Tips for Making the Most of Asset Intelligence

Tips for Making the Most of Asset Intelligence

Integrating maintenance and operations in real time can create a universally integrated IT infrastructure designed to drive superior asset performance.

By Dr. Ananth Seshan, 5G Automatika Ltd.

Editor's Note: This article is adapted from the white paper, “Automated Best Practices for Driving Asset Performance” from 5G Automatika Ltd. Visit http://goo.gl/Z0WIWp to download the free, full white paper that has additional information about commercially available off-the-shelf asset intelligence systems, and case studies demonstrating asset intelligence best practices.

With the advent of smart manufacturing and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), interconnectivity between devices and disparate systems, and synergistic collaboration between multiple business processes and stakeholders within a manufacturing enterprise, are becoming a reality. Be it mining, oil and gas, water or power utilities, or process or discrete manufacturing manufacturing, major players are using real-time intelligence to make informed decisions using an universally integrated IT infrastructure.

In this article, we look at real-time integration between maintenance and operations and how maintenance can drive superior asset performance.

Asset Performance

Asset Performance Management (APM) is the term used for maximizing asset availability and reliability. When these two metrics are improved, the return on assets (production assets) is maximized. Because a major investment of the manufacturing (or utility) industry typically is on production assets, achieving a better return on assets increases shareholder value, and therefore is a strategic goal for most large enterprises.

Given technology advancements, it's possible to capture machine (production asset) data automatically, transform the raw machine data to metadata, discover actionable intelligence from the metadata, and generate proactive maintenance actions to maintain continuous and superior asset performance.

Therefore, “opportunistic” maintenance interventions can be generated in response to the “emerging” real-time intelligence on the condition of a plant-floor asset. This capability is useful beyond just maintaining operational performance. In many instances, asset degradation can relate to regulatory noncompliance, a safety risk or a quality failure leading to a major financial loss. Therefore, APM is seen as a multidisciplinary and continuous improvement program as opposed to being a one-time initiative.

Asset Intelligence

As stated earlier, to perform good and continuously effective APM, there is a need for generating proactive real-time actions based on intelligence and not data. According to some reports, about 15,000 terabytes of data can be generated every day. This is a lot of data. Most of the collected data, unless converted into metadata and further into intelligence, is not useful.

Asset Intelligence Systems are software programs that enable the collection of raw data from plant assets, controllers and drives and convert them into actionable intelligence. The conversion process will involve selecting data to be converted, aggregating data in multiple dimensions and automatically deriving some useful conclusions about the “status” or “condition” of assets.

The output of an Asset Intelligence System is the automatic generation of useful and timely maintenance actions in resident asset management (or computerized maintenance management system, CMMS) systems to proactively respond to a certain emerging behavior of assets that could result in a failure.

Benefits of Real Time Asset Intelligence

The ability to generate actionable intelligence and automated workflows can result in the following benefits:

  • Reduction in unplanned downtimes.

  • Reduction in failure rates (or improvement in reliability.)

  • Removal of non-value-added labor due to the integration of workflows and business processes between plant and enterprise.

  • Unified visibility of production and maintenance information – in fact, maintenance actions are driven by the need for enhanced performance.

  • Reduction in the maintenance spend year on year.

  • Mitigation of regulatory risks.

  • Increased return on assets.

5G Automatika Ltd. is a participating EncompassTM Product Partner in the Rockwell Automation® PartnerNetworkTM. Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, the company supplies the Enterprise Gateway (EG) off-the-shelf solution that integrates production and maintenance operations of an enterprise in real time for enhanced production performance.

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