February 2019, Vol. 246, No. 2

Tech Notes

In Complex Regulatory Environment, NIMA provides Integrity Decision Support

By Michael Reed, Managing Editor

With integrity assessment criteria varying from country to country, and the growing threat to pipelines and other infrastructure, ROSEN Group understands the need for flexibility in analyzing and assessing data when making decisions about integrity.  

That’s why the company developed NIMA, an integrity management platform that was designed around the idea of process modelling and the ability to build and share integrity-relevant processes while allowing for secure information and workload sharing with service providers and others.  

“NIMA is a first name, because we wanted to give it a little more of a personal touch,” said Markus Brors, Group Business Line Manager at ROSEN. “We didn’t want to create another software product and instead are actually creating what we call a decision-support framework where the access to knowledgeable people is just as important as functional capabilities.”    

From the beginning, ROSEN knew it needed to generate a more digital environment to address the needs of the big operators, but also recognized there is another side of the business – one that has less manpower and needs a system that will free up personnel to concentrate on the decision-making process.  

It all starts with data. In order to comply with the regulatory requirements concerning traceable, verifiable and complete records, operators need to know the exact position and characteristics of all the components of their pipelines. NIMA supports this task by integrating and maintaining large amounts of location data and other asset-related data originating from different systems and in different formats. NIMA offers full integration with ESRI ArcGIS Pro providing the full power of the ArcGIS Pipeline Referencing.  

ESRI is a geographic information system (GIS) for mapping and spatial analysis, which deploys APR, a pipeline referencing extension.  

“Though our starting points are linear objects such as transmission and distribution pipelines, we designed NIMA in a way that makes it asset interdependent,” Brors said. “The currently modeled cases are based on linear assets along with some other assets like storage tanks.”  

“NIMA is unique in that we are not selling it as a software product, we are selling it as a platform,” Brors said. “Our definition of a platform is that both ROSEN and the operator can contribute their functionality to the platform. That way we are building a growing library of so-called process templates, which can be adjusted by anyone who received training on how to model these.”    

With the integrity management process being a complex undertaking in any situation, NIMA serves as a guide designed to turn the goal of zero incidents into a series of tangible tasks. NIMA comes with a certified standard set of templates for the most common integrity management processes.   

With NIMA, once the integrity status of a user’s assets is identified and assessed, operators can develop management plans with the goal to reduce incidents to a minimum. NIMA supports operators in the decision-making process by displaying the key performance indicators on a dashboard, making them easily understandable for management staff.  

Among NIMA’s key features are:  

Full integration: All workflows related to the integrity management process are clearly defined and visible to all users, so they are aware of what the next step is.    

Data stays up-to-date: All relevant information from the company’s system of records, even that being recorded straight from the field, is available in real time.   

Heavy lifting: NIMA supports fast integration and processing of huge amounts of data.   

Truly transparent: NIMA supports analysts, integrity engineers and consultants with a transparent method of tracing data and explaining what needs to be done.  

Clear governance: The separation of upload, alignment and analysis of data greatly simplifies the governance of data and processes.  

Always at your fingertips: The cloud-based service allows easy access to information around the clock, both inside and outside the workplace. This software-as-a-service approach is flexible and respects the dynamic nature of decision-making.  P&GJ 


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