The dynamic development of the business environment is a factor that pushes manufacturers to focus their efforts on optimizing operating costs. This step is often necessary to achieve the desired financial performance.

Author Maryna Shevchuk

Photo: Freepik

However, a movement in this direction may harm the security of assets. To circumvent this problem, enterprises are turning to digitalizing their operations, namely, methods for managing assets’ performance. These tools can deliver strong financial results and improve many aspects of an equipment manufacturing business.

How Performance Management Measures Affect Asset Reliability

APM monitoring tools make it possible to synchronize physical asset management functions throughout the enterprise. Due to this, Asset Performance Management can increase the reliability of work. The scope of operations, in particular, includes maintenance, data management, audits and reliability in general.

A significant benefit of APM performance management tools is continuity. Digital performance optimization work can be done across the life cycles of assets actively operated by OEMs.

Other participants can be included in the process: employees, partners and suppliers of services, materials and components. This generally increases the accuracy of predicting possible problems, which helps avoid them or significantly reduces potential losses.

Are the costs of implementing Asset Performance monitoring tools justified?

Production machines in enterprises are usually equipped with control equipment. This option is always considered, and it is often made mandatory at the design stage of a production facility. This approach is necessary if an acceptable optimization level cannot be achieved without plant control equipment.

There are also additional solutions aimed at maintaining the stability of production. But their integration into a distributed control system is not always carried out. Project owners and managers may reject this measure because they think it will not be economically viable. For this reason, a large share of the responsibility for the reliability of the assets in such a case is taken by the employees responsible for the walk-arounds and inspection of the equipment.

Regular checks of the condition of installations are also costly. Management may be forced to reduce the frequency of such events to save money. But this is a risky move! By eliminating “optional” checks from the schedule, the frequency of early detection of hardware problems will decrease, and the susceptibility of equipment to failure will increase. This will affect the enterprise’s reliability, safety, and financial viability.

Funds for asset performance management are directed precisely at maintaining the stability of these indicators of production sites. Current APM developments support end-to-end solutions with highly efficient technologies, allowing you to reduce operating costs (cloud service, AI, wireless connections, etc.). Therefore, implementing asset performance management tools is considered the best way to ensure the reliable operation of the enterprise.

Why a strategic approach is essential in asset management

The ISO 55000 standard covers a lot of issues beyond maintenance and regulates the management of physical assets. The Asset Performance methods take this into account. For this reason, the introduction of ARM allows you to strike a balance between:

  • costs;
  • risks;
  • desired performance.

Achieving a high result is possible only by correctly assessing these three aspects.

Based on the data obtained, a strategy is developed. Adhering to it is essential, as it affects the return on investment in implementing management tools, the efficiency of asset utilization and the compliance of costs with expectations.

If we consider this issue in detail, the right choice and following the strategy guarantees the effectiveness of the following processes:

  • asset maintenance planning;
  • analysis of the condition of the equipment to determine the best solutions for its maintenance;
  • identifying the root causes of failures and other problematic aspects that reduce the reliability of assets, as well as seeking ways to eliminate them;
  • modernization and updating of equipment with a minimum or zero budget;
  • scheduled inspection and maintenance;
  • restoration of operability of systems and installations with a temporary stoppage of their work.

An asset performance management strategy can sometimes help address additional challenges. For example, due to it, an enterprise can control operational risks, optimize the supply chain of raw materials or components, reduce recurring costs, etc.

How Asset Performance helps strike a balance between cost and reliability

The transition to digital APM is necessary as the traditional approach to equipment maintenance has drawbacks. But even this measure can be ineffective if mistakes are made when choosing a strategy. If you get it wrong, it will lead to high costs and unsatisfactory asset reliability.

APM has an advantage over conventional inspection, which depends on the human factor. This is an automated collection of high-precision data. Due to it, equipment manufacturers can use a flexible approach with the choice of strategies for the task. They are divided into 5 levels:

  1. Reactive. This level assumes that operation does not stop as long as the equipment is capable of showing good performance and does not present a hazard. This strategy is turned to when the probability of failure is low, repairs are inexpensive, and can be carried out quickly.
  2. Preventive. This implies ongoing periodic maintenance. It is a priority strategy in cases when failure can be caused by predictable reasons (wear, resource depletion).
  3. Condition monitoring. This checks and replaces suspicious elements when receiving alarm data for a single value. This strategy is typical for physical assets, the idle time of which can lead to significant financial losses.
  4. Predictive. This research and maintenance of the component are carried out based on the results of tracking its state using automation (algorithms, machine learning). Typically, this strategy is prioritized for critical assets.
  5. Prescriptive. With this strategy, the emphasis is on instructions in the information base for the equipment model, which provides data on the main problems and recommendations for their elimination. This approach is necessary if the maintenance of the facility requires complex, specific skills.

Asset performance monitoring tools allow you to fully implement the strategy if all the prescribed activities within the design, operation, and maintenance framework are performed. If these conditions are met, the positive result of switching to APM will be expressed in a reduction of maintenance and repair costs of up to 25%.

Evaluation of performance due to digitalization can be easily carried out according to database system reports. Such information is transparent and reliable. It gives the manufacturer a fair assessment of the measures taken to improve the productivity and reliability of assets.

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