Sitech Services asked PDM to develop and test a FIM toolset, in particular the FIM Inspection app and the FIM Dashboard.
Flange Integrity Management
During the turnaround of a chemical plant, thousands of flanges are disassembled and assembled. This work is done by mechanics who are not familiar with the plant. Flange leaks in critical flanges result in considerable start-up losses. FIM is a methodology to guarantee that there are no flange leaks, so start-up losses are prevented.
The core of the methodology is to record deviations from the instructed work process for flanges. Data about the flanges, the errors made, and the mechanics concerned is entered in the FIM Inspection app. With each inspection the inspector will always give relevant advice to the mechanic, so he learns from his mistakes. Next, the inspector can quickly proceed to the next flange.
The data in the FIM Inspection app is real-time summarized in the FIM Dashboard. Over a given period, this tool provides the following information:
- Overall score (% work correct)
- Score (% correct) per contractor
- Score (% correct) per mechanic
- Total number of inspected flanges
- Top 10 error list
- All inspections (flange number, flange location, contractor, etc.)
- All inspections with an error (flange number, flange location, mechanic, etc.).
Based on this information, timely measures can be taken to increase the quality of the work.
The assignment consisted of three phases:
Tool development (early 2019)
Practical test (summer 2019)
Final release (after test)
1 – Tool development
Beforehand, prototypes of the tools were developed, in which FIM knowledge of PDM and Sitech was incorporated.
Based on these prototypes, the tools were developed by Mediaan in Heerlen, commissioned by PDM.
2 – Practical test
The objective of the practical test was to perfect the tools. To this end, the tools were deployed during the turnarounds of two plants of one of Sitech’s customers at Chemelot.
3 – Final release
After the practical test, the final version of the tools were released. The tools were licensed by PDM to Sitech for the period 2019-2020.
For the inspectors the FIM Inspection app was easy to use, so they could complete a large number of inspections in time.
The FIM Dashboard provided quick insight in the status of flanges (progress, notifications, follow-up) and the mechanics (quality of work). The compliance with the instructed work process could easily be established. Mechanics could be called to account for their actions. Discussions with contractors could be started based on concrete data, before the turnarounds were completed. As a result, mechanics as well as contractors took ownership of their jobs.
For the successful deployment of the FIM tools best practices were established to incorporate FIM knowledge into the turnaround organization:
- As FIM inspections require focus, FIM inspections are preferably performed by dedicated QC inspectors
- PDM provides training and instruction for the inspectors
- PDM guides the inspectors during their first turnaround on a daily basis
- During next turnarounds, PDM will always remains available for additional support upon request during the turnaround.
- PDM supports the TA organization regarding FIM.
Sitech Services will definitely deploy the FIM tools during the next turnarounds.