Enterprise Asset Management is an emerging strategic tool enabling optimal utilization of assets contributing to business goals of an organization. Come join us as we uncover the hidden potential of Asset Management with our deep insights spanning industry domains and technology

September 29, 2015

Asset Management Solution by 2020

 

Today organizations are well aware-off on the context of asset reliability, return on asset, asset sustainability, risk & asset scalability, but there is no clear visibility where they stand now on these metrics or benchmarks. Given the opportunity most of the organizations like to reduce their spend on the existing assets on the other hand they intend to have a comprehensive asset management solution to keep their assets active as well as monitor them effectively. Key challenges that the organizations have come across in Asset Management space are

Over years, enterprise asset management has been continuously revamped to meet the evolving asset management strategies. In order to maximize asset performance over its life cycle, organizations are now focusing towards smart asset management solutions that deals with both the process and data throughout asset lifecycle management.

Modern Asset Management Solutions looking towards

  • Multi-tasking from a single user interface

  • Access data at any time and everywhere - data intelligence

  • Solutions compatibility across all services/businesses

  • Plug and Play Solution Packages (Non-technical)

  • Data/Process collaboration with other similar organizations to derive the best of breed solutions/practices

  • Align business with international asset management standards like PAS55 and ISO 55001

  • Support asset audits to assess asset maturity level

  • Reactive to Predictive to Pro-active maintenance

In today's world vendors in the Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) market space are constantly re-designing and innovating on their software solutions, as a result of which, asset management solutions have been re-shaped/re-modelled to suit the changing organization requirements, competitive market needs, regulatory & HSE (Health, Safety & Environment) compliances and cost effective solutions.

August 18, 2015

Remote Condition Monitoring in Railway Industry

In today's highly competitive world, Rail operations are highly dependent on the condition of asset. The Industry needs to strike a balance between growing operational costs and compliance to regulatory and safety standards while meeting objectives like punctuality and network speed. Being a major asset and labor sector, railway networks scattered over large topographies and going through difficult and inaccessible terrains with tough climatic conditions naturally makes the daily manual analysis and asset condition monitoring a cumbersome and expensive work. It also places those at risk who work under dangerous environments. Some assets need day-to-day and regular review to lessen the risks nonetheless regular manual inspections are costly. The question is- how to ensure a thorough maintenance works while still being cost effective in such scenarios?
Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM) technologies through its potential to automate condition measurements and report asset failures of an asset have been helping the railroad industry to channelize their preventive maintenance and self-correction. The data gathered through the RCM has been a key driver of numerous asset maintenance decisions. It uses present and historical asset data to predict failures, before they allow condition based maintenance, which really reduces operating costs and improve productivity.

Let's take a case of train journey. Some railroad client like to forecast when the wheels are heading for failure beforehand, then they use predict and prevent approach which thwarts derailments. Here, infrared sensors can be situated for every 20 miles on tracks to take around 25 million temperature readings of wheels a day, check for overheating which is an indication of imminent failure. It can also have microphones situated on trackside to heed for rumbling bearings inside the wheels. Furthermore for big and heavy goods trains, it even records ultrasound images, tries to find defects inside the wheels.
 

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RCM helps to achieve the punctuality and network velocity which are considered as Targets for Rail Industries. It also saves the time and cost involved in frequent inspections as it is an automated system which uses sensors for processing the conditions. It can provide uninterrupted services as it prevents the incident to occur by following preventive approach.

Let's take another example of batteries in railroad operation. One of the major uses of batteries in this industry is to provide an electrical backup to the mileposts alongside rail tracks. Now the major challenge for the industry experts is to increase battery life. With the help of remote condition monitoring by means of kinetic energy processes which is made by the movement of wheels can be used to revive the sensor batteries. These movements in wheels can be seen or measured by using mobile or closed-circuit television (CCTV) so that batteries can be recharged or replaced before their condition is detoriated. Statistical data is directly sent through fiber-optic cables which sends data back to data centers. There the intricate pattern-matching procedures that flag the defects and let the professionals decide in short span of time whether a driver should stop the train for inspection or to just slow down till it can be repaired at the next station.

