MTI Publishes Asset Integrity Program for Plant Structures Book


By MTI Admin posted 5 days ago

MTI's newest publication, Asset Integrity Program for Plant Structures, is a direct result of an emerging theme from the first Managing Aging Plants Conference in Dusseldorf, Germany in 2015. This book serves to provide an approach to assess, prioritize, and manage the risks associated with aging plant structures. Although the approach discussed in this book is rooted in assessing asset condition over time and planned intervention for structural failures, the low-probability or random events do happen from time to time. In establishing a risk-based structural inspection and repair program, we are able to articulate the risk present at a given plant and carry out repairs in a prioritized way. In managing day-to-day risk, we are more prepared to mitigate the impacts of the low-probability, high-consequence events.

The integrity of plant infrastructure is a vital component of maintaining safe and reliable operations. As of 2014, the average age of equipment and manufacturing assets in the United States was 20 years. During the life of these facilities, infrastructure has been subjected to environmental and process-related elements through the years. However, capital expenditure is typically focused on assets related to increasing or maintaining production rates. Plant structures supporting the miles of piping, process vessels, platforms, and ladders routinely used in daily operations often can be given less priority than production equipment. Having a robust inspection and repair program for plant infrastructure is an important component of a site’s integrity management program.

Having safe and reliable operations is a goal of all manufacturing facilities. Proactively managing risks due to aging civil structural assets plays an important role in ensuring silent running and in minimizing health, safety, and environmental incidents and business interruption.

If most of a plant’s civil structures (“structures”) are the same age and the plant begins a structural inspection and repair program in response to a structural failure, it may require significant investment to restore the plant to an acceptable condition. Annual preventive maintenance plans and repair strategies are less costly over a plant’s life cycle than large projects for infrastructure renewal. A risk-based approach to inspection, repair, and preventive maintenance further optimizes spending allocation over time and ensures integrity is restored or maintained in the most critical areas.

Structures do not have an infinite design life and may pose certain risks as they degrade over time. For sites that have not actively maintained plant structures, significant resources may be needed for structural repairs to keep plants running safely and reliably. Through the development of a risk-based structural inspection program, structural repairs can be planned and prioritized in a systematic way to promote safe and reliable operations.

This book provides a framework for establishing a risk-based inspection (RBI) and repair program for plant structures. This methodology was developed and deployed at a large manufacturing facility in the United States. It was then incorporated into a sustainable inspection and risk assessment program. The creation of inspection templates, the selection and training for inspection contractors, and a means of determining structural risks were essential components of the program. This program provided a quantitative means of demonstrating a reduction in plant structural risks. The RBI and repair program helped the company focus efforts on the most critical repairs and improved its structural repair strategy. Companies can model this RBI and repair program to help promote the integrity and safety of plant structures and other supporting infrastructure at their facilities. This book will discuss this approach and considerations for implementing a similar program at other manufacturing facilities.

Asset Integrity Program for Plant Structures is available to members in the Technical Resource Library. It will be available to the public in the MTI bookstore at a later date.