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Asset integrity

Asset integrity

Our Asset Integrity services are here to ensure your tank, pipe, pressure equipment and assets beyond, remain operating efficiently and accurately 365 days a year. We pride ourselves on our bespoke inspection approach which is founded in both sound guidelines and substantial industry experience.


Coating Inspection and Assessment

Surface coatings are an essential tool for fighting the billion-dollar problem of component degradation due to corrosion and other damage mechanisms. When designed, specified and manufactured correctly, coatings significantly extend component life for a relatively low cost. Unfortunately, perfect coatings are rarely guaranteed. ALS has a range of solutions to assist in quality control, condition monitoring and failure investigation of industrial coatings. Our NACE certified coating inspectors, scientists and engineers are armed with specific coating expertise and analytical and inspection techniques to determine the important properties of a coating that can affect performance.

Our capability includes:

  • Coating selection for specific applications
  • Epoxy Mix Ratio Testing
  • Dry Film Coating Thickness Testing
  • Holiday Coating Continuity Testing
  • Coating Adhesion and Peel Testing
  • Surface Roughness Testing
  • Coating materials analysis using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Analysis (SEM) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis
  • Coating Failure Analysis

Maintenance Planning and Review

Maintaining a complex operating plant, such as a mine site, oil and gas plant or power plant, optimally is a significant challenge. Site maintenance leaders typically co-ordinate a complex group of internal staff and various different contractors, within a constrained budget that is constantly being challenged for improved value and cost savings. Beyond these complex constraints, site maintenance leaders will manage these complex groups across planned maintenance activities and large-scale site shutdowns, each scenario creating its own challenges.

The ALS Approach

ALS believes in lowering the total cost of ownership of our client’s facilities and has a number of services available for site maintenance teams to help them identify the best inspection and maintenance practices for their site or sites. ALS can assist our customers, in the context of an asset management framework such as ISO 55000, to help develop strategic asset management plans and equipment maintenance plans. ALS can assist to drive this through to implementation of CMMS systems such as SAP.

ALS offers the following services to assist maintenance staff in creating market leading inspection and maintenance plans:

  • Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA and like techniques FMEA and FMESA) through our team of experienced engineers.
  • The development of Inspection and Test Plans (ITPs, PITPs) and inspection strategies, based either on statutory requirements or, where appropriate, using Risk Based Inspection (RBI) to create better inspection outcomes.
  • Development of strategic asset management plans and equipment maintenance plans.
  • The review and optimisation of condition monitoring programs in accordance with the principles of ISO 17359 and other condition monitoring standards.
  • The development of cost saving inspection approaches which take advantage of technologies such as advanced NDT techniques, rope access solutions, Remote Digital Visual Inspection (RDVI) and Remote Pilot Aircraft (UAV/ Drones).

Pipeline Inspection

Pipeline inspections are an integral component of overall pipeline maintenance and wider risk management practices.

ALS’s pipeline inspectors and engineers are experienced in detecting internal and external integrity concerns and manufacturing flaws using a variety of conventional and advanced non-destructive testing methods.

ALS's pipelines inspection services include:

  • Inspection and assessment to standards and codes, such as AS/NZS 3788 and ASME B31G
  • Pressure-test verification
  • Material-property verification
  • Pipeline Integrity Management Plans (PIMP’s)

ALS’s pipeline inspections align time and cost efficiencies with a tailored pipeline inspection. With long-term reliability and safety front of mind, ALS equips our clients with integrity management solutions for their pipelines.

Pressure Equipment Inspection

Pressure equipment, including pressure vessels, boilers and high-energy piping are often operating with potentially hazardous contents under high pressure service conditions. This equipment can range from simple construction compressed air systems through to some of the most critical, hazardous or high-risk items within an industrial process plant.

The ALS Approach

Whether inspecting pressure vessels or whole pressure systems, our clients can be confident working with our highly experienced inspectors and integrity engineers.

We deliver an asset inspection service which is supported by important elements including:

  • Fabrication inspection and in-service inspection in accordance with Australian codes and standards or equivalent international standards.
  • Non-destructive testing in accordance with codes and standards.
  • Plant Risk Assessment, and Risk Based Inspection (RBI) following the principles of recognised standards such as API 580 and API 581.
  • Advice, education and assistance guiding our clients to meet their obligations for Design Registration, Item Registration, hazard-level assessments, and asset registers.
  • Conformity assessment of pressure equipment to AS3920.
  • Engineering Fitness For Service Assessment (FFS) of defects or other in-service damage to API 579, BS7910 and B31G.
  • Laser scanning of pressure equipment with regards to FFS Assessment.
  • Pipe stress analysis and finite element analysis of pressure equipment.
  • Procedures and supervision for pressure welding and repair.
  • Metallurgical failure analysis and root cause investigation to mitigate against repeat incidents.
  • Consultancy for coatings and corrosion protection.
  • Evaluation, design and execution of on-line inspection methods or Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) scopes of work, to save plant downtime and shutdown costs.


RemLife software is utilised by asset managers and engineers to perform rapid, cost effective and accurate Fitness-For-Service and remaining life assessments on plant operating at elevated temperatures or pressures, or both. These assessments provide an understanding of the asset condition and damage accumulated due to base load operation or cycling due to pressure, temperature transient conditions.

