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Resolve to manage hull structural integrity

Happy New Year to all from the team at Marine Technical Limits (MTL). This time of year starts for many with New Years resolutions, as we make promises to change for the better; from getting fitter; having a dry January; spending more time with loved ones; or getting the golf handicap down into single figures (a resolution for the last 6 years running!).

However, for many, these resolutions go out the window within a short space of time! Why?

There may be no plan in place. The objectives may be unrealistic. External factors or lack of commitment to the cause could also hinder success.

These factors which affect our own personal goals are often where we find failure of hull structural integrity management strategies.

Integrity Management Planning

Why is it important for the hull structure though? It’s just a strategy document…

Well it’s not. The strategy document should outline how you plan to manage hull structural integrity of your asset, from:

  • Where are you going to inspect
  • What are you going to inspect
  • How often you will inspect
  • What do you do when you find something
    • Continued monitoring
    • Repair/modification

Over time failure to follow a plan can have significant consequences on the status of the hull structure. This leads to significant interruptions while an intervention is made, or worst case, the vessel has to be removed from station and brought to dry dock.

This can all be avoided though. Firstly, if operators and owners have a realistic and fit for purpose hull structural integrity management strategy in place. Secondly, if they then take appropriate action to follow and maintain the strategy.

MTL has been working with owners and operators for over 20 years now helping them develop, manage and recover their strategies where required. Each asset will have its own route to achieve “success”. This will be established depending a number of factors including; the remaining life of field; existing hull structural status; environment; production profile and cargo specification.

It is important to remember, these strategies should be “live” documents. They must be reviewed on an agreed basis, to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

Regain Control

Here at MTL we have seen a number of scenarios where the integrity of the hull structure has failed which could have been avoided had an appropriate strategy been in place:

  • Out of date integrity management strategy not aligned with the needs of the asset
  • No documented integrity management strategy!
  • Change in the operating conditions not reflected in the strategy
  • Unrealistic plan, resulting in falling behind on inspection schedule
  • Poor quality inspection adding little value
  • Failure of Class inspection process
  • External factors delaying critical hull structure inspection / repair activities

Whatever the reasons, MTL can help review whatever strategy may be in place for your asset. We will work with you to understand the objectives for the asset. From here we can assist with developing a suitable strategy for your asset(s), whether that be a review to confirm the strategy is working right through to a full recovery program.

Make 2022 the year that your hull structure gets the attention it deserves and requires and resolve to manage hull structural integrity effectively. Avoid those unnecessary interventions, while avoiding having to make those same New Year resolution promises in 2023.