This is the second blog in a three-part series on change management. The first blog discussed the importance of a structured change management approach.
In part two, we consider the role change management can play for companies looking to improve their equipment performance. Change management needs to be incorporated in the strategy from the beginning for orderly transformation to meet organization’s goals. A systematic approach will help reduce migration hassles and empower teams to adapt.
Optimizing asset performance is critical to the sustainability of operations, especially for asset-intensive industries. To improve equipment reliability and overall effectiveness, increasing number of organizations are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. But implementing these technologies is no easy feat. An implementation strategy needs to be clearly defined with all stakeholders aligned from the beginning.
Tracking Results to Gain Insights for Improved Outcomes
An analogy that comes to mind is when an individual sets a personal fitness goal to improve physical or mental well-being. Beginning any new fitness regimen can be overwhelming at first because it likely means making significant lifestyle changes. To keep the journey toward achieving your goal on track and ultimately succeed, it’s essential from the outset that you have a clear understanding of:
- Your beginning baselines
- Your objectives
- A clearly defined overall plan for reaching your goals
- Key check-in points to monitor progress
Fitness trackers and activity tracking apps, designed to monitor and document daily routines, are great for tracking goals. Trackers monitor activity level through in-built sensors. Apps use the data from these trackers to alert users of their progress. To be beneficial, any data collected must be carefully assessed to gather any insights. These insights can then be used to enable changes to drive the desired outcome.
But relying on these trackers to drive results is like relying on equipment sensors to improve equipment throughput. In both cases, data insights are only useful if they’re acted on. That’s where prescriptive maintenance comes in, converting sensor data into insights and then insights into actionable strategy. World-class prescriptive maintenance solutions like Aspen Mtell® monitor asset health to alert personnel of potential failures in advance, providing time to plan an intervention. In healthcare terms, this would be analogous to a fitness tracker monitoring risk of heart attacks and providing early warning to users.
These insights are key to improving equipment uptime and throughput.
An Implementation Success Story
Wind energy company Sardeolica is a good example of a successful prescriptive maintenance implementation strategy. After seeing positive results of an AspenTech prescriptive maintenance implementation at its parent company Saras Group, Sardeoilca implemented a similar solution at its wind farms. The implementation was focused on gear box and generator failures that were occurring frequently during high wind periods. Like Saras, Sardeolica collaborated with AspenTech to take its digital transformation journey forward to reduce maintenance costs and increase overall power generation.
How did Sardeolica successfully implement prescriptive maintenance solution and introduce a new maintenance culture? Decisions were made up front on adoption, integration with existing workflows and a plan to turn insights into actionable steps. First, they invested in a data analytics team that would collaborate with the maintenance team. Next, they designed a workflow process that moved them from reactive to proactive maintenance. A tight integration between the two teams enabled new, more efficient workflow processes.
The improved workflow process enabled alerts from the prescriptive maintenance solution were reviewed by the data analytics team to develop recommendations for maintenance. These alerts were processed in a timely manner by the maintenance team, which allowed Sardeolica to perform maintenance during low wind periods and provided time to order expensive spares. Sardeolica reviewed and managed alerts, making their maintenance team a part of the process. Sardeolica’s goal to transform maintenance culture was supported by an effective technology that resulted in end user buy in, thus enabling change at an individual level. This implementation is expected to reduce maintenance costs up to 10% per year.
Just as interventions based on insights from health tracking apps are prompting behavioral changes leading to better health, insights from prescriptive maintenance solutions are enabling maintenance culture change for improved asset and equipment health. Digitalization initiatives are breaking down siloed approaches to maintenance & reliability and promoting a culture of cross-functional work processes. The success of such cross-functional teams is driven by the maturity of work processes. Adopting change management strategies ensure cross functional teams can be successful.
Stay tuned for the next blog in our change management series in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, download our white paper to read more about Sardeolica and other prescriptive maintenance successes.