Improving safety and availability of complex systems using a risk-based failure assessment approach
Ahmed, Q and Khan, FI and Ahmed, S, Improving safety and availability of complex systems using a risk-based failure assessment approach, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 32 pp. 218-229. ISSN 0950-4230 (2014) [Refereed Article]
This paper presents a structured risk-based failure assessment (RBFA) approach, which provides a complete solution to avoid repeated and potential failures to improve overall plant safety and availability. Technological advancements and high product demand have encouraged designers to design mega-capacity systems to enhance system utilization and improve revenues. However, these benefits make the systems more complex and thus prone to unnoticed failure. It is an overwhelming task to address all the failures due to the limited resources and time constraints. This leads to substandard and poor quality failure assessments, which cause repeated failures. To address this common industry concern, a four phase RBFA framework is proposed which is not limited to the identification of root cause(s) but also includes other actions such as failure monitoring. The four phases include the plan phase, the assessment phase, the analysis phase and the implementation-tracking phase. These phases cover identification of failure, failure analysis, root cause(s) analysis, and failure monitoring. In this paper, the applicability and advantages of the proposed approach are examined through two real case studies pertaining to bearing failure and drive coupling failure. By implementing the proposed approach, significant improvements have been experienced in the system availability in both the cases.