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APM: Succeeding Where Others Are Failing

December 14, 2017

Robert Golightly

Senior Manager Product Marketing, AspenTech

Recent news about changes in strategy among companies with household name brands and stocks long favored by retirement fund managers have left some wondering about the future of asset performance management (APM) in complex, capital-intensive industries.


Here at AspenTech, we don’t see reason for concern or retrenchment, but rather an opportunity for the best companies to become even better by optimizing their assets throughout the entire design, operate and maintain lifecycle. We are digging deep into customer data through APM projects across several industries, generating results for these customers in as little as two weeks. 


For example, a world-class oil-well driller prevented mishaps, avoided failures and reduced costly downtime because of early warnings of impending failures — received two to four weeks in advance, if not more, through our software. Scaling to 200-plus drilling rigs worldwide, this customer saved millions of dollars annually.  


A world-renowned pharmaceutical company deployed our software at a large-scale plant with aging critical infrastructure, turning corrective and preventive maintenance into prescriptive maintenance. Our solutions’ ability to report asset performance, provide health alerts and create work orders resulted in production improvements valued at millions of dollars per year. 


A leading pulp and paper manufacturer implemented our APM solution and avoided a major fire. By correlating plant historian data with posted failure incidents, we identified the early signature of a kiln overheating. This pattern was found among dozens of signals, where not one alone could provide a clear indication. The company avoided a potentially devastating fire, and now has the means to monitor for future incidents.


Asset performance management technology has matured over the past decade and is ready for deployment.  Building on nearly 40 years of experience serving capital-intensive industries, we are combining hard-earned process expertise and long-standing proven models with a unique, reliable approach to machine learning that identifies and monitors failure signatures instead of modeling assets.  As a leader in first-principles modeling, we know that modeling assets does not scale or produce the reliability customers require.


The first step in asset performance management is to look at the process and assets as they really are — together — and then ask these questions:

  • How is the process affecting the asset?

  • How is the asset affecting the process?

  • And how are the process and asset affecting overall system reliability?

When looking at the challenge in this way, companies can predict and prevent future failures by discovering issues early, before they become problems, and prescribe specific actions to avoid them.


AspenTech is offering an entirely new approach to getting at the critical insights necessary to avoid seemingly random asset disruptions and failures. The disruptive nature of this approach to industrial reliability — a combination of process optimization expertise in combination with the best and most advanced data analytics and machine learning technology — is significant.


The time is right to apply advanced analytics and machine learning to increase the reliability of the most critical equipment in the most complex environments.


If you want to make serious progress with APM, we’re here to help. 

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