Tap into the added value of your assets with Enterprise Asset Management in the digital era
The history of enterprise asset management begins in the 20th century in Australia, with a change in how the state charged irrigators what it costs to supply water to them. From an economical point of view, the upsurge began when the private sector had met market demand and began seeking to expand into the public sector.
Fast forward to today, effectiveness and efficiency, cost minimization and service quality, the added value from assets and social and environmental benefits are gradually becoming equal priorities. Organizations leverage carefully developed Strategic Asset Management Plans, a set of standards and the appropriate models. The traditional techniques and tools now include IoT sensors, data analysis platforms, cloud infrastructures, and more digital solutions.
In this guide, “The ultimate guide to Enterprise Asset Management in 2022”, we will look behind every corner of the domain. From maximizing the added value from your assets to learning about the latest digital trends, get a complete roadmap and the insights you have been looking for in this article.
What is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and why does it matter to your business?
The purpose of Enterprise Asset Management
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) involves the management of the maintenance of physical assets of an organization throughout their lifecycle.
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is a set of activities that an organization performs throughout the lifecycle of an asset to ensure its quality maintenance and operation and to derive maximum value from it.
The use of Enterprise Asset Management
EAM is used to plan, optimize, execute, and track the needed maintenance activities with the associated priorities, skills, materials, tools, and information. This covers the design, construction, commissioning, operations, maintenance, and decommissioning or replacement of plant, equipment, and facilities.
Organizations across industries use Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) to:
- Optimize their approach
- Plan maintenance and operation practices
- Automate the execution of scheduled activities
- Track the condition and dynamics of their assets
This allows them to combine all available data from different lifecycle stages to gain clarity on whether their asset management strategy and plan are optimal.
The scope of Enterprise Asset Management
“Enterprise” refers to the scope of the assets in an enterprise across departments, locations, facilities, and supporting business functions. The assets may be fixed like buildings and plants, or moving assets like vehicles. The lifecycle management of the high-value physical assets requires regressive planning and execution of the work.
To define the scope of Enterprise Asset Management, we will examine it into two parts. Let’s define the function of the term ‘enterprise’. We use it to refer to ‘a business organization’ and/or ‘industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed towards profit’. Both definitions indicate that any activities associated with EAM are business oriented and impact:
- Physical assets (facilities, buildings, equipment, etc.)
- Personnel (people are an asset to the enterprise)
- Business processes
Regarding the second term – ‘Asset Management’ – ISO 55000 provides the following definition:
Asset management is a coordinated activity aimed at unlocking their full potential and providing asset value to the organization.
Effective asset management aligns its specific goals with the organizational objectives. Thus, it paves the path for the company to achieve both with the most economical and productive approach possible. The focus is on extracting maximum value from the assets and their capabilities. Coordinated asset management activities can be classified as:
- Creating plans
- Plan execution
- Decision making
- Management Approach
- Overview of the influencing factors (Risk, Cost, Opportunities)
These are part of the reasons why organizations begin implementing and scaling their asset management practices:
- Value Chain Alignment
- Reduced supply & operational costs
- Improved reliability and availability
- More accurate and informed decision-making
- Compliance with HS&E, regulatory, and industry-specific regulations
- Complete visibility in the asset lifecycle and across the organization
What are the building blocks for successful Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)?
Asset – the heart of the system
An asset is an object; a combination of interacting elements that has potential or actual value for an organization. Physical assets usually refer to equipment, inventory, property, machines, and infrastructure. They can be owned by the organization, leased, or used on the “as-a-service model”. The added value of an asset can be tangible or intangible, financial or non-financial. Depending on the circumstances, it can be net positive or negative at different stages during the asset lifecycle.
The role of assets is through their capabilities to create output. Stakeholders determine what assets the company will need and how to use their capabilities to generate business value. Then, the group defines a set of objectives with a timeframe for their fulfillment (during the operational asset lifecycle).
The asset lifecycle begins with the demand for a new asset and its acquisition and ends with its disposal. It does not necessarily coincide with the period during which an organization handles it and can provide potential or real value to one or more organizations over their lifetime. It is like the timeframe in which value can be created from an asset for a business.
