As the hype around industrial enterprise software solutions continues to expand with terms like “Big Data,” “predictive analytics,” “Internet of Things,” and the “Industrial Internet” being thrown around, it is easy to lose sight on the concepts and capabilities that have been around for decades before.
Asset strategies have existed for many years through constructs such as engineering design, maintenance and inspection plans, and condition and process monitoring. But what has shifted in more recent years is the overlaying of risk principles, easier access to the right data in the right context, and the implementation of analytical models, such as a closed loop system. This is a core component of an intelligent asset strategy:
Applying risk-based principles to the management philosophy of an asset, and then creating dynamic management though the integration of conditional data and analytics to detect emerging threats.
This real-time view of how people, systems, and physical assets are performing, and the potential emerging threats, can help minimize safety and environmental risks in addition to ensuring high asset utilization at an optimal cost. In its simplest form, an intelligent asset strategy helps to answer three questions that can form a dynamic and continuous improvement loop:
- What are my high-risk assets, and what is the potential impact when a failure occurs?
- What is my strategy to mitigate the risk associated with a failure in an optimized manner?
- How do I know when threats emerge that can impact the asset strategy, and what actions should be taken?
So, how do you jumpstart the implementation of intelligent asset strategies? We recommend these five steps:
1. Align Your APM Program With Your Business Objectives
Whether your organization is looking to ensure regulatory compliance, cost optimization, or uptime, APM can impact it. Determine which APM value lever best meets your corporate business objectives, map with your goals and measurements, and then implement your program.
2. Assess Risk and Prioritize Asset Focus
All assets are not created equal. And if you are like many of our customers, there is actually a subset of assets that you can focus on to have the biggest impact. Whether it’s a particular facility, asset type, manufacturer, or industry regulation, setting focus based upon the highest business risk is key.
3. Implement Asset Strategies to Mitigate Risk
Once you understand the risk associated with your assets, it’s time to establish a strategy to mitigate that risk at optimal cost. Too often, we see customers performing maintenance that does not have a risk-mitigation benefit – this ultimately increases cost. Even worse, we see potential failure risks that do not have any maintenance or monitoring mitigation in place. This exposes people and the environment to increased risks, and also exposes your business to the impact of unplanned downtime and regulatory scrutiny.
4. Monitor, Detect, and Manage Emerging Threats, and Prevent Failures
Once an optimal strategy is defined, it’s critical to know what changes are occurring and which can impact risk. In industrial settings—an aging and transitional workforce, aging assets, and ever changing operational and market conditions—can quickly shift risk curves. Getting the appropriate asset strategy in place quickly is essential, but also making it dynamic, aware, and intelligent is key to true strategy optimization.
5. Create APM Governance and Visibility
Ensuring the organization has complete visibility to what risks exist, how the risks are being managed, and what threats are emerging is essential to fully activating an APM program and ensuring effectiveness to deliver value. The best part of this step is that APM software provides the measurement and status, and ultimately does the heavy lifting through industry standard metrics, health indicators, and dashboards. In the last release, GE Digital’s Asset Performance Management (APM) solution provided over 800 embedded APM governance components as part of the baseline system to help users drive a world-class APM program.
Now that you’ve invested in assets, processes, and systems on a massive scale to meet your business objectives, are you ready to start listening to what your assets are telling you and implement intelligent asset strategies?