oCOFp5.9 5.9oCOFp7.0 7.0oCOFp8.1 8.1oCOFp9.1 9.1oCOFp10.2

13.97

10.04

20.09

Process Unit No.


Fig. 5. The bias distributions of the TP/SP ratios vs. different process units.

0.44

Table 3 Category list of sub-likelihood factor Approach step Signicantly inuential operating parameters Inlet size of PSVs (A1) (unit: inch) 0.5 (Ai) (%) TP/SP max.min. W Ai (from Table 2) (%) Value of Ai W Ai in each group range (%) Sub-likelihood factor score
(note)

0.75 47 44.0 44.0

1 46 42.6 42.6

1.5 42 39.6 39.6

2 39 36.7 36.7

3 33 30.9 30.9

4 27 25.1 25.1

6 14 13.4 13.4

8 2 1.8 1.8

49 93.31 45.5 45.5

Process unit (A2) 1200 TP/SP max.min. (note) (Ai) (%) W Ai (from Table 2) (%) Value of Ai W Ai in each group range (%) Sub-likelihood factor score 48 6.69 3.24 3.2 1300 44 2.98 3.0 1400 40 2.71 2.7 1500 36 2.44 2.4 1600 32 2.17 2.2 1800 24 1.64 1.6 1900 20 1.37 1.4

Note: linear regression results for the PSV parameters are listed as follows: TP/SP max.min. (A1 value) 0.0624(inlet size of PSV)+0.5185. TP/SP max.min. (A2 value) 0.0004(process unit)+0.9647.

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3.3.4. Risk calculation of PSVs The risk value of each PSV in the lubricant plant was calculated by following the designated RBI scheme. The risk categories were ranked from 1 to 5 based on the risk value of each PSV. In this case study, PSVs with lower risk values are assigned a lower rank. PSVs belonging to the high-risk category will be the critical population and the inspection intervals for those should be reduced. The RBI assessment results for all PSVs and their corresponding distributions are shown in Table 6 and Fig. 6, respectively. Obviously, it can be seen from Table 6 and Fig. 6 that most of the risks result from a few PSVs that belong to the higher-risk categories. The inspection intervals of the higher-risk PSVs should be considerably shorter than the 2 years in accordance with the current local government regulations. So, from the viewpoint of risk management, inspection intervals for all categories of PSVs should be estimated and established during the service extension. 3.4. Inspection interval suggestion

PSVs in the pressurized system were properly inspected and adjusted according to the required set pressure during the turnaround period. The ratio of TP/SP for each PSV should equal unity when the resetting work is nished. As the in-service time passes, the TP/SP value of each PSV may differ from unity, either increasing or decreasing, based on the operating characteristic during in-service hours. In this case study, two sets of service time frame data (1-year operation and 3-year operation) were obtained from the process units. The ANOVA result shows the time frame is not a signicantly inuential parameter on the aging condition of the PSV. However, by focusing on the system integrity of the RBI scheme, it requires further statistical analysis on the service time frame data to optimize the inspection interval of PSVs. Fig. 7 shows the aging models of both 1-year-operating and 3-year-operating PSVs by plotting the cumulative density function of PSV quantity against the as-received test data. In Fig. 7, one can
X <= 0.894 5.0% X <= 1.184 95.0%

Cumulative Density Function for PSV Quantity

The last and the most essential step in the proposed RBI scheme is the determination of the next inspection date to mitigate against the high risk potential of PSVs. Following inspection and maintenance procedures, it is assumed that all

1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0.6 1 Cumulative Density Function for PSV Quantity 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0.6

Table 6 RBI assessment results for all PSVs Risk category PSV quantities located in each risk category 4 120 15 23 5 14 13 24 7 4 Risk value PSV percentage located in each risk category (%) 54.15

1-Year Operation

0.8
X <= 0.873 5.0%

1.2 TP/SP
X <= 1.244 95.0%

1.4

1.6

1.8

Riskp7.2 7.2oRiskp43.8 43.8oRiskp80.3 80.3oRiskp116.8 116.8oRiskp153.4 153.4oRiskp189.9 189.9oRiskp226.5 226.5oRiskp263.0 263.0oRiskp299.5 299.5oRiskp336.1

16.59

8.30

3-Years Operation 0.8 1 1.2 TP/SP 1.4 1.6 1.8

16.16

4.80

Fig. 7. The cumulative density function between 1-year and 3-year-operated PSVs.

