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Dynamic asset integrity management

Thursday, June 11, 2015

In order to manage asset integrity, you need to understand how risk changes over time, although information can be hard to find, said Jawad Raza, Discipline Authority Maintenance Engineer with Apply Sørco

The main objective with asset integrity management is to reduce and minimize business risk, which generally means maintaining highest possible standards of safety and avoiding expensive unplanned shutdowns, said Jawad Raza, Discipline Authority Maintenance Engineer with Apply Sørco, speaking at the Digital Energy Journal Stavanger forum on May 5.

So all the time the operator company is under pressure to continuously improve safety, reliability and availability of their asset. Maintenance personnel and engineers need to have a good knowledge of reliability aspects of machinery and the underlying risk, he said.

Every company performs risk and hazards assessments to identify the major risks and hazardous outcomes which can arise if something goes wrong, which is based on the consequences (events) and probability of their occurrence. This helps you understand how your overall risk picture changes as your probabilities change, he said.

Engineers sit together, identify why something might fail, what the consequences would be, the probability of consequences and come up with an optimum maintenance plan to cover the lifecycle of the equipment.

They classify all equipment in terms of how serious the consequences of a failure would be (high, medium, low consequence), and which are most critical failures.

Sometimes a contractor participates in this work, through a maintenance and modification contractual obligations.
'Running a platform is a dynamic operation environment,' he said. 'You have to have continuous improvement all the time, over the whole lifecycle, how you optimise your asset, produce more and more, increase safety levels, keeping your equipment available at all times.'

Dynamic risk analysis
A 'dynamic risk analysis' will help you visualise how risk is changing. Once your asset starts producing, you need to study the failures, failure data to see what can go wrong and use such data and information to assess your overall risk picture, he said.
'The risk picture changes over time, just as the risk of a car breakdown or accident increases as the car gets older', he said.
'We're showing this dynamic risk picture, of how your risk picture changes,' he said. You can look at short intervals and long intervals, or an optimum interval based on your analysis.

For example, if you change preventive maintenance intervals, it is not necessarily dangerous, but it might impact some aspects of your risk (e.g. HSE and/or cost).

By taking a long term view, you can see if you have increased risk by trying to reduce costs or vice versa. If you identified something particularly serious, you might check the equipment. The decisions are complex, just like with a car. If you miss the annual service, maybe the car will still run OK. But the longer you postpone the service, the bigger the consequences might be and the more expensive any problem might be. 'So you have to optimise,' he said. 'That may affect the overall risk picture.'

'You use different tools and techniques,' he said. 'A lot of things are available, depending on what competencies the company has.' Typically, 'Sometimes we don't have enough data or enough information to visualize dynamically changing risk-picture.'
People often do not have a good understanding of the uncertainties on bigger projects, itshould always be remembered that "safety doesn't cost, but accidents do," he said.



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