From across our global network
Storage tanks are often regarded as a static ‘fit and forget’ item due to the nature of their design and operation but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Decades of industry experience have shown us that tanks which receive little or no maintenance, or effective management, are at high risk of failure. This could lead to lost revenue due to unplanned shutdowns or lost inventories, high environmental costs and have the potential to inflict injury or worse to those unfortunate to be around when these events happen.
Ageing plants can be particularly troublesome as years of product cycles, corrosion, and environmental attrition can lead to significantly reduced operational life and increased safety risks. The only way to reduce or eliminate the effect of these factors is to sufficiently monitor, measure and manage these factors to ensure the integrity of the tank is maintained and operates safely and with a high degree of confidence into the future. Tank integrity management pulls together all aspects of a tank from design, build, operation, inspection, assessment, maintenance and planning activities to ensure that maximum efficiency can be extracted for the entire life cycle of the asset. Failing to implement one or more of these factors can be detrimental to the tank’s efficient and safe operation.
Tank Integrity Management should be taken into consideration from all aspects of a tank’s lifecycle:
Design – A fundamental contributor to the life of any tank. Incorrect design, i.e., not designed to an approved or recognised standard can limit a tank’s life before it is even constructed.
Build – Whether a tank is designed to correct standards does not ensure the successful execution of a tank build. As with any build, it will only be as good as those who are constructing it and the procedures and processes in place which ensure successful build execution.
Operation – Tanks should be operated within their original design parameters. If they operate outside of these without the necessary re-engineering and mitigation, then the tank may have a reduced operational life or be at increased risk of failure.
Inspection – Periodic intrusive and non-intrusive inspections at prescribed intervals are essential to understanding the effects of tank degradation, highlighting requirements for reactive or preventative maintenance and ensuring accurate rates of degradation are documented.
Assessment – Utilising the information gathered from current and historic inspections and operational data, the tank is subject to an assessment which determines its current and future operability, highlighting any need for remediation, repair, modification or mitigation activities.
Maintenance – Applying any necessary repairs or modifications can ensure increased operational longevity and help prevent unwanted or unplanned shutdowns between planned inspections or shutdown intervals.
Planning – Having a broad knowledge base from the previous factors will allow for effective planning. Anticipating windows of opportunity for specific events to take place will allow any downtime to be minimised and service time to be optimised.
Tank Integrity Management is a process which integrates all these factors and establishes a strategy to maximise the operational life of the asset. Pulling all these aspects together along with their respective data inputs and outputs can be an arduous and time-consuming job. Our Veracity Software offers a solution whereby all elements are seamlessly integrated with a level of automation to reduce human error and provide instant feedback and data to those accessing the system. Veracity can also be used as a repository for all historic tank documents providing logical storage and ease of accessibility. Veracity can also be utilised to generate WSEs, inspection reports and repair SOWs with the information used to populate the integrity management system.
To learn more about the use of Veracity to maintain your storage tanks, click here.