The importance of aging of infrastructures, networks and industrial plants will continue to increase because of
- need to continue operation of these infrastructures, networks and plants beyond the design life-time,
- need to operate under changed conditions and
- the increased role of existing plants in the optimized (“smart”) supply and utility networks of the future, e.g. as fall-back supply.
The effective agreed strategies to address aging issues are yet to be developed and consistently applied. The project, SafeLife-X, will contribute to creating consensus on aging management including potential cascading and/or ripple effects. It will, thus, satisfy the demand within various industrial sectors and help match the EU Grand Challenges and the EU-2020 Strategy, and achieve goals of main stakeholders (e.g. EC, OECD, ECTP, ETPIS…).
The project will create a multi-disciplinary / multi-sector community able to answer the key issues related aging at EU & International level. The consortium includes members of the EU Technology Platforms ECTP (construction) and ETPIS (industrial safety) and a group of 25 experts to complement the expertise needed and will be open to all interested parties. This community will meet, share experience and prepare a common vision for the future and main elements needed to realise it. The project will capitalize on best practices of modelling, asset integrity management, decision making, and cost-benefit analysis. CEN Workshop Agreement(s) will be initiated in the course of the project and the development of one European Standard (EN) on “Risk-Based Inspection Framework” pursued. New projects will propose input for Horizon 2020 within the Strategic Research Agenda & Roadmap.
SafeLife-X will explore the issue of aging as an opportunity for new technologies, services and businesses primarily in service and construction sectors, the latter being the largest EU industrial employer representing 9.9% of the GDP and 14.9 million operatives.
Safe life extension management of aged infrastructures networks and industrial plants
Safe use and further development of the European transportation, production and energy infrastructures is facing difficulties related to their advanced age. The SAFELIFE--X project proposes new methods, aligned strategic research agenda and a new EN standard helping to cope better with these difficulties.
Transport infrastructures such as roads, railroads, tunnels and bridges form the arteries supplying the European region with vital goods produced by its industrial facilities. Dams, pipeline networks, and gas and electricity plants and grids provide the energy to produce all those goods and to light and heat the buildings where the service sector makes its contribution to a thriving European society. All of these infrastructures are ageing yet called upon to operate beyond planned service lifetimes.
The project http://www.safelife-x.eu-vri.eu/ (SAFELIFE-X) (Safe life extension management of aged infrastructures networks and industrial plants) addresses the need to improve ageing management for these infrastructures, so that their availability is maximised and their management even more cost effective. With this goal in mind, the project has decisively contributed to the development of a new European EN Standard providing the aligned a Risk-Based Inspection Framework (pwi00319020 CEN TC 319, maintenance). This standard corresponds to the US API580/581 and is of a crucial interest for the European industry. The basis for these activities is the CEN CWA 15740:2008/2011, was provided also in the EU context, in the FP6 project RIMAP. The final text of the new EN standard will be released in autumn 2015.
In addition, it has provided a basis for the more cost-effective solutions for handling the problem of ageing infrastructures and setting up a reference source within Asset Integrity Management, in which a catalogue of the good/best practices and the new solutions for the cost-benefit analysis are provided. The project strategic research agenda aims to clearly specifying the priorities and identifying the Research, Technology Development and Demonstration (RD&D) efforts required to achieve the goal of further improved, safe life extension process. This will significantly improve the European capacity to deal better, with challenges posed to the maintenance and management of aging infrastructures, networks and plants in a globalised context.