7 Steps to Effective Asset & Risk Management
The effects of poor maintenance and management of vessels, pipes, pumps and other assets can be devastating, if not disastrous for plant operators. The risk of critical asset failure include personal safety, environmental disaster and significant detriment to company image and profitability. Taking short cuts in maintenance and management of plant may lead to short term gain, but at the significant risk of long term 'pain'. Axiom Engineering offer integrated inspection and engineering services to help clients keep their plants in a safe operational condition. We have pulled together a 7 step guide for plant operators to consider.
1. Risk based approach to systematic inspection of critical assets.
An effective and structured inspection program can enable plant operators to prevent disasters by identifying and dealing with potential problems in asset integrity.
2. Inspection led maintenance.
From the inspection process, you are able to build a systematic and appropriate maintenance program, and effectively build your maintenance budget from the bottom up – more cost effective than the traditional annual maintenance budget discussions.
3. Planning for changes in condition or use.
In our experience, small changes in process conditions can increase the stress or strain on structures, and put assets at risk unnecessarily. Similarly, a change of use, or change of process fluid can also adversely affect performance and integrity. By conducting tests and simulations ahead of the change, the impact can be predicted and potential disaster averted.
4. Training of staff.
Through investing in the knowledge of your key staff and defining the expected standards and methods, a degree of self-sustainability can be achieved in terms of inspection and maintenance.
5. Engagement of expertise.
As Red Adair once said, “If you think hiring professionals is expensive, then try hiring amateurs!!” With recent trends to outsourcing certain activities (including inspection), companies are often faced with a range of expertise, professionalism and cost. The decision is ideally made from a view of assurance and peace of mind, rather than short term cost reduction.
6. Design of plant and fitness for purpose.
Similar to change of use, if a new plant is being conceived and designed, then it must be fit for purpose. Conducting predictive tests such as corrosion assessments or finite element analysis (FEA) can assist in predicting what may happen.
7. Preventative approach.
Common sense, we appreciate, but many of our client engagements start at a point of reacting to a situation or failure, often generated through a lack of systematic assessment of asset condition. Our recommendation is to adopt an approach of understanding your asset condition now and putting in place a program of systematic inspection and maintenance. In the long term, this provides assurance of safety, productivity and profitability.