A framework to estimate the risk-based shutdown interval for a processing plant
Hameed, A and Khan, FI, A framework to estimate the risk-based shutdown interval for a processing plant, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 32, (1) pp. 18-29. ISSN 0950-4230 (2014) [Refereed Article]
Petrochemical plants and refineries consist of hundreds of pieces of complex equipment and machinery that run under rigorous operating conditions and are subjected to deterioration over time due to aging, wear, corrosion, erosion, fatigue and other reasons. These devices operate under extreme operating pressures and temperatures, and any failure may result in huge financial consequences for the operating company. To minimize the risk and to maintain operational reliability and availability, companies adopt various maintenance strategies. Shutdown or turnaround maintenance is one such strategy. In general, shutdown for inspection and maintenance is based on the original equipment manufacturer's (OEM) suggested recommended periods. However, this may not be the most optimum strategy given that operating conditions may vary significantly from company to company.The framework proposed in this work estimates the risk-based shutdown interval for inspection and maintenance. It provides a tool for maintenance planning and decision making by considering the probability of the equipment or system for failure and the likely consequences that may follow. The novel risk-based approach is compared with the conventional fixed interval approach. This former approach, characterized as it is by optimized inspection, maintenance and risk management, leads to extended intervals between shutdowns. The result is the increase in production and the consequent income of millions of dollars.The proposed framework is a cost effective way to minimize the overall financial risk for asset inspection and maintenance while fulfilling safety and availability requirements.