Several prominent railway establishments are in progress to embrace sensor based expertise to monitor assets remotely to improve their asset managing abilities. These sensors differs in conditions, standards and comes in different sizes which are expensive and wireless coverage is still a problem since it does not cover all topographies. An enormous share or investment is required with the aim to create a robust communication support so that data communication is made consistent and reliable. Another major challenge for this industry is the lack of competencies in selecting and applying sensor networks for remote monitoring and communication set-up. It is always crucial to plan various factors such as sensor technologies, placement of sensor, collecting and handling of statistical data, information distribution, and data formatting, alarm monitoring, device supervision and maintenance among other things additionally to the volumes of the data generated by a real time sensor network.

In general periodic maintenance, the threat of failure is lessened by carrying out maintenance at planned intervals. These tasks include inspections, measurements along with interferences. If an asset or equipment fails, it is detected in the system due to prebuilt safety tracking in signaling design which implies that the assets must be verified before they can be operative and are signaled to the route. If it fails, the maintenance personnel is required to go to the site quickly and inspect and diagnose the error using his expertise and perform maintenance as required.

Many railways organizations have 0 level capability fixed as part of their signaling system. For crossings and switching, it is in the form of detection lines which will verify that a switch is in the correct end position and should the end position signal be absent then it is fair to conclude that the switch has failed to operate appropriately.
In the above scenario, the methods operated with level 1 capability in the system.

In Railroad Community, continuous discussions are in progress to find an optimal solution for all the above challenges, for instance few railroad industries are considering using remote technology for smaller and minute sensors. In future, advance nanotechnology will perform a main role in identifying equipment in the industry as most of the industry expects the knowledge of joining everything to create simplified and updated asset condition.

The RCM system measures important parameters on asset and concludes if the measurements are suggesting a healthy or a defective asset. If a defect is suspected to be found, a message is sent to maintenance personnel who inspect the asset and fixes it. This method is useful in detecting faulty behavior in an asset before any failure occurs which gives the possibility of correcting it at maintainer convenience avoiding disturbance to traffic.

RCM helps to increase the performance and availability of assets. Thus, RCM can prove a good solution for an improved and successful rail operation. The industry needs to diverge from traditional fix on fail to more preventive and practical approaches using RCM and it's time for them to explore in the direction of intelligent and effective infrastructure.

July 31, 2015

Inventory Optimization in Utilities through Collaborative Planning - Part II

Demand Planning - Enhancing Forecasting Capabilities
Right material availability at the right time to ensure greater efficiency and good service can be achieved through the use of proper forecasting techniques. This will have a ripple effect throughout the organization as well as for the vendors and business partners. Material demand forecasting should not be limited to the traditional methods of collecting historical usage data and generating a linear regression model of future usage. This process do not leverage the vast amount of data collected and also fail in scenarios such as seasonal demands, a sporadic trend and slow moving items. Data accuracy and use of sophisticated forecasting techniques goes a long way in enhancing the forecasting capabilities.

Continue reading "Inventory Optimization in Utilities through Collaborative Planning - Part II" »

Inventory Optimization in Utilities through Collaborative Planning - Part I

Utilities have been focusing on improving their supply chain management to enhance performance, profitability, productivity and service levels. All this while, an Improved Working capital and lower operational costs were the main benefits that the organizations targeted through proper management of supply chain. However, the folks out there have now started realizing the importance of channelizing the SCM potential for an effective Inventory management within the industry. 
Collaborative planning, a key aspect of SCM has started gaining importance owing to its potential in  bringing the required co-ordination between the stakeholders  for an enhanced information sharing , improved replenishment process and accurate demand forecasts. Issues related to optimal utilization of Inventory had been plaguing the industry for a long time now and collaborative stands out to be a winner here.
Collaborative planning not only strengthens the accuracy of the material forecast but also aligns business processes across function to the organizational goal. Since the materials used in utility companies vary widely in their characteristics/ attributes, consumption pattern, handling, cost, lead time etc. it becomes imperative for companies to focus on the granular level to forecast the need for items and their replenishment strategies. Material forecasting done in isolation will not help realize the benefits that a collaborative planning offers. 
Through this blog we will discuss how inventory optimization can be achieved through some of the key function of collaborative planning such as enhanced demand planning, integration of forecasts with work management and forecasting by segmentation of materials using re-order point and distribution requirements methods.