Asset lifecycle and lifecycle activities
One of the generally accepted understandings states that the lifecycle includes all aspects of managing assets from the initial concept through to disposal. That is why asset management requires the integration of activities across the whole lifecycle. This affects especially the design phase, which can determine as much as 80% of the total lifecycle costs of an asset, as well as a large portion of its environmental and social impact.
The Asset Management Principles
Asset management is founded on a set of four principles. If any one of them is missing from the management procedures, the organization will likely see a reduction in the value that its assets provide. The principles should directly influence an organization’s asset management systems and plans. The four principles of asset management are:
- Output Focus
- Level Assurance
- Learning Organization
Output Focus is the pursuit of target results. It must follow the organizational objectives which are usually set out in the external agreements the organization is committed to achieving.
The (enabling) capabilities of an entity (department, organization, person, system) are a measure of its ability to achieve predefined goals. Capabilities are inherent in both organizations and assets. At the heart of asset management stands not the physical asset itself, but its’ capabilities (What can it do?) and the value it provides (What is the output?).
We can liken the capabilities of an asset to the capabilities and intelligence of an individual. These two things measure the possibilities and the probability that the individual will be successful. Similarly, asset capabilities measure their ability to fulfil the organization’s goals.
To achieve the required output, not only requisite asset capability is needed, but also other enabling capabilities such as operating instructions. The support capabilities are themselves enabled by other enabling capabilities and so on, and so on. Supporting activities can be Finance, HR, IT, or any other required. When you specify the need for enabling capabilities link them to the output intent within the operating context.
Level of Assurance
Risk is the degree of certainty that an asset will achieve the intended/planned results and goals. “Certainty” and “uncertainty” are associated with risk. It is a situation where the probability of a variable is known, but the probability of an event is not.
Risk management provides a level of assurance that systems of assets will provide the necessary measurable and tested capabilities to mitigate risk factors. Skilled asset managers handle all possible risk scenarios, all of them involving a trade-off between the level of certainty and the consequences. How do they do that? By linking their actions to those consequences.
A learning organization expands its knowledge of the environment. It is adaptive and seeks to improve its products and services. By developing their asset management approach, organizations provide clarity in decision-making and process execution. They strive for continuous improvement.
A distinctive feature of learning organizations is that they strive for transparency of processes and decision-making. The focus is on the people and their understanding of the roles in the organization. With this approach, the business inspires courage in its people to challenge established practices and look for a more economic and productive way to perform.
The 4 asset management fundamentals
Asset management delivers value to the organization in the form of improved asset performance, lower business risk, and optimized costs. The second leads to a safer working and corporate environment compliant with HS&E standards. These three factors are related, which means that the improvement of one will necessarily cause deterioration in at least one other. This trade-off applies to each asset lifecycle phase. Limiting the maintenance budget, to allocate funds in another area of the company’s processes, will lead to lower-performing and non-working assets. With the various known methods and techniques, such as Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM), you can mitigate the trade-off for achieving optimal condition.
This is how value-based asset management emerges. It ensures the highest level of value generation from your enterprise assets. Value creation takes place over the entire asset lifecycle and it is optimized through the coherent management of costs, risks, and performance. To bring maximum benefits, at different stages of its lifecycle, the asset will have some optimal state that depends on the business and is influenced by time.
Asset management transforms organizational goals into:
- technical and financial solutions
Through planning and decision-making, the stakeholders make sure to establish a connection with the corporate strategic plan. This relationship is the principle of Alignment (line of sight). It provides an understanding of how everyone contributes to the achievement of organizational goals.
‘Line of Sight’ requires that senior management decisions, strategies, and plans take account of bottom-up, fact-based realities i.e. asset capabilities, performance, opportunities, and constraints.
This effort is important for the organization’s teams because they provide clarity on the purpose of the work people undertake. They understand what is the value of it and when and how to do it. Professionals who understand what is important (and why) can more easily identify new and better ways of achieving their goals.
Leadership and culture are key enablers for an organization’s asset management plan. They are separate elements of the stakeholders, but they also have critical roles in every Asset Management Model.
