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Case study: How a successful software implementation rendered great dividends

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

The Rosen Group shares a successful case study of its software implementation

Rosen’s case study corresponds to a worldwide leader in energy storage and hydrocarbons movement, committed to drive a revolutionary business model.

This company owns and operates tanks and terminal facilities in multiple locations in the world with an estimated total product storage and handling capacity exceeding 60 million barrels. Their business model strive for shorter turnaround times and product blending at lower operating costs, compared to other terminals in the regions they operate. At the earlier times, asset management did not seem to be an exhaustive task to endure, but the success of the business and its sustained growth over time has created the need to strategize their reliability efforts so they can maintain their business model and vision.

In order to achieve this vision, this operator partnered with Rosen to designed and implement an Integrity Management Program (IMP) to help manage and improve the safety of their physical assets and allocate resources effectively to maintain the sustainability of the operation. This programme included best industry practices as well as all the considerations associated to the local business and environmental regulations.

A high-level workflow of how the IMP was envisioned to operate is shown in Figure 3 (below).

Figure 3 – Integrity Management Program framework

Rosen’s integrity management platform NIMA was selected as the software solution to implement the IMP. NIMA enabled the flexibility of the IMP implementation process by providing configurable parameters that customise the evaluation criteria according to requirements and goals of the company.

In addition, continuous calculations over historical operation of the assets accommodated any changes in the design or working conditions, or new operating data, ensures the systems integrated with operator’s business

With NIMA, the development and implementation of the IMP was greatly facilitated by offering:

  • Structural and complied risk assessment to examine the threats and health of the assets
  • Evaluation of the likelihood and potential impact of incidents
  • Comprehensive analysis to aid the decision-making process about risk management and reduction activity
  • Integration of available information, all in one place

In addition to the above, the IMP was able to leveraged Rosen’s Integrity Data Warehouse, machine learning, and the practical, proven methods developed working with hundreds of operators worldwide.

Figure 4 (below) shows the NIMA work process designed to support the IMP implementation.

 

Figure 4 – NIMA Work process designed to implement the IMP

 

Implementation of the elements of the IMP

The process and implementation of each of the main elements of the integrity management program that this operator put in place for their facility is worth noting.

One of the compliance requirements was the identification of High Consequence Areas (HCA). HCA are the locations where it may cause significant detrimental impacts to the population, the environment or business of the corporate, if an incident occurs in the proximity of these areas.

Aerial map with HCAs and the assets

The map visualisation provided an aerial view of different layers, overlapping HCA and asset locations. This gives operators an overview on the most critical zones and the consequences associated with pipelines segment or onshore assets. As the locations of HCAs may change over time, socio-geographic and geological data are updated periodically in NIMA, so the IMP considers most recent HCA information.

 

Data collection, integration, analysis

Data is the foundation element that is required for the process of understanding the potential integrity threats in both HCA, and the areas where the assets are located.

Figure 6. Required input dataset and its structure

Types of data that needs to be assembled mainly depends on the types of assets and risk assessment methodology. As mentioned previously, data comes in different formats and might reside within different department. The Integrity Management platform offered a cloud-based solution where all users and departments were required to store their collected data all in one place, which will then be leveraged for the different assessments.

With every developed NIMA process template comes a list of required parameters and type of information needed for the analysis so the users know what to start collecting and prepare for next inspection in case the data is not in place.

 

Risk analysis

Risk analysis is also an important part in the development of software installation. The local regulator did not specify which method to use, the risk assessment process for onshore facility used in NIMA is a quantitative risk-based inspection (RBI) methodology in accordance with recommended practice of API 581 – 2016:2019[2]. The current list of pressurised fixed equipment covered within current implementation of RBI in NIMA is in the table below.

Equipment Covered Component Type
Pressure Vessels Column, drum, filter, knock out drum, reactor, sphere
Aboveground Storage Tanks Tank Shell and Tank Bottom
Heat exchangers Shell side, tube side, and top side.
Air fin heat exchanger header boxes Fin fan cooler
Piping NPS from 1 to 16 and greater than 16 in.
Compressors and pumps Reciprocal and centrifugal pump casing reciprocal and centrifugal compressor shell

 

The assessments covered calculation of Probability of failure (PoF), Consequence of failure (CoF), risk evaluation utilising customisable risk matrix and iso-risk plot, and inspection planning based on a maximum tolerable risk defined by the user.

Figure 7. RBI assessment results for pressure vessels and piping

Level 1 consequence analysis utilises a representative fluid, selected from the representative fluids list, which most closely matches the fluid contained in the pressurised system being evaluated. The consequence assessment includes financial consequence: environmental impact, business interruption, lost product, and component damage.

 

Prioritisation

Once the risk assessment was completed, the results were used to develop a plan to address all the relevant risks.

Fully customised risk matrix and iso-risk displays were used to categorise current risk. It also provided user with an intuitive and visual insight of the nature of the risk, whether the risk is driven by the damage factors or by the associated consequences, and allows for the execution of sensitivity analysis for critical items via the iso-risk plots.

Figure 8. Different types of risk graph: risk matrix and ISO risk

 

Risk analysis updates

An effective integrity program requires regular updating with new data. The risk assessment should be carried out periodically to incorporate the most recent data, such as results of new inspections or changes in operating parameters, for example, the minimum remaining wall thickness, and the operating pressure.

Figure 9. Comparison between risk trend with and without inspections

This ensures that the analytical process reflects the latest information and understanding of the threats and that the operator can make risk-based decisions on its integrity management plan.

Once new data was made available, risk assessments were re-run. NIMA displays features allowed the visualisation of risk trend charts with different inspection plans making it easy for the operator to compare how an inspection can help reduce uncertainty and therefore help in reducing the risk.

 

Assets Overview
Aerial map views that show the operator the whole scene of their plant site alongside relevant data was presented on a series of customized dashboards of assets overview.

On the first map, the user can see several areas, including the HCAs, overlaying pipeline system and the assets. This gives operators the overview of where a release could impact HCAs.

The layout of second dashboard is quite similar to the one described above, but shows the assets colored based on the risk result from the risk assessment process. The criteria for identification of each risk category are determined by operator and should be consistent throughout the program.

 

Conclusions

The renowned mathematician and data scientist Clive Humby coined the phrase ‘data is the new oil’. He also mentioned ‘data is valuable but if unrefined, it cannot really be used’. Continuing the analogy, oil requires complex processes, large refinery facilities, and great expertise from the operators. This is also true for the data. It needs to be processed with complex systems and requires expertise to make the most of it.

Asset Integrity Management platforms can not only to store and allow data visualisation, but also to process the data with sound assessments and analytics. It is important that the platform is intuitive and allows the functionality that a role requires in an easy-to-use and accessible format. For example, displaying customised home pages or dashboards by role such as operator, inspector, and reliability engineer, with key KPIs that are used daily.

Another element for success in this case study, and probably the most important and the one that has the most impact, was the extraordinary level of commitment demonstrated from all levels at this organisation. All required managerial levels and relevant personnel participated and were very engaged throughout the entire process. Each individual involved demonstrated commitment to the initiative and willingness to do their part and contribute to the project. Both funding and the vision of ‘doing it in the right way’ by the upper management paved the path for a tremendous success with the implementation of their mechanical integrity program.

 

For the full story, read Rosen’s article in the Autumn edition of Tank Storage Magazine

 

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