The ALS RemLife remaining life assessment approach delivers outcomes superior to a Level 2 EPRI defined life assessment for creep rupture, creep-fatigue and low cycle fatigue analysis where the stresses are determined via the software using integral analytical stress solutions and a full Level 3 assessment where Finite Element Analysis (FEA) determined stresses can be directly entered.

Remaining life assessment and cycling of plant within the power industry

Due to changes in demand and competition, many power plants such as coal fired, combined cycle gas and thermal solar plants are subject to flexible operation. A feature of flexible operation is that units may cycle in a 2-shift pattern and also if running at close to design output, are expected to respond rapidly to load changes on the system, thus ensuring that the grid maintains the specified frequency and voltage.

Due to the rigorous demands imposed by load varying operations in competitive markets, asset managers need to quantify the incremental costs of cycling generating units to ensure profitability and to better select, run, and upgrade production units. Furthermore, technical, operations, and maintenance staff need to understand, plan, and react to the complex nature and interaction of equipment, processes, and failure modes brought on by cycling.

RemLife™ Software

The creep-fatigue crack initiation module of the RemLife software uses a combination of methodologies to calculate both the base rupture damage as well as the cyclic damage due to start-ups and shutdowns. This is achieved under the guidelines of the EDF Energy R5 “Assessment Procedure For The High Temperature Response of Structures”, based on time fraction, ductility exhaustion, and strain energy density exhaustion.

CrackLife, the fracture mechanics and module integral to the RemLife software, is based on the guidelines of BS7910 “Guide to methods for assessing the acceptability of flaws in metallic structures” and the EDF R6 code for the assessment of the integrity of structures containing defects. For high temperature the R5 code which deals with the more complex issues of combined loading at high temperatures.

The TubeLife module is based on internationally recognized research results for oxide kinetics for steal in a steam touched environment. It allows the calculation of remaining life of boiler and superheater tubes based on oxide thickness field measurements.

ScarLife module is based on BS7910 contained procedure an augments for the assessment of localised thinned areas at ambient and elevated temperatures within the creep range.

A number of international design standards are used for the calculations of primary and secondary stresses. These are based on the use of analytical expressions for the determination of thermal stress, using an analytical expression for metastable thermal stresses and mapped thermal stress response.

Cycle Costing Module is a simulator based on general economic solutions that allows the effects of unit cycling on both the damage sustained by the equipment and the economic benefits or not of the chosen cycling regime to be studied.

The principal factors to be considered during cyclic operation are:

  • Increased capital spend for component replacement.
  • Increased routine 0&M cost from higher wear and tear.
  • Lower availability due to increase in failure rate and increased outage time.
  • Increased fuel cost from reduced efficiency and non-optimum heat rate.

This gives the ability to rapidly run different load profiles and shifting strategies to gauge the impact on individual components and the unit as a whole.

Risk Based Inspection

Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is an individualised, methodical approach to developing an inspection plan. Essentially, an RBI study involves assessing the likelihood and consequence of the failure of the plant, and then developing an optimised inspection plan based on these findings.

ALS promotes a disciplined approach to RBI, following sound guidelines, such as API 580 and API 581. Our inspections are overseen by professional engineers, who have significant experience in successfully executing RBI programs. Our experienced inspectors and engineers gather extensive information according to the known condition of the asset, and the operating environment, prior to conducting an RBI study.

ALS expert services that support achieving successful outcomes from RBI programs include:

  • Inspectors and technicians are trained to recognise opportunities for RBI.
  • Inspectors and technicians are familiar with the RBI process and actively conduct RBI studies.
  • Deep experience in inspection techniques, such as non-destructive testing, so that the designed inspection plans can be executed in a cost-effective manner.
  • Development of Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) scopes to reduce costs of inspection and production down time without the trade-off of increased plant risk.

Tank Inspection

The consequences of tank failure are potentially greater than any other asset class, particularly with loss of containment potentially allowing hundreds of thousands of litres of dangerous fluids into the surrounding environment and infrastructure. Legal requirements also apply to the management of many tanks and as such improper management can expose both company and individual managers to potentially significant associated penalties for poor practice.

ALS aligns tank integrity management with industry best practice, whilst also prioritising control of the above risks. Our qualified tank inspectors (API) working with our experienced engineering staff and NDT crews to deliver optimised tank inspection and management programs.

Where appropriate, the principals of Risk Based Inspection (RBI) are applied. When combined with a suite of best practice inspection and access techniques, ALS work with our clients to deliver:

  • Extended tank inspection intervals where risk profiles allow.
  • Designing and implementing tank inspection and test plans.
  • Minimisation of tank downtime.
  • Proper understanding and management of risks.
  • Compliance with insurance and regulatory requirements.
  • Reduced operating and maintenance costs.
  • Optimised spend on inspection activities.

Our expert teams also provide:

  • Full API 653 internal and external inspection using our API 653 qualified inspectors.
  • Determination of the scope of repairs and alterations required.
  • Provide defect tolerance and Fitness-For-Service assessments in accordance with relevant standards.
  • Assessment of the remaining life of the tank.
  • Investigation to determine the cause of any defects found and any failures.

ALS use best in class tank inspection techniques such as the latest Magnetic Flux Leakage (MFL) and Saturated Low Frequency Eddy Current (SLOFEC) tank floor scanners, tank wall UTT corrosion mapping, Restricted Access Phased Array (RAPA) inspections and laser scanning for corrosion mapping. Our technology partners may support online inspection of Hydrocarbon tanks.