Author: Floyd Baker VP Antea USA
There is a strong link between preserving asset integrity and profitability. When a storage tank or a pipeline leaks because of undetected corrosion, the asset’s owner must deal with unexpected downtime, cleanup and repair costs, and regulatory reporting.
Even if the company responds quickly and effectively, the leak can damage its reputation. When people associate a company with accidents, it becomes difficult to secure contracts, attract skilled workers or receive the permits and rights-of-way required to grow.
Moreover, if an integrity failure injures workers, the impact on their lives and families can make the economic costs seem irrelevant.
Despite the safety and economic risks associated with poor asset integrity, too many companies manage their inspections, maintenance and repairs with paper-based systems, Excel spreadsheets and aging software. These systems work, but they are cumbersome enough to make it difficult for an organization to identify the assets that most need attention.
As pipeline networks expand and facilities age, prioritizing inspections and streamlining maintenance and repairs will become increasingly important. That importance will only grow as experienced inspectors, technicians and administrators retire.
With modern software, companies can implement a far more effective asset integrity management strategy. This approach works for everything from in-line inspections and anomaly detection in gathering and transmission pipelines to maintaining the complex webs of instruments, storage vessels and piping at processing plants and refineries.
This strategy leverages connected sensors and mobile data entry software to monitor asset integrity more efficiently, but that is only the beginning. For data to be valuable, it must be paired with historical information and stored in a central location for easy retrieval and analysis.