We have developed a database as a tool for Life Cycle Management of tightening joints. This database contains
- significant geometrical data
- material data
for each connection in a plant. It also stores the design, operating and inspection data.
On that basis, a flange datasheet can be printed out for each installation, giving the fitter all the information necessary for assembly and tightening of the connection (like bolt type, gasket type, geometrical specifications, lubricant, tightening tool, tightening prestress/torque etc).
The database can also be used as a tool to control the timing and planning of maintenance activities and to determine the spare parts required in advance of downtime.
The database is an important quality assurance tool, too. The disassembly/assembly staff’s and operator’s reports on any remarkable effects (like corrosion, signs of leakage, signs of deformations and/or wear etc.) are related to the specific joints. The database provides a life cycle documentation of every relevant tightening joint.
Thus it is possible e.g. to identify potential leakers, to discover not specified loads and to improve design and construction in time – to prevent failure.