by Charles Hull
Charles Hull of AMT-SYBEX takes a look at how asset data can drive better decisions on everything from planned maintenance to infrastructure investments.
If your business is responsible for critical infrastructure, you know how vital it is to deliver high levels of asset availability without sending costs soaring. Using the data your business collects to make asset management decisions proactively, is a powerful way to reduce resource requirements, contain operational costs and maximise asset availability. The data your organisation collects can determine the best time to inspect, repair or replace assets, allowing the organisation to assign maintenance teams where they’re needed most, while avoiding unnecessary work.
Access to these kinds of insights can do more than inform tactical decisions about where to allocate teams on a given day. It can also help you answer strategic questions such as: ‘When the time comes to replace this asset, should we purchase the same unit again?’, ‘Where are the most significant vulnerabilities in our infrastructure?’, and: ‘How can we respond faster to unplanned outages?’
To transition to a proactive maintenance model, businesses need to capture data on the location, condition and maintenance histories of their assets. Increasing numbers of companies are now diligently gathering this data, but many have yet to close the loop by using it for analysis. As a result, many enterprises are data-rich but insight-poor.
Laying a solid foundation
When taking steps towards a proactive maintenance model, there are some important things to consider when it comes to your asset data. If your records are currently on paper, digitising them will offer valuable insights into trends that might otherwise have remained hidden. Even if you’re already capturing data digitally, it’s important to ensure you store it in a way that makes it easy to analyse.
When you ask your teams to capture more data out in the field, it’s essential that they understand that you’ll be using that data to help them to work more effectively in the long term—even if it initially means taking more time to get the right data. By securing buy-in from your field workers from the outset, you can help ensure that you’re collecting comprehensive, accurate and high-quality asset data, which is a prerequisite for effective analytics.
When it comes to building predictive models to forecast asset condition for the assets in your estate, a fine-grained approach often yields the best results. By designing a system that weights the relative importance of all the components of an asset, you can calculate overall condition scores that help your teams prioritise repairs effectively. Looking at the big picture, this can help optimize both asset reliability and maintenance costs.
Take the next step
Many popular asset management platforms, such as Ellipse, now include features that can help with asset data analysis and modelling—but using those features effectively isn’t just a matter of upgrading to the latest version of the software. Change management is important to help ensure that data is collected and governed correctly, and that new insights are fed back to engineering teams in a way that actually helps them make better decisions.
In many cases, working with an experienced partner can help. At AMT-SYBEX, we combine domain-specific technical expertise with deep experience in enterprise asset management. With consultants who have worked for many of the world’s largest infrastructure and energy companies, we also understand your challenges and speak your language. Whether you’re starting from a paper-based asset reporting process or a mature digital workflow, we’d be delighted to help you take the first steps on your journey to proactive, data-driven asset management.