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Inspectioneering Journal

The Role of AIM in an Asset’s Lifecycle

By Hossam Aboegla at Lloyd's Register Energy. This article appears in the May/June 2017 issue of Inspectioneering Journal

Introduction

This article aims to cover various areas of asset integrity and life cycle management. It also attempts to better define mechanical integrity, asset integrity management, and the five elements of asset lifecycles. Furthermore, examples of integrity management controls are explained and the interactions between them and AIM are identified. The dynamic process between the mechanical integrity principles and the elements of asset lifecycle management are discussed to show how integrity principles have an effect on the lifecycle of an asset and how these elements have a significant impact on the integrity of a plant. Also, a real case study from an asset on an off-shore platform in the North Sea attempts to explain and demonstrate to the reader the criticality of this dynamic process. The case study is applied on a skimmed oil tank. Some photos of the study are shown in appendix A. The case study starts with an introduction for the function of the tank. Previous repairs/issues are discussed to demonstrate their impact on the tank’s integrity and reliability and what can happen when some lifecycle elements are missing.

Elements of Equipment Lifecycle and Asset Integrity Management

Some basic definitions should be provided before discussing the interactions between lifecycle elements of an asset and its integrity and reliability. In 2007, the U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive defined asset integrity as “the ability of an asset to perform its required function effectively and efficiently whilst protecting health, safety and the environment.” Moreover, they define asset integrity management as “the means of ensuring that the people, systems, processes and resources which deliver the integrity, are in place, in use and fit for purpose over the whole lifecycle of the asset.” An asset integrity management (AIM) program ensures that mechanical integrity is being evaluated and maintained over an asset’s entire lifecycle.

An asset’s lifecycle is comprised of following elements: design, construction, commissioning, operation, modifications, and decommissioning as illustrated in Figure 1. Each element ensures integrity of the asset. The integrity principles control the design and the implementation of every stage. It is dynamic process. A case study from the oil and gas industry is provided later to help illustrate these dynamic interactions.

Asset’s lifecycle elements and asset integrity.

Figure 1. Asset’s lifecycle elements and asset integrity.

The vision of obtaining effective asset integrity through the six critical stages of an asset’s lifecycle requires a set of tools to deliver this vision. Here are some examples that demonstrate the dynamic interactions between AIM and the elements of an asset’s lifecycle.

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