Fig. 6. RBI assessment results for all PSVs.

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2.2 2 1.8 1.6 1.4


TP/SP

y = 1.0421e0.0659x R2 = 0.9865

1.2 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 0 2 4 6 Inspection Interval 8 10

y = 1.0073e0.0092x R2 = 0.9784 y = 0.9718e-0.0405x R2 = 0.9828

12

Fig. 8. Exponential curve tting to estimate the next inspection date of PSV.

Table 7 Suggestion for the inspection interval of each category Risk category PSV percentage located in each risk category (%) Suggestion for inspection interval in each category (months) 60 48 36 24 12

4. Conclusion In this study, a semi-quantitative RBI methodology is established which shows a plan, do, correct, and action (PDCA) loop in the inspection/ maintenance strategies of PSVs as shown in Fig. 3. The PDCA loop outlined in this paper not only considers the inspection/maintenance conditions of PSVs, but also includes process upset in the condition assessments. The presented methodology was successfully performed on the PSVs in a lubricant plant during the extended service period and resulted in a high level of condence both in the safety of the pressurized system and in the fulllment of regulations administrated by the CLA in Taiwan. The ANOVA results show that service time frame is not a signicantly inuential parameter for the PSV aging condition, which makes it difcult to estimate the next inspection date of PSVs. However, it is shown that the proposed RBI scheme can provide the estimation of the next inspection date of each PSV based on two sets of time frame data under the assumption of an exponential aging model for PSVs and a 95% condence level. A semi-quantitative RBI scheme is established and a suggested inspection interval for each PSV is obtained in this study. However, reassessing the primary RBI results is necessary if the current operating mode is changed since the aging model will also change then. Furthermore, the small R square value of linear regression results can be improved through the long-term observation of system characteristics. Also, although the conservative evaluation of maximum service duration is 5 years, which complies with the API 510 code in this study, a thorough feedback of site examination and evaluation during the next turnaround should be followed up to document the experience, which may indicate a longer inspection and maintenance interval are still acceptable.

1 2 3 4 5

54.15 16.59 8.3 16.16 4.80

see that the mean value of each data set does not change signicantly with the time frame. However, based on 95% condence level, the upper value of TP/SP for 1-year-operation and 3-year-operation PSVs equals 1.184 and 1.244, respectively. It shows a slight aging trend exists as the time frame increases. So, in order to conservatively establish the next inspection date based on the risk of the probability of failure on demand, the suggested strategy for the plant operator is to trace and watch the PSVs with high failure potential, which are near the upper value of 95% condence level when the PSV service duration is extended. Suppose the acceptable risk of the plant operator is 5% on the probability of failure on demand and the aging model is an exponential function of the service time frame with a conservative estimation. Then, by using the 1-year-operation data and the 3-year-operation data, one can plot the estimated tted curve of the PSV aging trend against the in-service time frame based on the 95% condence level as shown in Fig. 8. Within the 95% condence interval, if the ratio of TP/SP of the PSVs in the pressurized system would not increase beyond 1.5 during the extended service duration, the inspection interval will be located at 5 years. That is, except for damaged PSVs, the service duration of PSVs used in the process units will last 60 months till the next inspection date in this case study. By referring to the RBI ranking results, it is suggested that the difference in inspection interval between any two adjacent category ranks is 12 months, the inspection interval of each category can be obtained and is listed in Table 7. From Table 7, one nds that the inspection intervals of about 5% of total assessed PSVs should be shorter than the current inspection intervals required by the Taiwan regulations. If the plant operator follows the jurisdiction regulation of 2-year inspection intervals, only 21% of total assessed PSVs should follow up the inspection and maintenance during service extension.

Acknowledgments The data studied in this paper are partially provided by the auditors of Department of Occupational Safety Ofce, Labor Affairs Bureau, Kaohsiung City Government, Taiwan. The authors would like to thank the chief inspector M. S. Ho and his colleagues for their suggestions, supports, and for providing the as-received test data of the process units.

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