Asset Integrity- Evolving Systems for Industrial Plants & RefineriesLaura Nelson
As industry progresses through technological advancement, some Plants and Refineries, be it chemical, manufacturing, oil or other, have become increasingly complex in design, using more hazardous chemicals and potentially more dangerous processes. Plants that are now 50+ years old still operate using earlier technologies and now, as we see the materials changing in ways that weren’t foreseen, they need a different approach to risk and extending the life of their plant assets.
If carried out correctly good Asset Integrity Management can help with this.
Understanding Asset Integrity Management
Asset Integrity Management (AIM) is basically the management of the mechanical Integrity of vessels, pipework and other equipment used to contain hazardous materials, to ensure that the primary barrier to the loss of containment does not fail. The hazardous materials are those with the potential to cause harm to people or the environment due to their flammability, toxicity or chemical reactivity such as explosives.
Integrity Management covers the whole life cycle of the equipment from the design stage right through to its retirement from service. It utilises information from sources at every stage of the life cycle of the Asset. From the original design, fabrication, maintenance and operational history, the repair and modification history, the inspection and fitness for service assessment history through until the retirement date.
Critical Data Used in AIM
All too often the full cycle of information is not available, this generally takes the form of missing design data, missing repair/modification data and even missing inspection data. When this occurs the Inspections and the historical inspection data become more critical.
The inspections need to be accurately targeted to the degradation mechanisms and inspection coverage needs to be sufficient to give confidence in the results. This missing data effects the systems used to set intervals for the routine inspection of the equipment, allowing only restrictive standard code classification intervals to be used.
However, if all the information required for the Integrity Management process is available then this will inevitably lead to higher levels of confidence in the inspections being carried out.
Good data allows the use of tools such as Risk Based Inspection (RBI) and Non-Intrusive Inspections (NII) to be carried out giving the confidence to extend intervals and substitute internal inspections for Non-Intrusive Inspections where appropriate.
Here to Help
If you feel your intervals are too restrictive or you are looking for reviews to support the current intervals you have with ageing assets, we’d be happy to help. For more information please, contact Trevor Richardson, Asset Integrity Manager by calling 01469 541586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org