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4 key phases of asset integrity management

The discipline of asset integrity management (AIM) focuses on ensuring assets operate safely and are suitably intact for what they are required to do. Essentially, this involves making sure that the integrity of each component of an asset is at its premium throughout its entire lifecycle. 


From the inception and design phases, right through to decommissioning, managing integrity is a vital process – allowing operators to reduce costs, maximise production and increase safety, as well future proof existing infrastructure to extend the life of an asset .

In this blog post, Emeka Onuh, Senior Asset and Integrity Manager at ABL, shares his expertise and top considerations for each of the key phases of asset integrity management

1. Asset integrity management during the design phase

“At this initial stage, the top focus needs to be centered around material selection. For instance, you should choose materials that are reliable, and ensure that the strength of the material selected is going to last for however many years the design life of the asset states. 

“If this isn’t done effectively from the outset, significant issues can arise – from repairs or equipment failure to unplanned downtime. Ensuring that best-in-class equipment and materials are selected during the design phase will enable more effective, reliable operations – and avoid these costly challenges.” 

2. Asset integrity management during the construction phase

“When the asset is being built, it needs to be carried out in a way that ensures it will operate safely both now and in the future. For example, the foundation has to be completed at the right level, and if there are parts that need to be welded, they need to be completed to a particular industry standard. 

“All construction activities need to be completed in a certain way to make sure that the selected materials will perform to their optimum throughout the asset’s life cycle.”

production plant sunset

3. Asset Integrity Management during the operations phase

“This phase is where you make sure that all the parameters for operating the assets are within the limits, and that it’s being maintained properly. For example, if the process has to be executed at a particular temperature or pressure, you need to operate within that boundary, or perhaps you need to carry out specific maintenance at certain times, such as applying corrosion inhibitors, to make sure that the asset is operating at the right level as per the design and construction phase.

“This is the key phase in which proactive work can be conducted to ensure safety, efficiency and profitability – with the focus turning to continual optimisation throughout the operational life of an asset.”

4. Asset Integrity Management during the decommissioning phase

“As the asset comes to the end of its operational life, you’re looking to remove the parts safely and make sure you’re not leaving materials behind that will cause human or environmental damage. In the North Sea, for example, there’s a lot of fishing activity, so you need to make sure things like subsea wellheads are removed safely so they’re not in the way of trawlers.

“There are a lot of factors involved and each region has its own set of legislation. However, despite there being different regulations around the world, they tend to be very similar as they are all focused on the avoidance of accidents and securing the safety of people, the assets and the environment.”

At ABL, we have a passionate team dedicated to Asset Integrity Management that can support your business by offering invaluable advice and helping to implement a range of fully optimised asset management strategies including: