Importantly, System Audit identifies what is less critical in terms of risk, and more dependable in terms of parts and components – thereby providing an accurate and useful overview.
For example, one part of a complex control system may have a pattern of frequent failures, but this may be ‘characteristic and accepted’ – and supported by the appropriate availability of spares and replacement expertise. Conversely, the system may have more durable and dependable components that fail far less frequently, but an absence of spares (or known scarcity of spares) can nevertheless pose significant risk. This aspect of System Audit and Consolidated Risk Position is all about identifying and achieving a reassuring balance between reliability and availability.
Identifying and achieving a reassuring balance between reliability and availability.
A System Audit follows five key stages
1. Establishing the current system configuration
2. Fault and failure analysis
3. Identifying obsolescence issues
4. Detailing spares holdings
5. Analysing the supply chain
Thales feeds all of the resultant data into a modelling tool, from which it can provide a detailed and comprehensive report on where a customer’s key risks lie – i.e. the consolidated risk position.
Consolidated Risk Position
This report typically goes above and beyond what customers already have by way of system knowledge and risk analysis. They may well have a system configuration for their plant, but in many cases their knowledge of individual boards, power supplies and monitoring systems will be incomplete or not ‘joined up’.
System Audit provides the often-absent finer detail along with the all-important bigger picture.
For example, a power supply may be failing simply because of incorrect loading, or two identical systems could be in the same room, with one failing less frequently not due to superior build or components, but simply due to better ventilation. Such issues may not become apparent without an in-depth, all-encompassing audit that can save money and unnecessary operational headaches.
Through-life Support for obsolescence and failure issues
Thales’s Through-life Support offering comes from experts that specialise in obsolescence and failure issues. For the most part, clients will have in-house engineers who understand how the system works, but who may not have the time or resources to understand fully why it fails. This is where Thales steps in – once again providing the bigger picture to help customers understand their circumstances in detail and plan more effectively for the future.