Leadership acts as a translator of stakeholder requirements into organizational objectives. It drives the change in corporate behaviour and culture. The leaders in the company are responsible for establishing the antecedents and consequences of behaviour and thereby have a flow-on effect within the organization and the organizational culture. Leadership directs teamwork and turns it into planned results.
Business leaders have to empower employees to break free from the need for constant orders and guidance and rely on the values and culture of the organization. In an ideal work environment, team members work together, all taking turns giving the “commands”. When everyone puts themselves in the place of a leader, the group creates a more fulfilling work atmosphere thanks to the diverse leadership approaches.
With the subtlety of establishing such a method in management, the organization must clearly define the responsibilities and powers within the asset management system. From there, the qualifications of the employees must be ensured for them to have the necessary competencies. Ultimately, leadership and culture either facilitate or hinder the implementation of the asset management system.
Assurance is the combination of monitoring and auditing your asset management processes and outputs to understand whether assets, systems, and processes are operating as planned. An effective framework for assurance provides insights on whether:
- Assets will fulfil their required purpose
- Asset management activities will be delivered
- Asset management objectives will be achieved consistently and sustainably over time
An assurance framework includes policies, plans, business processes, and information systems. The need for this fundamental element of Asset Management stems from the need for effective management of an organization.
The Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP)
Strategic Asset Management means obtaining the best utilization of an asset through its lifecycle and in the delivery of services. A SAMP is a high-level plan that sets out how assets will be managed in alignment with the company’s objectives. The data in the Strategic Asset Management Plan includes:
- Asset management processes policy and procedure manual;
- Business process analysis;
- Maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) plan and schedule
- An asset register.
As a ‘strategic plan’ the SAMP has the following characteristics:
- High level – it focuses on the most important general and asset-specific activities that will help the company to fulfil its Asset Management Objectives.
- Long-term – it takes an extended view of the activities required to achieve success.
- Action-oriented –the SAMP defines time frames, stakeholders, and resources for planned Asset Management activities.
Asset Management System
An asset management system is a collection of the elements of an organization, connected to and interacting with each other. The function of the system is to determine:
- Asset management policy;
- Asset management goals;
- The processes required to achieve these goals.
The elements of the System are a set of tools combined to ensure the best performance of asset management activities. Remember that assets can perform more than one function since they possess more than one ability. What is more, asset management interacts with many functions of the organization. The Asset Management System provides means of coordinating the contribution and interaction between these functional units.
Establishing the System in your company is an important strategic decision for which you can rely on ISO 55001 and ISO 55002. The first specifies the requirements of an asset management system and the latter guides the design and operation.
Asset Management Decision Making
Competent, consistent, focused, impartial. These are the adjectives that should describe the decision-making in the organization. Success in making asset management decisions lies in finding the right compromise between competing stakeholder interests:
- Investment in optimization asset utilization and performance versus asset maintenance
- Short-term gains versus long-term development
- CAPEX versus OPEX
Like other areas in business, different Asset Management decisions vary in complexity and criticality. To make simple, non-critical decisions, use (educated) common sense. You will recognize those that have a higher impact and are more critical of the multiple influences, options, and inter-dependencies. They require engaging a team of professionals with systematic, multi-disciplined, and auditable processes.
Of course, some Asset Management decision-making tools and techniques are often applied in practice:
- Lean 6-Sigma
- Total Productive Maintenance
- Reliability Centred Maintenance
The optimization of asset management decision-making is a process that aims at establishing the best value compromise between a set of competing factors affecting the decision-making processes.
Asset Management Objectives
The scope of asset management objectives includes those activities necessary to manage assets and achieve organizational objectives. To specify it, consider the following factors:
- Organizational context
- Stakeholder requirements
- Interaction with other management systems.
Performance monitoring and improvement
This set of practices deals with monitoring the achievement of various objectives, including KPIs and KRAs. Performance monitoring and improvement consists of two parts:
- Performance monitoring and improvement of the assets themselves against the set goals
- Performance monitoring and management system improvement
Monitoring of asset management objectives
The effectiveness of asset management should be evaluated against whether or not asset management objectives have been achieved and why.
