BY JARRET REEVES
PIMS (Pipeline Integrity Management System) is a management system which is a systematic approach designed to effectively manage and reduce risk with a closed loop approach allowing for constant improvement. Depending on the solution provider of PIMS, the definition may vary.
However, there are no loose interpretations for the PHMSA IMP (Integrity Management Plan) or DIMP (Distribution Integrity Management Plan) rules. These rules define the need for operators to identify threats, evaluate the risk, implement corrective measures, monitor performance and adopt a periodic improvement cycle.
G2-IS strongly believes the investment operators make for IMP and DIMP compliance are a solid stepping stone to increase availability while understanding the total cost of ownership of the physical asset.
G2-IS PIMS Objectives – The G2-IS PIMS objective is to drive a continuous improvement process addressing safety and compliance at the forefront and provide a solution that allows operators to optimize business performance, as shown in Figure 1 below.
How can PIMS drive business performance? A good PIMS solution will drive business performance through a deeper knowledge of the physical asset (predictive vs. reactive), focused resources, and a continuous improvement process. Value is generated with:
• OPEX/CAPEX Optimization – Focusing resources on maintenance and inspection programs to be predictive vs. reactive. The key KPI in this case is to move from the ratio of unscheduled to scheduled activities.
• Increasing availability – Identifying technical weaknesses in the design, operational, and maintenance practices.
• Yields auditable data to demonstrate regulatory and internal compliance with much less man hours.
How does the IMP and DIMP provide the blocks for PIMS? – Often, we see operators with a need for developing Integrity Management Plans and Data Management requirements from a regulatory compliance standpoint. It’s not always clear how these needs are addressed with a good PIMS solution in place, though PIMS and the regulatory drivers are clearly two overlapping circles. At G2-IS, we’ve mapped the below elements of our PIMS to the PHMSA (IMP), (DIMP), and data management requirements.
Concluding thoughts – IMP and DIMP are regulatory driven activities that can provide a sound basis for the PIMS journey to operational excellence. PIMS is a management system with many elements that often lead to positive organizational change. The man hours and hard work operators invest into IMP and DIMP can be leveraged for PIMS to achieve operational excellence and drive business performance.