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Ageing Plant - Dealing with time-based degradation of plant that can lead to safety critical failure modes

Course Outline

  • Why is Ageing Plant a Problem?
  • What is Ageing Plant?
  • HSE's definition
  • Differences to other forms of failure
  • Ageing Plant explained using Maintenance Theory
  • Categories of Plant Susceptible to Ageing
  • Primary Containment Systems
  • Control and Mitigation Measures
  • Structures
  • E C & I systems
  • Common Ageing Mechanisms and their Management
  • Mechanism
  • Detection
  • Management
  • Which mechanisms apply to which asset category
  • Management of Ageing Plant
  • Identification of Ageing Plant risks
  • Management Systems
  • Leading and Lagging Measures

Training Notes -

A full hardcopy set of slides and handouts will be given to delegates attending the course (electronic pdf copies if course virtual)

Why Ageing Plant?

Ageing plant is a problem - there are estimated to be over 14 loss of containment events per year in the UK due to ageing plant, and nearly one third of all European major accident 'loss of containment' events relate to ageing plant

Personnel involved with process safety policy and implementation are required by the HSE to consider ageing plant. These may include:

  • Site managers
  • Process Safety Officers
  • Production Managers
  • Engineering and Maintenance personnel  

As plant ages, new and different failure modes begin to present themselves and appear on assets that may hitherto have been perfectly reliable, unconsidered and overlooked, and so are a potential business blinds pot.

Who wonders about degradation and failure modes of a floor? Or a stanchion? Or a pipe bridge?

However, degradation of these assets, and new failure modes that only appear after long passages of time, have the potential to develop undetected if maintenance regimes overlook them, which can lead to failures of plant and equipment integrity leading to uncontrolled losses of containment.

This course explores ‘Ageing Plant’ and the implications for personnel charged with keeping plant operating safely.

Maintenance theory will be introduced to explain the failure modes that may otherwise get overlooked. The theory will then be applied conceptually to plant and equipment to identify the maintenance policies needed to manage these failure modes.

A range of common ageing plant failure modes will be introduced, detailing the degradation mechanisms and the associated detection techniques.

Electrical, Control and Instrumentation (E C & I) will also be covered as there are specific issues and problems associated with E C &I, including obsolescence, that must be considered, identified and addressed.

The course will conclude with a discussion on management of Ageing Plant and the tools and systems required, such as leading and lagging measures, identification of ageing plant risks, and dealing with the conflict between the every-day urgent issues and the important but usually non-urgent consideration of ageing plant.