Continue reading "Inventory Optimization in Utilities through Collaborative Planning - Part I" »

July 15, 2015

Automating Predictive Maintenance Using Internet-Connected Sensors in Railway Industry


Introduction
The railway plays an important role in facilitating sustainable economic growth by connecting people and communities and providing a means of transport for people and goods. It has an advantage over road on the haulage of heavy bulk freight like coal and aggregates. It compares well with road and air on fast, long-distance passenger journeys; and it is competitive with road on the distribution of goods in the intermodal sector.
The business processes for industry, which includes planning, operations, engineering, and maintenance are the major means of asset optimization. All these form a part of asset management depending on the availability of vital data to process and predict the potential future breakdowns.
Industrial railways transport bulk assets like clay or coal to an interchange point, called an exchange siding, with a main line railway, onwards from where it would be transported to its final destination. Industrial Railway, not necessarily, have to carry only industrial equipment's. In some countries, it is also used to carry passengers from industry to working site and vice versa.

Major Problems occurring in today's Railways Industry:
a) Cost containment: Rail manufacturing is a high-risk industry with comparatively low marginal profit. Costs containing and upholding flexibility are essential since economic and operational conditions can change intensely over the extensive lifecycles in rail.
b) Absence of industrywide ideals and interoperability: Each country has its own arrangements for rail transportation and inconsistency among the several information-systems and services between trains, creates an intricate networking environment. Besides, it is challenging to provide reliable services or facilities among various rail systems through several nations.
c) Asset Maintenance & Optimizing Productivity: One of the biggest challenge is to optimize the efficiency in operations which has always been marred with unexpected break-downs and failures.
This is where Predictive Analytics comes into picture as a feasible solution.

What is Predictive Analytics?
Predictive maintenance is business intelligence technology, which helps organizations to predict the future trends based on the historical analysis for effective decision-making and to improve business and help regulate the situation of operating assets with the aim to foresee when maintenance should be performed. Developing a real time predictive analytics can ensure peak asset performance and reduced downtime. Asset optimization could be achieved by deploying sensors that offer the active and condition and position of all important assets.


Purpose of Predictive Maintenance in the given scenario:
The main purpose is to agree towards appropriate planning of predictive and corrective maintenance and to prevent sudden asset failures. Using this, it can be decided which equipment requires maintenance and repairs can be better scheduled and have various other probable benefits which comprise increased asset-lifespan, better plant safety and less mishaps without harmful effect on environment and improved spare-parts management.
Automating predictive maintenance using internet-connected sensors is the way to transform how businesses operate. By means of internet-connected sensors (IOS) embedded into the machines is entirely altering machine maintenance practices. They are used to predict future asset breakdowns and thereby increasing asset efficiency and minimizing losses. It benefits all asset owners and creates new chances for service providers and manufacturers.

What is Internet of Sensor (IOS)?
Sensors enable the physical world to interact with computers, providing a much richer assortment of data than is available via manual input. Sensors are used in a various set of applications like mobiles, automotive systems, industrial control, health-care industry, lubricant assessment and type of weather monitoring.  IOS is where sensors support all types of equipment and machines to coordinate and communicate with each other through the information network.
It creates the ability to collect data from a broad range of devices and that data can be accessed through cloud, analyzed using big data techniques, using RCM, CCTV, CLOUD, MOBILE sensors etc.


The main know-hows behind IOS centered predictive maintenance which gathers data from various sensors and accomplishes proximate real-time analysis is to define when equipment is at possibility of failure. The platform is adept in simultaneously meting out the operational characteristics of several machines, individually prepared with its own sensor group. This method of predictive maintenance makes it probable to avoid preventable maintenance and greatly reduces maintenance cycle times and also minimizes the risks of premature break-downs which means industries which operates machine-intensive methods which provide more value to their investments.

Now, let's take an example to understand the use of Internet sensors in Railroad Industry.
A critical safety issue is correct timing for crossing gates at railroad highway grade crossings. If the warning signals and crossing gates are activated too soon, impatient people/motorists may try to cross in spite of the signal which may result in a train-car collision. If the system is activated too late, again a serious accident may occur.
Consequently, the timing of grade crossing warning activation is critical. On rail lines with a mix of traffic speeds such as slow cargo trains and fast passenger sleeper trains and the need for train-speed dependent warning systems is particularly important. So, here the Fiber-optic sensors are used where train presence and speed detection can also be performed by measuring how the light signal passing through the rail-bonded fiber sensor is affected by a train passing over the rail. The light transmission through a fiber sensor is monitored while a train periodically passes over a section of fiber-bonded Rail. By novel fiber sensors and laser detection systems, there are several methods by which train presence and speed detection could be performed and safety can be guaranteed.