Performance evaluation and improvement of asset management objectives depend on two sub-functions:
- Continuous improvement
- Strategic review
Having looked at the building blocks of asset management, we should ask ourselves, “Is there a proven approach to putting them together?”
Is there a standardized approach to performing outstanding asset management?
Asset management is a fascinating field. We can think of it as a mixture of:
- Critical thinking
- Strategic planning
This places a requirement on organizations. To make optimal and secure decisions, they need to work with technical elements and collect asset data.
The models, international asset management standards, and the appropriate mindset are the things that guide the company’s professionals in building their approach to asset management.
Models in the realm of Asset Management
The model is a graphic representation of your ideas. People have developed models so they can easily understand the details of whatever subject they may examine. Models are key helpers when making decisions based on collected data. Then, the teams involved in the various aspects of asset management and maintenance will have the task of referring the decisions to organizational and asset management objectives with the help of technical elements.
The Asset Management Council created five models to describe the Asset Management plan, strategy, processes, organization of activity, and reaching solutions:
- Asset Management Concept Model
- Asset Management System Model
- Organizational System Model
- Capability Delivery Model
- Maturity Model
One of the main questions we answer with the help of any model is ‘What do we want to achieve with an asset?’. This question concerns the focus of the stakeholders, the asset’s capabilities, and the capabilities and resources of the organization.
If the asset does not achieve the specified percentage of utilization or does not find a place in the long-term plans of the business, then it has failed shareholders’ expectations. We should analyze of the asset lifecycle to understand the reason for its failure and come up with a solution for improvement.
This is the simplest possible framework of the functioning for Asset Management models in any enterprise, regardless of its specifics.
What is Asset Management Modelling?
It is a complete system for managing the lifecycle of operational assets. The asset management models use different criteria to maximize:
They keep your efforts focused on meaningful and necessary activities to achieve your goals – organizational, stakeholder, and Asset Management.
What is the purpose of the asset management models?
The Asset Management Council models form a comprehensive framework covering the life cycle of assets. It serves as a benchmark for professionals and organizations.
PAS 55 & ISO 5500X: The international standards
BSI PAS 55: 2008 is a publicly available specification (British Standards Institution) guiding optimizing the management of physical assets. It applies to any organization where physical assets are a critical factor in achieving business goals.
PAS 55 provides detailed guidance and examples of good practice in all aspects of the asset lifecycle:
- Maintenance and repair
- Monitoring and analysis
Their document describes 28 points with best practices and an extensive glossary of key terms for the creation of an efficient Asset Management System. The standard presents an approach that supports:
- Aligning all the goals of the organization – from senior management to the very last expert in the company.
- Unified decision-making practices across the enterprise to better balance potentially conflicting resource requests and asset-impacting initiatives.
- Using risk management to support these decisions.
- Balancing long-term asset needs with short-term business planning cycles.
The ISO 5500X suite of standards
In 2010, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) began developing its own set of asset management standards – the ISO 5500X suite of standards. With ISO / PC251, experts have been tasked with developing three international standards. Their role is to determine the perfected framework of the asset management system.
The goal of the new ISO family is to broaden the understanding of what it means to manage enterprise assets. This raised some big questions at the beginning:
- What is the meaning of the word asset?
- What is the definition of Asset Management?
- What is the essence of the asset management system?
- How do businesses obtain asset value?
The first of the family of standards – ISO 55000:2014 – explains the basics of the discipline:
- An overview of the principles
- Terminology relating to Asset Management.
In ISO 55000 you will find an outline of the business case, as well as a brief description of how each element of an ISO 55000 management system interacts:
- Organizational context
- Performance evaluation
The standard finishes with extensive definitions relating to both management systems in general and Asset Management systems specifically.
This standard is the document against which auditing is undertaken. ISO 55001 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving a “management system for Asset Management”. By complying with the standard, an organization ensures that its system complies with ISO requirements.
There are no diagrams in the document and, depending on how you divide up sub-clauses, you can count up to 177 “shall” statements that must be met to achieve certification.
