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Critical Components Method for Inventory Optimization

[+] Author Affiliations
Jonathan W. Prescott, James Ferguson, Chris Blackwell

Cimarron Engineering Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

Paper No. IPC2012-90500, pp. 403-408; 6 pages
  • 2012 9th International Pipeline Conference
  • Volume 1: Upstream Pipelines; Project Management; Design and Construction; Environment; Facilities Integrity Management; Operations and Maintenance; Pipeline Automation and Measurement
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada, September 24–28, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International Petroleum Technology Institute, Pipeline Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4512-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Undetected time-dependent hazards that lead to first time failures of oil and gas pipeline installations result in unplanned maintenance of the facility. The operator is usually unprepared for this type of failure which can result in significant downtime because long lead time components that are needed for the repair will be unavailable. The cost of downtime is, therefore, largely dependent on the lead time to procure these components. Analyzing pipeline facilities for critical components can reduce the likelihood of an extended downtime.

Inventory levels for any system are determined by first deciding which components to inventory, and secondly, determining the quantity to inventory. Solutions to problems of this nature (inventory optimization) can be achieved by rigorous analysis of probability and statistics. The disadvantage of this approach is that it relies on the accurate determination of input parameters for its solution.

This simplified methodology outlines a method to inventory components for primary process piping components (static equipment) in pipeline installations without the need for rigorous mathematical analysis. The simplified methodology entails the following tasks: identifying the critical flow path for the system using drawings; creating a bill of materials for the system from drawings or during a field visit; specifying a threshold permissible lead time for components in service; applying a repair methodology created from CSA Z662 to determine the quantity of components needed; and cross referencing the bill of materials with a database of long lead time components which are known from performing an availability study.

This analysis provides a solution for pipeline operators wanting to limit downtime due to failure of critical components on static equipment.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Optimization



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