Benefits of Sensors:
a) Sensors will provide details about how goods are affected during transport. This information will help companies reduce damage and shrinkage.
b) Sensors will continue to become more advanced. No longer limited to just location, sensors can measure humidity, temperature, angle of inclination, and much more. The more types of metrics that sensors can collect, the greater the impact on the industry.
c) Sensors will alert them of actual conditions and connectivity will allow to communicate those situations and conditions instantaneously with the help of Internet.

IOS extends the effectiveness of Internet of things (IOT) by providing better connectivity between assets and systems using ever evolving Internet technology and smart network. It makes the remote condition monitoring effortless and makes the decision making much more efficient. Thus we can say that exploring the horizons of IOS for asset maintenance can truly transform the face of the industry.

July 14, 2015

Rail Road Maintenance: Indian Rail Perspective - Part 1

Indian Railways form an integral part of our lives, but little do we know as to how this gigantic system works. Being the 3rd biggest railway network in the world, it operates more than 19000 trains daily with more than 63000 kms of track running throughout India. With such huge infrastructure under its canopy, how do they carry on the maintenance and repair of the rail tracks, which is one of the most significant linear asset?

Owing to such huge dependency on Rail Transportation (both commercial and non-commercial), it is inevitable for Indian Railways to keep their assets in operating condition at all times and reduce the asset downtime. To achieve this, a good asset maintenance plan is essential. In Railways during the last 40 years Track maintenance has undergone massive change, transitioning from a manual labor intensive process to a completely mechanized one. This transformation became necessary to suit the requirements of recent track layouts.  Before the Rail road (also known as Permanent Way) maintenance begins, there is a lot of planning required with respect to the Maintenance/Inspection Planning and Scheduling, Manpower estimation, Computation of material and tools, Assigning duties and responsibilities to the employees, establishing reporting hierarchy etc. This aspect of Railroad Maintenance brings concerns relating to the railroad to the forefront. In this blog, we will touch upon such finer aspects of railroad work and asset management function.Before we dive deep into the technological transformations railways has undergone till date, we will first look into as to how the core rail road maintenance process works. Let's start with understanding the existing hierarchy and roles and responsibilities assigned to the employees for maintaining the permanent way.

Manpower is determined regionally based on the area of rail lines inspection to be covered. Employees are provincially (City/District) allotted their specific area of control for the rail tracks as per their respective designations. For example, Senior Section Engineer will handle 80 track kms, Assistant Divisional Engineer will handle 160 track kms so on and so forth. There are some planned set of workforce required at each level of rail maintenance hierarchy to manage the complete process of Rail Inspections. Like there will be only 2 junior engineers under a Permanent Way Supervisor, 10 Track men reporting to a Junior Engineer and likewise. Here is the chart displaying the reporting hierarchy for rail employees in the process of track maintenance, at a very high level. However this hierarchy is flexible as to the number of people required depending upon the area under inspection.

                                     RAILROAD HIERARCHY.png

Rail Line Inspector or Permanent way inspector (PWI) is assigned a division for which he is accountable to monitor the rail road under his dominion. The Rail line Inspector and his crew undertake discrete regular inspection visits for the same rail lines. Every PWI is bound to prepare inspection plan one month in advance and ensures that provision is made for required manpower and tools/machinery as he seems necessary.

Rail Track maintenance is basically done by Gangs which comprises of Gang man, led by a Gang mate. A Gangman/Trackman is the one who is assigned with the duty of positioning the rail tracks and maintaining the same. The strength of Gang members for a particular area is calculated by Senior Engineer based on a mathematical formula. The duty of the gang is to inspect track and perform normal routine maintenance for the section of track assigned to them. Alongside there is a Patrolman who is deputed to perform visual inspections by walking all along the assigned length of the track.

Divisional Engineer prepares a Patrol Chart/Gang Chart which lists down the sections of rail track which needs monitoring and the scheduled time when the inspection needs to be carried out. Both Patrolmen and Gangs carry Patrol Books with them in which they need to record the status of inspection and maintenance carried on the sections of the tracks assigned to them. The gangs are well equipped and efficient to deal with minor problems on tracks but if a major problem is discovered during the inspection process which cannot be readily fixed, the details of the same are reported directly to the Station master of the nearest railway station. Till the time the issue is fixed, either the passage is blocked or the trains passing through are issued a caution order by station at either end of the track. The repair work is carried on with appropriate tools, equipment and machinery required and the concerned passage is blocked for the time being and the train traffic is diverted to other rail routes.

