Ageing plant and the implications for asset integrity

21st February 2013

Many assets around the world are currently operating beyond their nominal design life and require an effective asset integrity management approach to be implemented to combat the issues of ageing plant.

Such an approach must apply to more than just the mechanical equipment. It should also apply to process safety critical protective systems, electrical, instrumentation and control systems and even civil and structural assets. However, some companies treat these engineering areas in isolation and continue to be surprised with unexpected plant incidents or outages occur.

A long term asset strategy is as much determined by economic factors as it is by technical issues. Factors such as obsolescence need to be considered when determining future needs. Increasingly companies are turning to risk based assessments to provide a holistic approach. Any Asset Strategy should be implemented and supported by a range of policies covering process safety, maintenance and inspection, renewal, and competence.

ABB's Asset Life Assessment process provides an insight into the business risk the customer may face into the future, and provides information to allow the business to look ahead at the investment in equipment, people and systems that will be needed to sustain effective production. It also identifies quick wins and short term payback actions that should be adopted irrespective of any longer term asset life planning.

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ABB Engineering Services is based in Billingham, Teesside, UK.


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