The availability and reliability of equipment is crucial to any plant, and being able to access real-time information about this equipment is critical. For example, knowing that your company has four fractional distillation stacks capable of processing 1,000 barrels a day is less important than knowing only two are functioning at any given time.
Digitalization of asset performance data gives companies unprecedented insight into equipment and facility utilization. Prior to the dramatic gains in computer power that have occurred over the last decade, assets were tracked through paperwork. Asset maintenance and service documentation could end up hidden away in a file cabinet and forgotten, unable to inform and improve plant operations.
As companies have embraced the switchover to digital records, asset performance management software has come to serve as both an information repository and control panel for physical assets. Records of plant maintenance are now at every plant operator’s fingertips, giving companies powerful tools to achieve asset optimization.
How asset performance management software helps companies
Asset performance management software makes it simple to collect and organize information about asset performance, eliminating the need to manually research past equipment failures.
A company that is diligently capturing sensor data about asset performance can still be faced with the issue of how to make use of the data. An asset performance management team that needs to physically visit every asset in order to collect data about past performance is at a huge disadvantage. By collecting, storing, and visualizing large amounts of data, asset performance management software gives firms enormous insight into how their operations are actually functioning.
Furthermore, application programming interfaces (APIs) for equipment controllers can be linked with asset performance management software to allow real-time tweaks and adjustments to machinery and equipment. Being able to adjust the performance of a facility remotely puts the right controls in the right hands.
Who is helped by asset performance management software
Any company seeking to reduce downtime or schedule planned manufacturing downtime will benefit from asset performance management software.
Plant personnel benefit from asset performance management software, even if they don’t use the software directly. Sensors networked into the asset performance management software can keep employees out of harm’s way by allowing asset maintenance needs to be assessed remotely. If asset performance management software is used to keep equipment operating safely, it can help reduce workplace accidents.
Even people without a direct relationship to a company using asset performance management software may benefit from its use. Asset performance management software can help companies mitigate the negative impacts of production by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that come with unplanned shutdowns. Being able to see information about how much a piece of equipment is polluting allows a company to address the problem and fix it.
Connecting the sensor data from every piece of equipment in a plant is a huge advantage over the information silos that used to characterize industrial operations. Connecting current data to patterns in the historical data is an even bigger advantage. Asset performance management software can help with the information deluge that sensorization brings, but machine learning tools can draw out patterns in asset performance that might be invisible to human operators.
Machine learning algorithms require large amounts of data in order to be able to effectively find performance trends, and asset performance management software can provide the information needed by artificial intelligence software.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms are able to not only find patterns, but suggest courses of action to help manage asset performance. Asset performance management software has begun to incorporate these digital models to assist human operators predict the results of various process adjustments.
This is a powerful tool for companies operating on thin margins, where there is little room for experimentation with production parameters. Being able to concretely project changes in performance provides more flexibility in achieving an organization’s goals.
What is asset performance management?
Asset performance management is the use of data and analytics to produce specific equipment and asset performance outcomes. Different goals determine different approaches to operation. A company looking to reduce energy usage may prioritize keeping equipment free of fouling. A company trying to reduce pollution might keep their lines at a lower pressure. A company trying to keep a critical asset operational as long as possible may find that running it at a slightly lower speed lowers production, but still operates at a profit. Asset performance management presents strategies to achieve different asset performance goals.
How is asset performance management different from asset management?
Asset performance management does not include the sourcing or purchase of assets, not does it include the disposal of assets at the end of their useful life.