IMPACT Study to Provide Tools for Corrosion Management

Over the last two years, NACE International has embarked on a study that goes beyond the economic effects of corrosion; it emphasizes how to integrate corrosion technology with organizational management systems to optimize corrosion decisions with respect to both cost savings and concern for safety and the environment. IMPACT—the International Measures of Prevention, Application, and Economics of Corrosion Technologies study—is nearing completion and results will be available to the general public worldwide in March 2016.

One segment of the report provides detailed information on the Corrosion Management System Framework and how it can be used to mitigate corrosion while providing an effective return on investment (ROI). A corrosion management system (CMS) is a documented set of processes and procedures required for planning, executing, and continually improving the ability of a company to manage the threat of corrosion for existing and future assets and asset systems.

Managing the threat of corrosion requires consideration of both the likelihood and consequence of corrosion events. According to the report, the consequence, or impact, of corrosion is considered the potential or actual monetary loss associated with the safety or integrity of the corrosion event. This value is typically quantifiable when considering lost revenue, cost of repairs, and clean-up costs, as applicable. Other aspects of corrosion impact include deterioration of an asset to the point where it is no longer fit for its intended purpose (e.g., lost future production).

In general, the report states, corrosion threats should be mitigated to a point where the expenditure of resources is balanced against the benefits gained. To determine whether a corrosion management investment is appropriate, it can be compared to the potential corrosion consequence through an ROI analysis. ROI is a benefit (or return) of an investment divided by its cost. For corrosion management, the costs may include inspection and other maintenance costs and the benefit of ROI is not in capital gains, but in the avoidance of safety or integrity costs.

Investing in CMS activities such as inspections and maintenance may not prevent all corrosion events because the likelihood of failure is rarely zero. Additionally, the consequences of corrosion events, when they occur, may be compounded due to system-related issues such as lack of training, not following procedures, inadequate emergency response, etc. Therefore, investing in a CMS to frame the corrosion activities with the system elements necessary for planning, execution, and continual improvement should be considered as part of the ROI.

The report provides a series of diagrams that graphically depict various components of a CMS, as well as information on CMS policies, strategies, and objectives; enablers, controls, and measures; risk management; and many other resources to enable companies to fully incorporate an effective CMS into their own programs.

IMPACT is being conducted by DNV GL, the global corrosion research and consulting firm in Dublin, Ohio, and APQC, a member-based nonprofit organization in Houston, Texas that conducts research on business benchmarking, best practices, and knowledge management. A number of other nonprofits, government groups, and companies are co-sponsors of the study.

The full report will become available during the Monday, March 8 launch at CORROSION 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. NACE will also release a Web site dedicated to the study that features report content broken out by its various categories, enabling users to quickly and easily access data of specific interest. There will be the ability to pull interactive graphs and charts, and by completing a survey, companies can benchmark their own company’s corrosion management programs with those of other organizations around the world.

Watch for additional details about IMPACT as they are released.

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