The third standard from the family contains guidance and explanatory notes on the requirements in ISO 55001:2014. ISO 55001 tells you based on what criteria you will be evaluated for a certificate, and ISO 55002 supports implementation.
ISO 55002 follows the same 7-element structure as the other two standards, but with more elaborate “should” statements in place of the “shall” in ISO 55001:2014. In this document, there is a diagram showing one possible model for an Asset Management system. It is annotated with clause numbers from ISO 55001:2014.
With the five models and the suite of ISO standards, your company can apply the fundamental principles of asset management, then build on its approach in a customized way.
Why did digitalization come into the world of EAM?
Trends in Asset Management also change their appearance from year to year to answer the call for digital transformation. There are four sustainable principles in their success among businesses:
- Ease of learning and use
- Time and location independence
- Flexibility and adaptability
Let’s take a deeper look at them and find out what lies ahead for the future of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM).
Ease of learning and use. Unlocking remote work
The workforce has leaped into hybrid work models. Accenture Future of Work Study 2021 of more than 9,000 workers around the world discovered that 83% of people want a hybrid model. Another interesting finding is from a study by Owl Labs, which found that 52% of global employees work remotely once a week, and 68% do so at least once per month.
New work models give employees more freedom, but also require them to have the skills to navigate and use technology to their advantage. And before the creators of digital solutions, he poses the question “How will you make your products such that users start to benefit from them as quickly as possible?”
Technology trends should provide extremely easy ways to explore the product and to onboard and train users. In the context of asset management, this also means:
- possibility for remote work of field workers
- offline data generation and its synchronization with the cloud
- permanent relationship with participants along the Value Chain
Independent of location and time
The goal is that technologies can be delivered to the end user, deployed, and used from anywhere. For trends in asset management, such as sensors, monitoring devices, and platforms, this also means automated work. Solutions must be able to respond to the user at any time and in certain cases with real-time data.
Flexible and adaptable
To manage the full asset lifecycle, organizations use a variety of techniques and solutions with multiple functionalities. The catch is that every company and its users have specific requirements and needs that the available functionalities cannot always meet. This gives rise to the requirement that trends in asset management can be customized by the provider or even by the client itself.
Although we mentioned the multi-functionality of digital trends, there is a narrow specialization of products in the market. Any single asset lifecycle challenge is complex enough on its own that a stand-alone solution exists for the purpose.
On the other hand, major end-to-end lifecycle management platforms, software, and applications may also be suitable choices. The special thing here is that these type of solutions are differentiated based on their “uniqueness” and the possibility of customizations. They should stand out with:
- The ability to be on the crest of the wave;
- The “Time-to-Value” ratio;
- The ease of being adapted and implemented for clients from different industries, scales, and business processes;
- The “Price-to-Value” ratio
In the next section, we’ll look a little more at the more common products that companies use in their day-to-day work to maintain, operate and monitor assets.
What are the digital tools empowering Enterprise Asset Management?
A variety of software and hardware products flood the market, and it can be difficult to judge which ones your organization needs and by what criteria to choose them.
Let’s see which are the more popular asset management tools and what are the similarities and differences between them.
In the field of asset management, simulation technology refers to simulating interactions with assets over time. The technology allows users to simulate several environmental conditions on a critical asset in a virtual environment and understand what the impact would be. Thus, with the information from the computer-generated simulation model of the asset, the team can take the necessary actions to mitigate the consequences of particular environmental changes.
Predictive technology is a preemptive technology that is derived from legacy analytics technologies. The familiar types of maintenance – reactive, corrective, and preventive – have evolved with the help of IoT and the Digital Twin, and with this, the framework for predictive technologies has taken shape.
Predictive technology provides detailed data about assets’ condition, location, and other parameters, with which to perform timely diagnostics and plan actions for maintenance and replacement.
On the other hand, this type of solution is used for predictive analytics to foresee and track trends based on historical data. This dispels behavioural biases and allows responsible parties to make smarter decisions to realize more profit through asset utilization with less fatigue and risks.
