classic | mobile


SA Instrumentation & Control Buyers' Guide

Technews Industry Guide - IIoT 2018

Technews Industry Guide - Maintenance, Reliability & Asset Optimisation


Integrity management key for ­industrial assets
September 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick

Owner/operators across many industries face a common challenge: managing assets and infrastructure. Most struggle to keep the plant operations going while trying to maximise asset life. At the same time, they also need to ensure safe, secure and environmentally responsible operations. As a result, more and more are paying attention to asset integrity management (AIM).

What is AIM?

Integrity management is a key component for a successful asset management programme. The main objective of asset management initiatives is to ensure that assets perform their required functions throughout their lifetime. AIM has the same objective but emphasises health, safety and the environment. ARC defines AIM as “the software and services utilised in the systematic and coordinated activities to ensure the availability of critical assets and systems, while protecting health safety, and the environment.” AIM helps ensure that the appropriate people, systems, processes and resources are in place, in use, and will perform when required. When assets are managed and maintained properly, not only does it help drive their sustainable performance, but also lowers inspection, maintenance and repair costs, while improving plant reliability and operational safety.

Elements of AIM

As one wants the asset to perform its intended function throughout its lifecycle, it is beneficial to look at AIM in relation to the asset lifecycle. In its lifetime, an asset goes through various stages, starting from concept and then moving to construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance and finally decommissioning. Looking at this lifecycle, we can see where we need to focus in terms of integrity.

Design integrity

Assuring design integrity starts at the concept stage of any project, owner/operators should pay close attention to various integrity aspects. A solid design integrity focus will help provide a strong foundation for the AIM programme. During this phase, we want to confirm that the concept will not lead to any kind of intolerable risk. Owner/operators need to assure that the design complies with all technical and process safety standards. Details about the operation and maintenance routines must be defined and all safety critical elements also need to be identified at this phase.

Technical integrity

At the construction and commissioning stage, owner/operators need to ensure technical integrity. Quality management should not be left only to the construction contractor. Owner/operators should participate actively and make sure audits and reviews are carried out properly and equipment is manufactured and installed as per code and standards. To ensure successful transition, operation staff should be actively involved in the start-up process.

Operational integrity

Most assets spend most of their lifetime in the third phase, which consists of the operations, maintenance, and decommissioning stages. This phase is most important to many owner/operators since an asset may remain in operate and maintain stage for decades. Here, we need to ensure operational integrity. After start-up, operational integrity should be ensured by managing assets within operating limits. The operations team should implement integrity management strategies properly. These include reliability cantered maintenance (RCM); risk-based inspection (RBI); reliability analytics; reliability, availability and maintainability (RAM) modelling; non-destructive testing (NDT), and finite element analysis. Integrity strategies should be reviewed and updated at regular intervals and maintenance and inspection activities adjusted accordingly. Preventive, predictive and corrective maintenance tasks should be carried out routinely. The team should pay attention to proper reporting to make sure assets are performing as per the required performance standards.

Modification and upgrade cycle

Throughout an asset’s lifetime, as major upgrades and modifications may occur multiple times, an asset may have to go through concept, construction, commissioning and other lifecycle stages. When an asset goes through modification or upgrade, owner/operators should pay attention to design and technical integrity. For upgrades and modifications, owner/operators should also recognise that concept and decommissioning stages go together. Planning involves decisions about recycling and retiring assets and recycling involves decision related to planning about newer assets. Furthermore, at all stages, owner/operators should pay special attention to periodic audits and reviews for further confidence on asset integrity.

AIM supports effective asset management

The major drive behind AIM initiatives is to ensure assets perform efficiently and safely. AIM procedures and programmes, when properly planned, can not only help owner/operators ensure safety but also help reduce both capital and operational expenditures and maximise returns on investment (ROI) and assets (ROA). Establishing an effective AIM programme is key to a successful asset management. Owner/operators should follow a comprehensive process for assessing risks and developing AIM strategies.

To learn more, readers can review the Power Point presentations and videos of this, as well as of the many other asset management sessions at this year’s ARC Industry Forum in Orlando,

For more information contact Paul Miller, ARC Advisory Group, +1 781 471 1141,,

Share via email     Share via LinkedIn   Print this page

Further reading:

  • The Digitalisation Productivity Bonus
    October 2018, Siemens Digital Factory & Process Indust. & Drives, This Week's Editor's Pick
    Siemens researches the value of digitalisation to manufacturers.
  • How adding services to products could start your journey towards an Industry 4.0 solution
    October 2018, Absolute Perspectives, This Week's Editor's Pick, IT in Manufacturing
    For manufacturers, digital transformation involves understanding a range of new technologies and applying these to both create new business and to improve the current operation. Industry 4.0 provides ...
  • Nick Denbow’s European report: Vision sensors, the brain and intelligent data processing
    October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick
    At a certain age, around 70, our bodies begin to show signs of wear. What becomes apparent is that our built in control loops and data processing software steps in to compensate, and covers the gaps in ...
  • Economic thought and lessons from China
    October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick
    Through my past experience occupying various roles across multiple industries and institutions in South Africa, in both the private and public sectors, one thought that inextricably captures my imagination ...
  • Industrial control system cybersecurity - Part 5: ICS network segmentation.
    October 2018, Nclose, This Week's Editor's Pick, IT in Manufacturing
    In the last three articles on cybersecurity in ICS environments, we have covered risk assessments, asset discovery and vulnerability management, environment hardening and security monitoring. In the penultimate ...
  • Case History 162: Optimising an interesting temperature control.
    September 2018, Michael Brown Control Engineering, This Week's Editor's Pick
    I have often written about the huge advantages of using cascade control on processes with very slow dynamics. It is particularly useful when it comes to most temperature related processes, which are normally ...
  • Nick Denbow's European report: DC power distribution is efficient but the Internet is greedy
    September 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Changes in the technology around us that we work with and even create when involved with automation and control, are having a wider effect on society as a whole. Two areas that have been influenced this ...
  • Nick Denbow’s European report: Leaps in technology: implants and liquid lenses
    August 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick
    Whilst pacemakers and other implants have become fairly commonplace in medical treatment systems, these still rely on battery technology, and have a limited life. When dealing with electrodes or sensor ...
  • Oratile's opinion: Business strategy
    August 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick
    Digitising business models and leveraging technology in ways that differentiate a company from its competitors.
  • How real is augmented reality?
    Technews Industry Guide: Industrial Internet of Things & Industry 4.0, Absolute Perspectives, This Week's Editor's Pick
    At the ore face the drilling process was indeed an eye opener, hot, uncomfortable and hazardous in nature. Knowing where to drill to optimise the blast pattern is a skilled operation. When drilling started ...
  • Success through measurement expertise and product innovation
    July 2018, GHM Messtechnik SA, This Week's Editor's Pick, Maintenance, Test & Measurement, Calibration
    Since inception, the GHM Group has constantly sought to add layers of exper-tise and competence through the development and acquisition of brands, which not only offer precision measurement, but also bring a dynamic cross-over of synergies to customers.
  • Industrial control system ­cybersecurity
    July 2018, Nclose, This Week's Editor's Pick
    In the last three articles on cybersecurity in ICS environments, we have covered risk assessments, asset discovery and vulnerability management, and environment hardening. In this month’s article, we ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    classic | mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.