So in light of all of this, how can we support the process to better target potential failures – BEFORE they occur?
At last, we come to the purpose of this tale (apologies for the lengthy bit to get here). Considering my earlier point regarding the real reason we get failures – not knowing where to look for the potential problem; everyone knew this 20 years ago, but since we ‘still do what we’ve always done, we still get what we always got’. If I asked every reader – “where would you look”? I’d be shocked if you hadn’t yelled out “Where they’d never looked before!”
Congratulations! You just discovered the ‘Confidence Factor’ for yourself.
Because many of us are on a treadmill of assessment, inspection, investigation reporting and documenting, the obvious often passes us by. We at SCM realised this some years ago when we implemented the ‘Confidence Factor’ into our corrosion, maintenance and integrity technology suite 360integrity®. The confidence factor is a very quickly applied and simple to understand method to identify components and sections of components.
This part-component ID is essential to keep in mind; a pipe might be 60 meters in total length, though each individual meter could be considered a component-part since the risk and probability of corrosion failure must be measured at any and every point on its length. Obviously in most cases sections of that pipe could be grouped to ease the process but the point is valid.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not difficult to implement, and it takes just a single decision to make it work. The introduction of a simple classification over every component-part is a tried and tested approach. SCM have developed a ‘Zero-Touch Survey™’ model that makes the entire process rapid, inexpensive and easily applied. Once in place it can be simply managed for the life of the facility – offering a year-on-year bonus of targeted Engineering-Attention, with reduced maintenance costs, minimised lost productivity and reduced resource requirements. In addition it may increase plant life expectancy, by supporting “Objective Evidence” of control.
In a nutshell, the recorded Confidence Factor for a component or component-part looks like this:
‘High’ Confidence = This substrate has been assessed within the last 3 years and its corrosion condition IS KNOWN.
‘Neutral’ Confidence = It is not possible to guarantee the last known condition of this substrate.
‘Low’ Confidence = This substrate has NOT been assessed within the last 3 years and its corrosion condition IS NOT KNOWN.
When implemented through a robust and appropriately configured Integrity Management toolset, the Confidence Factor allows a rapid understanding and analysis of facility component condition. It offers true visibility of the condition of your plant, perhaps for the first time since it was built!
The 140+ facilities operating ‘360integrity’ and other SCM tools, all have the ‘Confidence Factor’ and are applying them right now. Having said that however, the 360integrity framework is not essential to applying confidence factors, any appropriate facility can be assessed very quickly using the SCM Zero Touch™ survey methodology – within days an operator or owner can be applying and reaping the benefits of the Confidence Factor in their own plant.