Optimising maintenance strategies in the process industry to maximise the environmental performances of assets

08 Apr 2008

Advantages and disadvantages have been associated with the different maintenance concepts. A major disadvantage of all of the maintenance strategies and related techniques is that environmental implications are typically not taken into consideration during the design stage of asset life cycle management, especially in developing countries such as South Africa. Maintenance strategies have primarily been concerned with cost risk parameters associated with maintainability and reliability only. The potential costs of environmental impacts are therefore not included as a specific risk management parameter in the design phase. However, considering the increasing legislation regarding the environment process industry companies must focus on the environmental impacts of operations and assets. Furthermore, if environmental risk considerations are taken into account during the design stage, problematic and costly cleanup programmes may be avoided during later asset life cycle stages. This paper proposes a modification of current maintenance strategies to adequately consider the environmental impacts of assets during maintenance cycles. Case studies in the South African process industry are subsequently used to demonstrate the incorporation of available environmental management tools and approaches into the maintenance management strategies and techniques.