Mechanical Integrity is the Answer

March 19, 2020

Mechanical Integrity (MI) is a management system to ensure equipment is properly manufactured, installed, and maintained to ensure its reliability from installation to dismantlement. Effective MI accounts for maintenance, inspection, and testing of the equipment to reduce risk for new and existing facilities. Elements of MI and their intents are:

Table that shows Mechanical Integrity Elements and their intents

Integrating MI Programs into Your Company’s Existing Processes

In order to realize the full potential benefits of a comprehensive MI program, your program must assure that process equipment and systems are designed, fabricated, installed, maintained, inspected, tested, and replaced to prevent failures, process upsets, and accidental releases. As companies mature, they need to prioritize appropriate inspection and maintenance of their assets.

An effective MI program is critical to answering these questions in the process industry:

  • How do I reduce equipment repair costs?
  • How do I increase production?
  • How do I reduce the number of spares I have stored?
  • How do I reduce the number of people needed to maintain my equipment?
  • How do I improve equipment reliability?
  • What’s required to properly maintain my equipment?
  • How do I reduce the risk of having a catastrophic Process Safety Incident?
  • How do I protect my company’s reputation and right to operate?
  • Does my company comply with the Mechanical Integrity Element of Process Safety Management?
Continuous Lifecycle: Design > Source > Build > Start Up > Operate > Maintain > Decommission

A comprehensive, holistic MI program is a journey for every company that requires:

  1. Management Commitment – Management must be committed to a comprehensive MI program that includes the necessary resources for development, implementation, execution, and ongoing success
  2. A Corporate / Company MI Standard to establish the requirements of MI; requirements should comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, such as OSHA 1910.119(J)
  3. A Site / Facility MI Manual – At each facility, a team should be established to write a manual containing procedures and guidelines to execute each of the 7 MI elements
  4. Identification of Critical Equipment which must be included in the MI Program
  5. Execution of the Site / Facility MI Manual procedures on the critical equipment
  6. Document Management Systems for tracking, execution, and documentation of compliance for each element within the MI Manual

Start Your Journey to a Comprehensive MI Program

MI programs are designed to manage critical process equipment and ensure it is designed, installed, operated, and maintained properly to reduce risk. If your company is starting the journey towards more effective MI programs or looking to improve your existing processes, Operational Sustainability, LLC® provides solutions to help clients assess current work practices, leverage information technology and develop next generation, best in class MI programs.