Positive Material Identification: Improving Safety and Efficiency

Portable and sturdy Positive Material Identification (PMI) analyzers mark a significant shift in how oil and gas upstream, midstream, and downstream operators ensure their sites are safe, compliant, and efficient, for example. The same applies to power and chemical plants.

Portable alloy analyzers have simplified the proactive approach to managing pipeline integrity and process safety and detecting safety risks at an early stage.

This is crucial as many operators still tend to adopt a reactive approach, addressing issues with equipment and systems only after they show signs of degradation or damage.

A reactive strategy often results in higher maintenance costs, more unscheduled downtime, increased risk, and difficulty achieving strategic and commercial production goals. Nevertheless, implementing retroactive PMI or safety inspections need not be a costly or time-consuming process.

When integrated with data management solutions such as cloud storage, unscheduled downtime, operational disruption, unforeseen costs, and catastrophic failures can be significantly reduced.

Making It Easy

PMI analyzers offer a lasting resolution to unexpected problems by comprehensively evaluating a site’s assets.

The growing adoption of data management solutions has made it less expensive to store, analyze, and disseminate inspection data in real-time across an organization.

This presents the opportunity for managers and safety officials to scrutinize inspection outcomes as they are received from the field and promptly highlight any potential issues.

The following are ways in which PMI analyzers can help streamline a workflow:

  1. No Need to Stop Operations

Implementing a comprehensive program for regular data collection to monitor the condition of critical assets is impractical if shutting down a section of the plant is required to take a measurement.

Modern analyzers are designed to operate concurrently with plant processes. For instance, Hitachi’s handheld XRF X-MET8000 analyzers can measure hot components up to 400 ºC, allowing measurements to be taken without halting production.

  1. Reliable Results Even in Harsh Environments

Accurately assessing the condition of components through PMI/NDT measurements requires the use of sophisticated technology capable of analyzing the chemical composition of the part at an extremely precise level.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, modern analyzers are engineered to operate safely in hazardous environments.

This is particularly advantageous as oil and gas exploration and extraction continue to progress into more hazardous environments. The ability of portable material analyzers to function in such environments is a significant benefit.

  1. Take Measurements in Hard-to-Reach Areas

Maintenance is not always considered during the design and construction of plants. Within a convoluted network of pipelines, valves, and switches, certain areas are hard to access.

Portable analyzers offer an advantage in that they are compact, lightweight, and can be operated using a single hand.

This implies that any area that can be reached can be analyzed without the need to transport a bulky and cumbersome instrument to the location to attain accurate and precise results.

  1. Automatically Upload and Store Data to a Central Cloud

Streamlining the process of measuring, analyzing, and disseminating inspection data could potentially expedite problem resolution and decrease downtime and maintenance costs.

Operators may be particularly interested in automating the compliance process through the use of reporting software and cloud storage. This would allow for real-time monitoring of inspection data and the presentation of audit-friendly results.

In essence, taking measurements with the analyzer is now an effortless task, with an accurate and precise dataset available within minutes, providing crucial information about the plant’s condition.

Hitachi High-Tech’s X-MET8000 and PMI-MASTER Smart for PMI/NDT

The X-MET8000 handheld XRF and PMI-MASTER Smart spark OES analyzers provided by Hitachi are well-suited for widespread PMI testing across petrochemical plants and refineries as part of a PMI/NDT program.

The following reasons justify choosing these instruments as preferred tools:

  • Fast: Inspection need not be time-consuming, with fast start-up and analysis times minimizing disruption and downtime.
  • Accurate: These analyzers provide precise analysis of significant elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and boron for grade identification and elemental composition.
  • Durable: The analyzers are designed to function in the most demanding environments and can be used for long-term operations.
  • Efficient: Cloud-based data management tools enable real-time generation, storage, and sharing of inspection data. It is also possible to manage a fleet of instruments easily from one place.

Hitachi’s PMI analyzers offer reliable and accurate results, even in challenging conditions.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.

For more information on this source, please visit Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.

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