Asset performance management is an essential part of any profitable and effective asset-intensive enterprise. Asset performance management tracks asset usage and utilization during production and collects data about operating conditions and maintenance history.
Asset performance management takes into account surplus inventory and equipment kept idle for backup, as being able to bring these assets online when needed is crucial to reduce downtime. Manufacturing downtime equals lost revenue.
Purposes and reasons
A company’s asset performance management practices should align with the company’s overall goals. All enterprises and organizations in the private sector with significant physical assets need to reduce downtime, as every minute of manufacturing downtime equals lost revenue.
A certain amount of asset maintenance is unavoidable, but the higher rate of unplanned downtime that results from break-fix or run-to-failure strategies is many times more expensive than planned downtime. Corrective maintenance, in which an asset is serviced when it fails, disrupts operations unpredictably, leaving customers in the lurch as deliveries fall while equipment is repaired. Asset performance management helps an organization reduce downtime related to equipment failures.
In addition to reducing the number of complete stops in production, asset performance management also seeks to increase overall equipment effectiveness. Organizations need to be able to accurately project operating expenses when making budgeting decisions. Applying historical data to the future is ineffective if an asset’s operation varies dramatically as conditions change. Asset performance monitoring data provides an important benchmark for future performance.
Real-time and historical data
The sources of information important for an asset performance management program can be manually or digitally gathered. Historically, data was gathered by hand, which required diligence and competence from the personnel tasked with collecting the information.
Manually-collected data still plays a role in asset performance management during visual inspection of assets, but in current practice the vast majority of information about asset performance is collected digitally. Sensors can wirelessly transmit information about the status of assets and equipment to a central database, providing a wealth of information about asset performance.
The data can be mined for insights into asset optimization and performance, allowing plant operators to discover causal relationships between operating conditions and performance outcomes.
Strategies and tools
Asset performance management is only effective with well-articulated goals. If reliability is paramount to a plant’s success, there may be higher redundancy built into the system and the assets may be run well below their maximum operating capacity in order to reduce downtime.
Companies that prioritize lean operations with minimal overhead may have to contend with an increase in equipment running outside of the conditions it was designed for, resulting in unplanned downtime. Asset performance management teams need to be prepared to quickly bring production back online.
One of the most important tools for asset performance management is software. Asset performance management software provides specialized tools for tracking asset performance. Sensor data from an entire production line can be navigated easily, and visualization tools can distill performance trends into easily comprehended graphs and charts.
The future of asset performance management
As the price of digital sensors has dropped over the last few decades, the greatest barrier to increased sensorization has become networking itself. The cost of running cables from the sensors to a central database can be enormous. The information gathered by sensors could end up trapped in the locally attached computer; limiting its accessibilty to only employees using the local machine.
Wireless networking technology has greatly simplified the process of asset performance management by eliminating these information silos. Organizations can now economically aggregate important data from all their assets in a central location.
The high volume of data produced by the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) presents unprecedented opportunities for asset optimization. The sheer magnitude of information available to an organization exceeds the capabilities of human analysis; making sense of all of this information requires new tools. Machine learning and artificial intelligence, which seek patterns in large amounts of data, have opened new frontiers in asset performance management.
These tools are able to provide incredibly subtle insight into how a plant or facility functions. Machine learning algorithms can reveal cascading effects caused by small variations in asset performance, allowing companies to make informed decisions about asset optimization that would have previously required a lot of guesswork. Prescriptive maintenance software can create digital twins of a physical asset, allowing companies to simulate adjustments to machinery and equipment entirely in a digital environment to examine the impact of the proposed changes.
What is asset performance?
Asset performance is the function of a company’s physical capital. It includes measures of throughput, energy and resource efficiency, maintenance and service requirements, and total return on investment for a given asset.
What is asset integrity?
Asset integrity refers to whether an asset performs as intended. An organization’s assets need to remain within an acceptable performance window for productivity and safety reasons, and reliability management practices seek to ensure asset integrity for all of an enterprise’s physical assets.