Asset failure plans may not be followed

IFS study finds risk management plans aren’t backed up with action plans.


While many industrial companies in a recent study report having asset integrity management plans and sustainability plans on file, only 21% are using information technology that would ensure those plans are being followed.

This, according to experts at IFS North America, means that adequate measures are not being followed that would protect stakeholder investments - and in many cases the environment - by preventing asset failure.

IFS North America conducted the study of more than 200 executives from medium sized to large companies with help from Mint Jutras principal analyst Cindy Jutras. While 58% of study respondents report having an asset integrity management or risk mitigation plan in place, few are using centralized enterprise technology like an enterprise asset management system to track the key elements of that plan, including documents about the equipment and assets themselves and information on the training and certification of employees working on the assets.

Asset integrity management ensures that an asset, like a piece of equipment or industrial facility, is operated in such a way that it can generate productivity and in many cases avoid damaging the environment. Effective asset integrity management provide mechanisms to see that the people, systems, processes and resources that deliver integrity are in place, in use and will perform when required over the whole lifecycle of the asset.

According to IFS North America Director for Asset Management Patrick Zirnhelt, asset integrity management ought to be a key concern for any stakeholder of a business that relies on productivity and viability of capital assets.

“A process manufacturer, during a catastrophic equipment failure, may lose revenue or inventory,” Zirnhelt said. “But for companies in the oil and gas industry, mining or power generation, asset failure can also involve health and safety breaches, environmental damage and civil or even criminal liability. Asset integrity management planning and execution is all about risk mitigation, regardless of how much is at stake. What our study found is that because data regarding the asset are being kept in spreadsheets, in various files on servers or in hard copy, it is almost impossible to ensure that asset data is current, that unqualified workers are not installing or maintaining equipment and that any type of asset integrity plan is being followed.

The full study on asset integrity management is available free for download at

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