Digital Twins are the solution where simulation technologies and predictive diagnostics capabilities merge. The technology allows organizations to build virtual copies of their physical assets, collect data from them, simulate various scenarios based on parameter variables and changes, and predict risks.
Digital Twins can be a cybercopy of:
- New design or modification of an asset,
- Subcomponents and entire systems of assets
- Processes and systems in the enterprise
With these virtual representations, the user can use real-time visualization of asset operations, prevent potential failures, manage the complexities of asset deployment and use, and facilitate asset traceability.
Cloud-based asset management software
Cloud technology emerged as early as the 1950s. As per Microsoft Azure “(the cloud) it’s a term used to describe a global network of servers, each with a unique function. It is a vast network of remote servers around the globe that are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem. These servers are designed to either store and manage data, run applications, or deliver content or service.”
Cloud-based asset management systems provide businesses with the opportunity to collect information in real-time and have instant access to their data. They also have capabilities enabling specialized and/or custom reporting and analyses.
Besides these technical advances, such a system supports more accurate asset tracking across large areas. Financial and accounting activities can rely on a solid platform for making precise forecasts but also securely storing and organizing such types of data. Overall operational effectiveness benefits from the system as it is backed by uncompromising data collection and integration along the Value Chain.
Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a software tool that is specially for carrying out asset maintenance and automating this aspect of asset lifecycle management. A CMMS will provide you with a method to gather, analyze, access, and implement asset information to increase productivity and efficiency. It aims to make the data flow in the company more efficient and digitalize the day-to-day processes.
The system is based on a database. The maintenance and repair functional areas are linked to one another and coordinated by this database. They can be managed with the help of this CMMS at different levels and several locations. If a CMMS is used, it can in some cases be expanded to include certain functions using additional modules, but usually it is not split into subsystems.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Similar to the CMMS in certain ways but with way more applications, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a tool that manages the information and resources of an organization thus overseeing its operations and functions. Resources may include human and financial capital, operating resources, material, and information technology. The system covers many functional areas and can replace or integrate a variety of other types of software:
- Finance & Accounting
- Human Resources
- Manufacturing and distribution
- Materials management
- Marketing & Sales
- Document management
- Supply Chain
- Customer Service
- Business Intelligence
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) is an offshoot of Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). This type of software manages the entire lifecycle of an organization’s assets. Industries that rely on complex physical assets and/or have extensive portfolios rely on EAM to optimize the stages from asset acquisition to depreciation and renewal. These systems have a set of capabilities that focus on maintenance, monitoring and tracking, forecasting and analysis.
Asset Insider is an example of such a system. Some of the capabilities it brings to businesses are:
- Portfolio budgeting
- Purchase orders
- Spare parts & consumables procurement
- Performance monitoring
- Warranty & service management
- Inventory checks & audits
- Disposal management
Try out the rest with a quick guided tour or start your free test drive experience here.
IoT-powered Enterprise Asset Management
IoT technology integrates physical assets and IT systems by exchanging data over the Internet. IoT asset management software allows connected devices to automatically communicate and send information such as existing location, operating status, condition, and possible faults to the central system to a selected destination.
The general structure of IoT-based asset management consists of devices for interacting with the environment, a gateway for data collection and communication with the cloud, and a cloud platform for data storage, processing and analysis.
With this constant, real-time information flow, everyone across the Value Chain receives details about asset status, scheduled maintenance actions, update notifications, and more. This makes it possible to plan immediate actions at increased levels of risk of breakdown, maintain awareness and increase productivity in the organization.
These were some of the most common tools and platforms the business uses for its asset management, but what other trends lie ahead?
What are the future trends in EAM?
The development of the Enterprise Asset Management market is fueled by the organization’s growing focus on optimizing and extending the life cycle of assets and reducing the long-term operational & maintenance cost. This has become a guiding star in creating future trends in the field as well. We’ll group some of the most significant under the following headings: Data Acquisition, Monitoring and Visualizations, Analysis, Forecasting and Prediction, and Others.
Today, billions of assets need to be tracked in real-time. Processes require constant monitoring, maintenance, and optimization. What is more, users require access to this data regardless of location, device and time.