Caution orders to Train drivers are also issued when one of the Patrolmen/Gang misses their routine patrolling for some reason. This caution advises drivers to be alert and restrict the train speed to 40 kms per hour (Clear visibility/Day) or 15 kms per hour (Poor Visibility/Night).At the end of every week, Inspector carries out the assessment of the work performed and records it in Gang diary which is held by all the Gang members. After every six months, the Patrol/Gang charts are collected by the Inspector and is maintained as a historical record for reference.

 This mechanized system of maintenance of Rail Tracks which we just went through has been carried on by Indian Railways for some decades now. Indian Railways has been upgraded to technologically more advanced Maintenance system with reduced asset downtime and quicker response to contingencies, real time monitoring of the assets and increased employee safety and security. We will talk on the benefits we derive from the new system in our next blog and foresee how the road map of Indian Rail Road maintenance would look like.
 

December 19, 2014

Lean Implementation through Pre-Configured Industry Solutions

In today's environment, software industry is coming up with innovating process such as 'Agile Methodology' & 'Lean Implementation' to complete implementation in a very short span of time. In essence all these methods are light-weight & work with short development cycles. The main concept of Lean is removing unwanted process/actions from an Implementation, i.e. everything that does not contribute to the customer value. Furthermore, according to lean the process should only be looked at from an end-to-end perspective to avoid sub optimization. There are several aspects through which Lean Implementation can be achieved by series of blog, in this blog let us discuss more about "Pre-Configured industry Solutions"

Pre- Configured Industry Solutions:
As Software implementations are getting matured, companies now expect a more "industrialized" (ITIL Standards) approach to Implementations. That's especially true, where large companies are in the process of implementing their solutions to take advantage of global standardization opportunities and newer functionality.  In the case of young companies aspiring to be large, dominant players are also looking for ways to get more from their implementations faster. Both types of companies share a need for cost-effective ways of implementing Software solutions, using a predictable, and lower-risk approach that delivers solid ROI in the shortest time possible.

Developing Pre-Configured Industry Solutions

  • To implement Pre-Configured Industry solution in a service industry, following are the process/approaches which we may need to take it up.
  • Prepare Industry wise segmentation.
  • Based on our experience & exposure to Project Implementation, gather all possible Business requirements based departments.
  • If possible perform geography wise industry approach & understanding.
  • Evaluate & Propose System solution against the respective business process. It includes Process solutions, Reports, Dashboard, KPIs etc.
  • Now based on these details, we need to prepare Pre-Configured Solution, Pre-Configured Metadata, Pre-Configured roles, Pre-Configured Reports & Dashboard

Pre-configured Industry Solution Offering:List of features which would be available with us, once we develop Pre-Configured industry solutions

  • Business process documents and reference templates for each & every sub-process
  • Process flows with integration points
  • Detailed test scenarios/cases that are ready to run using Microsoft Excel or HP Quality Center for documentation
  • Data mapping templates

Benefits

  • Jump-start the implementation: The pre-configured business scenarios and the components in the SAP Solution Manager are ready to run, helping to jump-start your implementation activities.
  • Avoid surprises: The pre-configured approach offers you the benefit of seeing the system from the early stages of the design/blueprinting phase to a final system walk-through at the end of the "build" phase.
  • Improved ability to manage risk: A repeatable approach can help you to lower implementation risks.
  • Focus on Regulatory compliance: With the use Industry Standard Solution (ITIL Process), the pre-configured system would be complying regulatory process.
  •  Comprehensive data migration tool kit by reducing data migration effort for roll outs and ongoing support
  •  Highly scalable model - can accommodate future learning's and dynamic business requirements


 While this blog emphasizes on the significance of Pre-Configured Industry Solutions towards lean Implementation. In forth coming blogs, we would explain how Pre-Configured Industry Solution can be Implemented using IBM Maximo in detail.


 


 

Continue reading "Lean Implementation through Pre-Configured Industry Solutions" »

October 12, 2014

Managing Shared Assets in an Organization using IBM Maximo

 

Managing Shared assets in an Organization using IBM Maximo

It is a common scenario observed in many industries, where assets are shared by different departments in the same Organization. Each department has its own metrics to monitor and control the same asset. Each department would also have its own logical hierarchy in which the Asset needs to be maintained both from Cost roll up as well as Organizational Reporting perspective. While the total cost of Ownership of an Asset is important from an Organization perspective, each department needs to have a visibility of the individual department wise cost incurred throughout the lifecycle of the asset.

