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Publications

Management system a tool for asset integrity - Velocity Flash

01/10/2014
Achieving asset integrity through management systems.

As a consultant to one of the major cement manufacturing plants, I have once seen a working kiln fall off its housing. The consequences can only be imagined. However large or small is the quantum of loss, it is undesirable and our tolerance for loss is becoming smaller with increasing availability of better resources.
 
Any human activity is a source of risks that lead to loss. Mitigation of perceived risks can come from our understanding of these risks and managing the human activity associated with it to contain the extent of consequences from these risks. This is the premise on which international standards are based. Management Systems use these standards as primary criteria.
 
International standards (eg. quality, environment, occupational health and safety, food safety, information security, energy management) can be employed individually or in combination, to preserve the integrity of assets, among other objectives.
 
Quality Management System (QMS) in particular ISO 9001:2008 has established fundamentals for all management systems. The adaptation of Deming’s PDCA to model the management systems was a big success and has also helped align nearly all standards with QMS. This success story for QMS has contributed applicability of this system to various facets of industrial management, including asset integrity.
 
Management Systems are important tools for managing asset integrity through their effective implementation. In order to manage the assets so that they provide consistent performance, it is essential to:
 
• have commitment of the top management and to establish appropriate objectives that aid asset management,
• understand and evaluate all risks,
• manage processes of the organization to effectively treat or terminate perceived risk,
• have objective measurements and reviews that periodically help analyze asset management related activities,
• ensure that the Management System is well maintained. Effective audits of the system provide important input for achieving continual improvements in the ability of the Management System to achieve its objectives.
 
International standards provide well defined requirements, adoptable by all organizations in their Management Systems. Asset management is specifically addressed by the standard PAS 55.
 
Organizational assets are diverse in nature. They could be tangible (physical, human, financial, etc.) and intangible (brand equity). Optimal management of various asset types is a complex exercise. PAS 55 prescribes 28 requirements to manage physical assets.
 
While a Management System manifests itself by laying down do’s and don’ts, objectives and methodologies, it is vital that these elements of the system get equal reciprocation from stakeholders of any organization. Simply stated, objectives associated with asset integrity can be furthered by robust implementation of the management system.
 
It is not surprising that the implementation of Asset Integrity and Management System is considered mutually exclusive, especially in large and complex organizations. Commitment of top management, including those of managers is important to engage the thought process of the organization, realizing these seemingly diverse benefits by concomitant implementation of a well-developed Management System.
 
Author: Hitendra Lakhey, Head of Operations - VQMI.
 
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