Real-time data collection has a significant impact on the bottom line of the business. In fact, according to Experian’s research, 77% of companies believe that their bottom line is affected by poor data. This is a primary reason for 40% of all business initiatives failing to achieve their targeted benefits.
Companies are deploying integrated solutions that can carry real-time information on asset health parameters and guide what actions teams should take to prevent critical failures. The remote access to the system’s data from any device and at any time. This saves expenses from commuting to the site(s) and allows targeted repairs instead of trial and error interventions.
The benefits of having real-time data acquisition enabled within an organization can create:
- A safer workplace thanks to precise work schedules
- Increased labour productivity
- A way to collect and analyze data for failure analysis
- Accurate budget forecasting
- The ability to measure workload and track KPI data
In contrast, the processes involved in manual data collection carry the risk of introducing errors into the data set. Regardless of the reason for an error, automated data collection removes that variable and can even shed light on the efficiency of your company.
Connected devices, smart devices, IoT
Today, assets and devices are being connected by incorporating built-in sensors that can transmit data continuously. This architecture unlocks asset-based condition monitoring and delivers data about how the equipment operates in its environment.
Organizations can monitor performance dynamics over time and gain incredible insights into when and why downtime occurs. Your maintenance team can utilize performance data to anticipate when check-in is needed and intervene in advance of the expected failure. These trends (connected devices, smart devices, etc.) also open up the opportunity for better spare parts management and precise preventive maintenance scheduling.
As with the previous trends, here the business adopts the technology to save resources, and better utilization of the life cycle of the asset, as this drives significant profitability. And last but not least – better compliance. Such access to asset data that connected and smart devices can deliver allows for much better insight and management of equipment uptime and availability.
Monitoring, tracking, and visualizations
Advances in positioning technologies
Indoor positioning systems (IPS) are being increasingly deployed and delivering efficiency gains to the shop floor. An indoor positioning system (IPS) is a network of devices used to locate people or objects where GPS and other satellite technologies do not have the accuracy or fail. A wide variety of techniques and devices are used to provide indoor positioning:
- Antennas for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth;
- Digital cameras;
- Watches & wearables.
The positioning system is made of installations with relays and beacons strategically located in a specific space. Each installation shall comply with:
- The spatial dimensions;
- Construction materials;
- The need for accuracy;
- Budgetary constraints.
One way asset-intensive companies can benefit from this trend is the power to continuously determine the real-time location of any object and gain an overview of when and how assets are used.
Having accurate data on key parameters for specific equipment in real-time is key to eliminating blind spots in the production process and ensuring smooth operation at every stage.
Through the use of IPS, responsible managers can improve quality control by building systems that determine whether operators performed their tasks effectively with the right resource.
Address layers and objects of closed maps
What comes to your mind when you think about maps? Technology has facilitated the transition from traditional paper maps to multidimensional multilayer maps, where each element can be addressed and controlled.
By overlaying multiple layers of data, businesses can support many use cases from a single centralized card database. Depending on what you want to see, layers on the map can represent any number of objects. They can be turned on and off for a detailed view of the visual elements contained in each element.
The benefits of such thorough asset tracking, both for fixed assets and for moving assets, provide organizations with unprecedented control and visibility. Entire networks can be monitored through centralized access, offering 360-degree asset tracking.
It looks like Enterprise Asset Management trending technologies are taking into account not only the regular requirements for efficient asset management but strive to provide an opportunity to accelerate the creation of smart enterprises!
Architectural design and interoperability
REST architectures allow universal integration with other systems and applications. Each element on the map receives an external identifier. This provides the company with the ability to address it with data through a third-party API. As a result, it can gain real-time visibility into the location and condition of assets.
With REST architecture, asset utilization and status can be viewed from a centralized database. As a user you can:
- Set up alerts when an asset is entering and leaving a geographical line;
- Send support notifications;
- Send instructions.
All this information provides visibility into operations through location data, leading to smarter, more feasible solutions and workflow efficiency through related technologies.
Implementing drones in regular asset management inspections is the next level of advancement in the approach for many sectors, including Utilities, Telco, Freight train transportation, Oil and Gas, and Aviation.
