Asset Integrity Management for Temporary Equipment

Equipment manufacturers think of “QUALITY” and “QA/QC” as a 1-time occurrence that generates a databook for a piece of equipment. Pipeline Integrity Managers and engineers think of “Asset Integrity” as a life-cycle issue that evolves and continues throughout the life of the pipeline. At TPE Midstream, we manage our assets with a combined approach. We look at new assets from a manufacturers’ standpoint, but we also follow an integrity management philosophy throughout the life of our equipment.  


Manufactured New Equipment Quality Ongoing Asset Integrity
TPE Midstream maintains a network of fabricators who are subject to extensive auditing and scorecards. These vendor audits both prior to PO award as well as during the equipment manufacturing process are critical to assuring the assets put into the TPE Midstream rental fleet are unmatched in quality and that our vendors take our commitment to quality (and therefore safety) as seriously as we do. TPE Midstream keeps a regular schedule of cleaning its equipment so that it goes into the field “like-new” for every job. We think of our equipment as an alternative to capital expenditure for new equipment, so we want it on site as a drop-in alternative to expensive, new assets. Keeping equipment continually “like new” minimizes the effects of corrosion and degradation. Similar to the effect of regular pigging on a pipeline, keeping the asset in a continually clean state helps prevent future integrity issues.
By working with our supply chain vendors all the way back to the steel mills, we ensure that the quality of our equipment starts with the best materials, and is sourced from trustworthy and well established component manufacturers. By engaging our subcontractors and their suppliers, we are able to control the materials and methods used to construct our equipment. Simple tasks such as touch-up paint, grease, and cleaning threads can go a long way toward keeping an asset effective over a long working life. Like any pipeline owner understands, keeping up with routine maintenance and repair is the most cost effective and proactive way to avoid downtime and TPE understands that having equipment ready for action the moment you need assets on site is critical.
With new equipment, functional testing at the factory is the best place to catch any issues with the fully functional equipment. Rather than finding problems in the field, we work hard to put our equipment through every possible working scenario while it is in the factory. We listen to you, our customers. When we hear of functionality improvements that we need to make in order for our equipment to help the field personnel get the job done faster, safer, or with less operational steps, we go the extra mile to continually improve our products based on the feedback from the field. When we add a new feature or function, we make sure the equipment is fully tested before it goes back into the field.
Saying your equipment is high quality is one thing, but being able to prove it is another. TPE Midstream has full equipment data books that document from the steel mill to our storage yard every step of the construction process. Far beyond the requirements of the pipeline codes or typical fabrication records, we track every component, every weld, and every person involved with the build of our equipment. These records are reviewed internally, but are also available to you for customer approval before the equipment ever moves to the jobsite. Often, over time, records are lost, damaged, or otherwise incomplete. We periodically audit our records on temporary equipment and continually add to the record book when any alterations to the equipment are made. This process of continually updating and checking our records leads TPE Midstream to have a living file on each piece of equipment that our customers trust in the field. We make these documents available to you, the customer, every time you request our equipment in the field because we want you to know what you’re getting is the best temporary equipment available.
Going beyond the requirements in the CFR 192 and 195 pipeline codes, we hydrotest our new equipment to 1.5x the design pressure of the equipment. This testing ensures that any remaining flaws in the equipment are small enough not to cause a rupture when the equipment is in the field. This testing also helps to reinforce to our fabricators the importance of high quality materials, welding, and inspection. Going beyond the requirements in the CFR 192 and 195 pipeline codes, we routinely hydrotest our equipment to 1.5x the design pressure of the equipment. This testing ensures that any remaining flaws in the equipment are small enough not to cause a rupture when the equipment is in the field. 
All of our equipment is built using RT-1 standard NDT. This is the highest standard available in the ASME Pressure Vessel code and we believe the additional X-ray inspection not only ensures the welds are perfect, but helps TPE to pass all possible customer audits of our construction records.  Like periodic hydrotesting, NDT is utilized as part of our lifecycle asset integrity process to continually asses the condition of our equipment. We track corrosion allowance remaining as well as any gauging or pitting due to damage on the job. Each occurrence of this type of damage is assessed and repaired before the equipment returns to the field.
We expect our equipment to ship “job-ready”. This means that connections are tight, o-rings are in and greased, and the equipment is ready to be bolted up at a moment’s notice. When we deem the equipment “job-ready”, it ships from our fabricator to our yard (or directly to a jobsite in some cases). All TPE Midstream equipment is subject to a double-job-readiness process. All equipment is made “job-ready” as soon as it returns from the field. This includes cleaning, inspection, repair/replacement of parts, and storage in its job-ready state. Then, prior to its next shipment to the field, the equipment goes through its pre-deployment job-readiness check. Here, we inspect every part of the equipment again. O-rings, threads, flange faces, closures, and paint are all checked again before the equipment ships. This is our double-job-readiness process.