Industry Q&A: CRISIS Management with Engenium
In today’s operating environment of low capital expenditure and increased focus on driving down operating costs, many mining companies must extend the service life of their ageing infrastructure.
Running assets beyond intended design life is a difficult proposition to manage but is nevertheless commonplace in the mining industry. However, strategies and procedures can be put in place to mitigate risk of asset and infrastructure failure.
Austmine recently caught up with Heath Baker, Executive General Manager Newcastle, Engenium to discuss this paradigm and their Critical Review and Inspection of Structures requiring Increased Service (CRISIS).
Thinking Differently in Tricky Times
The global pandemic has shifted the focus of mining businesses around the world, and for suppliers, this has meant adapting quickly and driving new expertise.
Speaking of these challenges, Heath discussed Engenium’s approach to servicing clients in a tricky time.
“Our Newcastle office has exceptional Engineering Design capability, who doesn’t enjoy designing and creating something shiny and new?”
“However, the global pandemic continues to drive the need for many of our clients to think differently when planning their future. This has therefore shifted thinking to extending the effective life of their assets.”
With new capital expenditure in the Australian mining somewhat harder to come by, investing in services to prolong the life of assets is where Engenium delivers value and results.
Managing with CRISIS
We have all become adept at managing a crisis in 2020. However, Engenium has developed a more positive CRISIS for its mining clients.
“As we explored our strengths in structural and corrosion risk of infrastructure further, we developed an assessment methodology that can help our customers across the entire mining life cycle,” Heath stated.
“With some miners running assets beyond their design life, and operating in highly corrosive environments, an impetus was placed on monitoring this infrastructure more effectively. Hence, the Critical Review and Inspection of Structures requiring Increased Service (CRISIS) was born.”
The CRISIS methodology combined Engenium’s expertise in structural engineering and corrosion engineering.
Heath makes the important distinction between these two capabilities when managing infrastructure.
“Structural risk is not the same as corrosion risk.”
“Assessment of infrastructure that confirms active corrosion and the mechanism(s) of the corrosion is crucial because the presence of corrosion does not necessarily indicate an unacceptable structural risk.”
“You can mitigate corrosion degradation by putting in place simple to follow surface treatments suitable for the medium and the environment.”
“Establishing accurate findings and recommendations requires specific processes and procedures appropriate for each asset type and location, and this is what we prioritise with our CRISIS methodology.”
Bringing the IoT to CRISIS Management
As mining gears up for digital transformation, Engenium is bringing this forward by utilising Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology to capture important aerial data.
Exploring this technology, Heath discussed the application for their mining clients.
“Engenium is working with Phoenix Drones to deliver greater value to our customers. We have now been capturing data for a range of projects, including degradation mitigation and integrity assessments on fixed plant and port infrastructure.”
“This has created additional value for our clients, including time savings, removing the need to work from heights and greater data capture for 3D modelling and surveying.”
“We are now capturing underwater data, utilising Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to remove the human factor from surveying hard to access areas, including water reservoirs, tanks, towers and canals, etc.”
For more information on ageing assets and coastal asset management read:
The Growing Challenge of Ageing Assets
Coastal Asset Management: Managing Structural Assets in Marine Environments