Drones are data collection machines. They can be located in places that are difficult for people to access and transmit information back to the EAM system. Examples include:
- Oil refineries
- Offshore platforms
- Railway beds
- Cargo ships
Drones equipped with powerful zoom lenses can be used to check and evaluate equipment that would be dangerous or difficult to access physically. Advanced drone technology connected to the ground through the power and communications cables is preferred for this application over unbound drones that fly freely and have their communication systems onboard. That way they can stay in the air longer are less sensitive to interference and cannot fly away.
Drones reduce the risk of accidents as there are no people on board. There is no need to set up support structures to inspect or suspend production. This can save a lot of resources.
In addition to flexible and cost-effective methods of asset inspection, drones provide a data-intensive structure for tracking asset condition over time with a consistent collection process. They can be preprogrammed to run the same navigation points and route at the same height with better ROI and the ability to map changes over time.
Drones can integrate with other supporting technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced analytic tools, cloud systems, and others to support companies toward data-driven decision-making.
Analysis, Forecasting, and Prediction
Artificial Intelligence as a tool
We stressed the importance of collecting large volumes of real-time data and their application in the organization. Furthermore, this information must be standardized, processed, and uploaded to specific systems. The large amount of complex data that is generated prompts enterprises to look for intelligent processing methods. Artificial Intelligence is one of the possible solutions.
It can generate diverse insights that could tell us, for example, when to expect an increased risk of overheating of a generator. AI is about to be extended to enterprise systems such as EAM to transform the collected data into direct actions. With the technology incorporated, users will even be able to communicate with their EAM systems using natural languages.
The Low-Code concept and method for software development bring business experts and IT experts together. It creates the environment (the applications) where both sides can share specific knowledge and create a customized solution for the business.
Browse through the demos available for the Microsoft Power Platform to experience the technology on your own: Power Apps Demos.
With its inherited agility, the Low-Code technology can bring these to the business:
- Increased flexibility through automated and refined repetitive processes.
- Lower costs with less investment of time and cost for building, testing, and implementing web and mobile applications.
- Unsurpassed collaboration and rapid speed of development.
- Enhanced development insights with the possibility to track the status of your apps for maximum utilization. Get detailed reports on their implementation and needs for improvement.
Boundless innovation by building apps on a single source of all your business intelligence and technical knowledge
In this article, we explained what value and where Enterprise Asset Management can bring to your business. After all, this is a set of activities that an organization performs throughout the lifecycle of an asset to get maximum value from it.
We have understood the scope of related activities and their applications: “EAM embraces all types of assets across departments, locations, facilities, and supporting business functions. The business leverages it to plan, optimize, execute, and track the needed maintenance activities with the associated priorities, skills, materials, tools, and information.”
We have covered the fundamental parts of asset management:
- The assets
- The life cycle of the asset
- The principles of asset management
- Level of assurance and risk
- Learning organization
- Strategic Asset Management Plan
- Asset Management System
- Efficient Decision Making process
- Asset Management Objectives
In addition to the building blocks of successful Enterprise Asset Management, we have also described the approach that industry models and standards take. The Asset Management Council models integrate the Asset Management plan, strategy, and processes in a single framework. Whereas, the ISO 5500X suite of standards guides the implementation process.
We will recall the enablers for digitalization to come to reimagine Enterprise Asset Management:
- The ease of adopting and working with digital solutions.
- It creates an environment for remote work
- Technology is independent of location and time
- The solutions on the marketing are getting more flexible and adaptable
We can do the same for the leading solutions that companies are massively implementing:
- Simulation technology
- Predictive technology
- Digital Twins
- Cloud-based asset management software
- Computerized maintenance management system
- Enterprise Resource Planning System
- Enterprise Asset Management System
- IoT-powered platforms
And if you are curious to learn about future trends in the field, you can go to the next section, where we have listed the most exciting technologies in the areas of Data Acquisition, Monitoring and Visualizations, Analysis, Forecasting and Prediction. Finally, we went into detail exploring how companies from different industries seize the opportunity.
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