A Higher Form of Asset Intelligence.

HSE, Asset Integrity, Swiss Cheese, and Data Silos

HSE, Asset Integrity, Swiss Cheese, and Data Silos


Within the Oil and Gas, Petrochem, and Chemical businesses people are challenged with eliminating as many hazards as possible to avoid Loss of Containment.

In the design of process systems, Layers of Protection are defined and implemented to ensure the product is never released to the environment or impacts the safety of people (HSE).  These “Layers” can be physical, such as safety devices for isolation of the process if there is a leak, or a training program to ensure operations, maintenance, and inspection personnel are qualified and equipped to perform their jobs with the highest level of competence.  The layers are designed to be a multi-layered barrier for preventing Loss of Containment.  No single layer in itself could be relied upon to ensure containment, but combined, make up a comprehensive mitigation plan.  However, each layer has “holes” or gaps and when the holes line up, the potential for a release increases.  This is referred to as the “Swiss Cheese Model.”

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Over the last few decades OTS (off-the-shelf) software, or internally developed digital solutions, have been developed to manage the individual layers.  These software functions are designed to address Inspections, Maintenance, Risk, Pressure Relief, Safety Instrumented Systems, and many other functions like HAZOP.  In many cases, this has led to predicting or preventing failures, however, there is strong evidence suggesting disconnected digital solutions designed to provide insight has in fact had an opposite effect.  These “data silos” prevent operators from seeing the whole picture in regards to the effectiveness of their “Layers of Protection”, often leading to minor or catastrophic releases.


The solution to the “data silo” dilemma is to consolidate the software functions and data to address the various layers into a single platform.  A single platform allows the operators to have a consolidated view of the physical and virtual assets designed to address a Loss of Containment.  This big picture view greatly increases the knowledge of day to day decision making to run the plant (Operational Expenditure or OpEx) and future investments (Capital Expenditure or CapEx).

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SAP has recently extended their traditional Asset and Work Management solutions to get closer to the physical asset with the addition of Asset Intelligence Network (AIN), Asset Strategy and Performance Management (ASPM), and Predictive Maintenance and Service (PdMS).  The platform addresses large functions of each layer including key data on the physical equipment and assessments and also work management and documentation of the assets that make up the containment layers.  Within the platform there are interconnected Apps that address FMEA (Failure Mode and Effect Analysis) and RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance).  Additionally, the platform allows for SAP partners, like AsInt, Inc., to develop Apps to address other layers such as Risk Based Inspection (RBI), Thickness Management (TM) and Inspections, and Safety Instrumented Systems (SIS) type functions.



Performing these functions within the SAP ecosystem ensures all data needed to manage the swiss cheese model is consolidated within the SAP Master Data.  Removing data silos and disconnected work processes.