2023 Nov-Dec RETA Breeze


Five years have gone by since your last 5 Year Independent Mechanical Integrity Audit and it’s time to obtain competitive quotes to get this work done. Put yourself in the shoes of an installing contractor or consultant receiving this call or email for just a moment. As the end user the request might seem straight forward, but as an installing contractor or consultant it is far from straight forward and often leads them to ask “what are they really asking for or what is the entire scope of work?” Does the customer understand what they are asking for or are they simply trying to stay in com- pliance by having “something” done? I’ll try to explain both sides to help bridge the gaps. When obtaining competitive quotes, it is important to have a defined scope of work to help make things as close to “apples to apples” as possible. In the world of end users, the common method for contractor selection is very often the result of lowest bid. And due to cost constraints, that is accompanied by the least amount of work or scope necessary to be compliant. But, what should a 5 Year Independent M.I. look

like? The fall back in this era is often “just do the B-109’s.” IIAR Bulletin 109 and Bulletin 110 are now obsolete and have been replaced by IIAR Standard 6 which should by now have rendered Bulletin 109 and 110 obsolete in your RAGAGEP (Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices) certification letter of your PSM program also obsolete unless you’re not keeping up with the times. Most consultants and installing contractors, if not all by now, have created their own forms also known as ITPMR’s (Inspection, Testing, and Preventative Maintenance Report) for each piece of equipment based on IIAR Standard 6. So, the first question as an end user we have to stipulate is which inspection process will be used, or if you are creating your own or expecting the installing contractor or consultant to create their own. Please keep this in mind as we keep the frame of mind that PSM is a performance based standard and the way the 5 Year M.I. is done is part of that performance basis. Defining which process for inspection and testing you’re

expecting to be performed is the first step in your request for quote. So now that’s out of the way we move onto how the installing contractor or consultant will be basing their labor rate. Better said, “how in-depth do you expect us to go?”We typically answer that by defining what we would call “grouping”. Using IIAR Bulletin 114 (component and pipe labeling) as an example you have a few different choices: • Call out every single location that a component or pipe label is missing which becomes labor intensive both from an inspection and a documenting perspective. Or; • Call out component or pipe labeling based upon piece of equipment. Example, a compressor and its associ ated piping. This greatly simplifies labeling per piece of equipment. • Generalize labeling. This would be a generic recommendation that says something along the lines of “the refrigeration system appears to have

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