Integrity Operating Windows (IOWs) are limits that we set on ourselves–on our operation. They are parameters that are both measurable and controllable: temperatures, pressures, flow rates, etc. They’re intended to affect those damage mechanisms that we’ve identified that are occurring within a system. We set these limits in order to limit the extent of these damage mechanisms – to limit the amount of damage that’s possible.

Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) has been popular for a while now, but it’s not until fairly recently that IOWs have become a hot topic. and that’s actually not an accident. Risk-based inspection is an assessment that assumes the worst scenario for a given operation. And if you don’t have some mechanism in place to detect that you’ve actually moved outside of that assumption, it’s possible for you to have damage rates that you didn’t predict. So integrity operating windows would alert you to that fact. They can alert you to the fact that you need to reassess your RBI assumptions. In extreme cases, they can alert you to the fact that you’re getting close to testing or stressing the equipment to the point of failure.

Want to implement IOWs? If you don’t have a risk-based inspection program or have not completed some other process of establishing the identity of the damage mechanisms that are in operation in your process – you need to do that first. You need to identify what those risks are so that you can understand the environments that contribute to them and start identifying the ability to set controls.

Want to hear more on this topic? We are opening up the conversation with our Common Reliability Questions video series, in which we discuss processes, best-practices, pitfalls, and opportunities for the future. Join Fred Addington, Principal of Corrosion Technology, and Nathanael Ince, Vice President of  Solutions, as they discuss integrity operating windows. Tune in to receive practical takeaways that will help your facility become more reliable.

Want to learn more about IOWs?