Asset Integrity Management
Asset integrity is the ability of an asset to perform its required function effectively under safe and environmentally friendly conditions. If an asset is not well maintained and sustained it can have a catastrophic effect on the business where the plant may eventually shut down. Asset integrity management is the deployment of a series of control measures which serve to either prevent a hazard(s) or to limit the effects of an associated incident, should the hazard(s) be realised.
The effectiveness of asset integrity controls is a function of the quantity and the quality of the control measures (barriers) which are used to protect against the primary hazards. However, no control measure (barrier) is flawless – the design limitations and the potential for the control measures (barriers) to fail or be bypassed are real-world credible scenarios which must be properly understood and proactively managed.
All equipment placed into service on a plant will undergo some form of physical deterioration, fatigue, etc. which can result in an inefficient performance and eventual failure if left unmanaged and uncontrolled. Planned integrity measures and maintenance activities collectively aim to safeguard the performance and integrity of all equipment by instigating appropriate levels and frequencies of intervention. However, in order to achieve this successfully it requires an understanding of the deterioration and other wastage mechanisms to which the plant equipment is susceptible. Allocating the correct mechanisms can help establish correct maintenance, testing, and integrity control activities along with their frequencies.
Why Integrate Maintenance and Integrity Management Systems Together?
The management of asset integrity usually requires the use of a myriad of tools and technologies in order to maintain a productive, safe and regulatory compliant operation. Risk-Based Inspection (RBI) is a tool that is commonly used in the assurance of the integrity of pressurized plant equipment whilst comparable to other processes which are used in maintenance management, and may include methods such as Reliability Centered Maintenance, Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) analysis. However, fundamentally all of these processes are centralized on risk identification, mitigation and/or control. The challenging part is to recognize how they can be harmonized within a common risk approach, in order to achieve the required asset integrity. This is achieved through the use of a centralized maintenance management system (CMMS).
Whilst the tools and technologies used in both integrity and maintenance management processes differ, they are nevertheless variations on a common theme. This obviously means that integrity and maintenance management systems are inter-connected, despite the technical differences. Having both management systems under a common umbrella provides a number of tangible benefits:
- It provides a common and centralized location for all plant equipment and facilities
- It provides a common and centralized location for all planned integrity and maintenance activities
- Plant equipment and facilities which are deemed safety critical may be made readily identifiable in the system. In addition, if specific performance criteria are required they may be specified in the planned maintenance routines, thus allowing pass/fail status to be readily assimilated during interventions.
- It facilitates the integrated planning process, by virtue that the inclusion of all such planned tasks which fall due may then be included in the 6Q, 90-day, and 28-day integrated plans for the assets.
- It facilitates the formal deferrals process by virtue that as tasks fall due, execution requirements and plans can be formalized ahead of time (courtesy of the integrated planning process). Un-achievable workscope(s) can be identified in advance, upon which a deferment process is triggered. This process includes the identification of risks arising from the deferment and the development of suitable mitigation measures.
- It facilitates the measurement and tracking of performance, in terms of execution against plan, backlog and deferrals status and the like.
- It constitutes a clear and transparent management system which may be interrogated at any time; the information is available and visible to all.
What We Offer
AIE has experience for both new and aged facilities across a range of industries such as Oil and Gas, Power Generation and Nuclear.
Our maintenance and integrity specialists develop detailed maintenance strategies, asset registers, generate associated work routines, performance standards and define safety critical equipment/elements (SCE) to ensure that the maintenance and integrity management systems are linked and cover the key essential requirements.
We utilise our CMMS development software to efficiently build maintenance systems for our clients following a proven and established process. Our CMMS development software facilitates criticality analysis which is performed by our experienced maintenance and safety engineers. This analysis is then used to further define the equipment’s optimum maintenance strategy and its criticality for integrity and maintainability.