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Why Your Facility Needs Annual Mechanical Integrity Inspections | Blog No. 35


Ensuring the mechanical integrity of your system is crucial for operating in a safe, efficient, and compliant workspace. For those managing ammonia refrigeration systems, adhering to inspection standards is a legal obligation and should be taken seriously. Here’s why conducting annual mechanical integrity inspections is crucial to operational excellence and how outsourcing this task to experts like Macha PSM can add value to your operations.


Regulatory Compliance

Federal regulations mandate that mechanical integrity inspections are performed according to recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP). Specifically, these regulations include:

  • Federal Process Safety Management: Title 29 CFR §1910.119(j)(4)

  • Federal Risk Management Plan: Title 40 CFR §68.73(d)


For ammonia refrigeration systems, the ANSI/IIAR 6-2019 standard is the cornerstone for inspection, testing, and maintenance. This standard outlines numerous annual inspection frequency items and also provides non-mandatory inspection checklists in Appendix B, demonstrating the necessity for thorough and regular inspections. These used to be called "B109's", which stood for Bulletin No. 109.

 

Comprehensive and Documented Inspections

Annual inspections need to be meticulously documented in accordance with RMP/PSM regulations and IIAR 6 standards. In order to ensure identified deficiencies are promptly and effectively addressed, inspections should include recommendations for corrective action. ANSI/IIAR 6-2019 §5.4.1 states, “When a deficiency is identified, the owner or owner’s designated representative shall ensure a timely evaluation is arranged to determine the appropriate corrective action(s) and the time frame to execute each task.”

 

Macha PSM Annual MI Inspections

Mechanical integrity inspections must be performed by qualified individuals per ANSI/IIAR 6-2019 §5.4.2: "Equipment inspections shall be performed by a qualified inspector(s)..." This requirement ensures that inspections are carried out with the necessary expertise and thoroughness.


While internal technicians may be capable of performing inspections, there are many significant advantages of outsourcing this task to professionals like Macha PSM:

  1. Time and Efficiency: Completing detailed documentation and conducting thorough inspections can be time-consuming for in-house technicians. Outsourcing allows your technicians to focus on their primary responsibilities without the additional burden of extensive paperwork and inspection protocols.

  2. Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring external experts might be more affordable than anticipated. At Macha PSM, we offer free proposals for our services so that you can have more options. If you would like an estimate, your can use this tool to see an immediate estimate: https://www.machapsm.com/annual-mi-estimator

  3. Fresh Perspective: Technicians working with the same system every day might overlook issues due to familiarity. Getting an outsider’s perspective avoids this issue.

  4. Qualified and Certified Inspectors: At Macha PSM, our inspectors are certified through the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) and leverage knowledge and data from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's "Principles and Practices of Mechanical Integrity for Industrial Refrigeration Systems" class (partnered with the Industrial Refrigeration Consortium). This guarantees that inspections are performed to the highest standards.

  5. High-Quality Documentation: Using APSM, we provide crisp and clean documentation. Our reports include clear recommendations, properly grouped action items, and helpful pictures that illustrate the condition of the system.

  6. Preventative Maintenance: Annual inspections can catch issues such as corrosion early, preventing them from becoming extensive and costly problems. Regular, thorough inspections are a proactive approach to maintaining system integrity and avoiding unexpected downtimes.


Conclusion

Annual mechanical integrity inspections are not just a regulatory requirement; they are a cornerstone of safe and efficient industrial operations. By partnering with Macha PSM, you can ensure that your ammonia refrigeration system is inspected by qualified professionals who provide detailed, actionable insights. This partnership not only enhances safety and compliance but also contributes to the long-term reliability and efficiency of your systems. If you would like to learn more about why people choose Macha PSM, email me at micah@machapsm.com and I’d be happy to talk with you.



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