Leaders tackle process industry challenge

Maintaining the reliability and integrity of assets on a tight budget - a universal challenge facing process industry leaders - was the focus of a major event.

The Sustainable Integrity and Reliability Conference 2017 brought together prominent experts from some of the world's largest process industry organizations.

An audience of integrity and reliability managers and practitioners from the Oil and Gas, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Power sectors alike, all facing the same issues, gained insights into the complex balance between integrity assurance, reliability and cost.
The event was held amid growing pressure on operators to find evermore cost-effective ways of preserving the reliability and integrity of assets - while adhering to modern legislation. Ageing assets, the loss of experienced staff, rising regulatory demands and skills shortages are conspiring to make this increasingly difficult for many firms.

Speakers at the conference shared their experiences of optimising maintenance budgets and overcoming various associated challenges. Standout themes included:

  • How successful management of assets depends on three crucial factors; reliable equipment, effective systems and competent people
  • Reducing costs by minimising non-value adding activities
  • Optimising shutdown strategies to balance cost and performance
  • Maintaining progress during a long-term programme
  • Identifying and prioritising CAPEX requirements for long-term reliability and integrity

Expert speakers included Andy Hollins, principal consultant at ABB, who explained how to develop an asset life and capital investment plan for a chemicals production site.

Andrea Longley, safety executive at the Chemical Industries Association, meanwhile, showed how safety reports can be used to boost effectiveness and efficiencies in risk-based integrity management.

Also taking to the stage was Andrew Elletson, reliability engineer at BP Chemicals, who documented the journey of building a reliable organization. Other speakers included Stuart Tilley, a senior manager at SABIC UK Petrochemicals, who explained how selecting the correct asset performance management methodology can influence plant performance.

Furthermore, Paul Hardy of Centrica Storage, discussed the challenges of managing ageing assets. Other organizations represented by expert speakers at the event included Petroineos, Tracerco and Thornton Facilities Management.

The Sustainable Integrity and Reliability Conference 2017 was hosted by ABB, in partnership with the Chemical Industries Association, the UK's leading membership body for the chemical and allied industries.

Troy Stewart, head of UK service for oil, gas and chemicals at ABB, said: "Successful management of assets requires reliable equipment, effective systems and competent people, all of which were covered in detail at the conference. Delegates got an in-depth look at successful approaches to finding the right balance between integrity assurance, reliability and cost. Industry speakers also shared their experiences of trying to optimise maintenance approaches and budgets as well as the challenges they faced and how they were overcome."

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization and driving the Energy and Fourth Industrial Revolutions. As title partner of Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 136,000 employees. www.abb.com


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