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President’s Message - September/October 2021

Category: AINDT News

Over a period of time, the risk of accidents and unplanned stoppages increases with aging plant and equipment. Assets must continue to perform effectively and efficiently to ensure safe and reliable operation. Asset integrity management ensures there are effective business processes, competencies, systems, tools, competence, and resources needed to safeguard integrity throughout any asset lifecycle.

Design, operational, and technical integrity must all be managed effectively to control costs. To optimise operational output of any asset, numerous programs are integrated: Maintenance plans, Work processes, Condition Monitoring, Analysis of asset performance as part of root cause assessment.

Asset holders and service specialists must continue to engage and train their technical staff to counter any situation, as well as prepare for new technologies and regulatory requirements being introduced in any given industry.

Management tools include ISO 55000:2014 which provides an overview of asset management, its principles and terminology, and the expected benefits from adopting asset management standardisation.

The ISO 55000 family is a set of International Standards for Asset Management which may be applied to all types of assets and by all types and sizes of organisations. Whether in the public or private sector and whether assets are physical, financial, social, or intangible. Any organisation should be able to demonstrate that it employs the leading practices and achieves maximum value from the management of its assets, in line with the organisation’s objectives and operating context.

Quality asset management systems are only one aspect, dependant on which industry sector there are numerous related Codes and Standards which address the technical, environmental, physical condition and lifecycle of tangible assets.

In the oil and gas sector, performance and operational risk levels are highly dependent upon the integrity of the assets throughout the value chain. This includes for example subsea equipment, structures, platform topsides, gas processing plants, refineries, pipelines, compressors and gas distribution networks. Asset integrity software is also widely used in this industry as it provides the core platform to support effective risk-based integrity management that helps reduce unscheduled downtime or incidents due to asset failure.

As highlighted in recent AINDT webinars on digitalisation and automation of management systems, commercially available software programs integrate data science, which is continually transforming industry and delivering innovative solutions to asset management challenges.

A collective of information gathered from numerous systems such as Mechanical Integrity Programs, Condition Monitoring (CM) and Non-destructive Testing (NDT) results etc, play a vital part in factoring safety, efficiency and reliability of assets or facilities, ensuring industry compliance with the applicable regulatory obligations.

The subject of asset integrity systems is generally  viewed from the in-service standpoint. Asset integrity starts at inception of any project with the design phase factoring in modelling, materials, environment, manufacture, design lifecycle, and risk etc... At every stage there are a range of programs put in place which then continue through the lifecycle of any asset.

The work can relate to all phases of the asset lifecycle including development, implementation, operation, training, and verification. It may include: technical integrity analysis, development and optimisation of maintenance, inspection and testing plans, condition assessment, lifetime extension of ageing assets, barrier management, environmental, safety risk management.

NDT and CM are asset integrity tools which are implemented from the start, and on-going, throughout many assets projected life without destroying or impacting the asset function. A diverse range of industries use bespoke methods for detecting irregularities, identifying defects, and assessing for continued safety.

There are growing demands worldwide to apply advanced NDT and CM techniques as asset owners continually striving to extend the operational life of their assets, in addition to adhering to increased risk mitigation through advanced testing methodologies, software integration, test equipment and highly trained specialists. Specialised training programs with certification systems, which deliver structured independent regulatory oversight, set the cornerstone for many of these comprehensive technical fields.

The Australian Institute for Non-destructive Testing (AINDT) is an Australian sovereign industry certification scheme which is ISO  17024 certified and independently audited by JAS-ANZ. AINDT certification for both NDT and CM can be counted on to perform duties which include ongoing independent reviews of training facilities and related services using subject matter experts which contribute to an ongoing safety-driven industry by promoting and supporting a competent certified workforce.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the commitment, continued hard work and engagement by our AINDT volunteers, committee members and staff that contribute to safety and the ongoing prosperity of the institute.

Nick Eleftheriou
AINDT President