Such shared assets can be represented in the Asset Management System in the following ways:


  1. Create virtual entities of the asset for each department. Place each entity in the corresponding location hierarchy of the concerned department.

  2. Create only 1 asset in Maximo representing the Physical asset and ensure the same asset is present in the Location hierarchies of individual department

The first approach makes the asset representation in the EAM solution (Maximo) very simple. Each department can track the metrics surrounding the asset very easily. However it is functionally incorrect as the Asset essentially gets duplicated in Maximo. Work Management on the asset becomes impossible to manage as co-ordination between departments cannot be ensured with multiple Asset ids representing the same physical asset.

For eg. If one department changes the status of the Asset to 'NOT READY' or INACTIVE, it will be doing so on the Asset id created for that department only. If another department has a different Asset id representing the same physical asset, the status will still show 'OPERATING'. PMs will be functioning for this asset record and work orders will be generated, which ideally should not happen as the Physical asset is taken down by the former department and is currently not functioning.

In the second approach, Maximo OOB feature of Location systems can be leveraged to create different Location hierarchies for individual departments. Having a common Location where the asset is placed and maintaining different parents of the same Location within different systems for each department ensures that Cost roll up happens correctly.

In order to segregate transactions for individual departments a new 'Department' field can be added on shared data like PMs, Job Plans, Classifications, Storerooms, Inventory and Work orders.  Based on the Location System and the department required metrics for each department can be computed from Maximo. Although this approach makes the data representation complex, it solves the major issue observed in the earlier approach related to Asset and Work Management.

On comparing the pros and cons of both the approaches, Option 2 looks functionally correct and the recommended solution for handling such Business scenarios.

A classic example of how this scenario is handled in a Railroad Industry with two departments viz. Facilities and Signals, where a single Switch Asset is shared by both the departments is shown in the below diagram


The Department must be mentioned on the work order or any transactional record that specifies as to which Department the transaction is relevant. All cost roll ups/reporting can be done using a combination of the location and department together which will give a clear picture of department specific metrics.

The above approach has been recently implemented in Maximo for a Class 1 US railroad. It has been successful in achieving the business objectives around the shared asset between two departments of the same company. 


Continue reading "Managing Shared Assets in an Organization using IBM Maximo" »

September 30, 2014

Use of Smart Maintenance Model in Electric Utility Industry for Power Grids-Part II

 

Random asset breakdowns take the business by surprise and makes it suffer with hefty erosion of capital as a significant amount of Industry capital is in the form of assets. The only way to prevent is to gauge the pattern of asset breakdowns and predict it before the damage is done.

SMM1.PNG

                                                            Fig 1: SMART MAINTENANCE MODEL

After the data is assimilated by means of real time monitoring of assets through SCADA, DFR, IEDs and historical data secured through EAM tool, the next phase is to analyze the data so as to pick up a trend or pattern of assets breakdowns. The ultimate goal is the move from reactive (scheduled, break-fix) and preventive (condition-based, preventive) to predictive maintenance. The data collected so far by means of real time monitoring and Asset management tool will be analyzed to spot repetitive patterns and trends based on which predictive actions to safeguard assets will be taken. Linear Regression analysis is used for predicting the unknown value of a variable from the known value of another variable. The variable whose value is to be predicted is known as the dependent variable and the one whose known value is used for prediction is known as the independent variable. The model uses the linear equation:

                                                                                       y = a +bx

 Where y is dependent variable and x is independent variable. This is also known as the 'Line of best fit'.

A base year is taken ahead of which the asset breakdown data is plotted to arrive at a scatter diagram. A hypothetical example will be say to take year 1990 as the base year, so all the asset data collected since 1990 till date will be used to predict the future asset breakdown trend. Here we are going to plot the graph taking X as the 'Number of days from the base date' and Y being the 'Number of times the asset has broken down'. The value on Y axis will be cumulative and keeps on adding. Say from base year to 180 days,  asset has broken down 2 times, 360 days from base year asset has broken down 9(2+7) times and so forth. After plotting the data, a line is drawn in such a way so as the distance between the line and the coordinates on the graph is minimum, this is done using Sum of Squared Errors (SSE). This is the 'Line of Best Fit'. With the help of this line we will predict the probable future asset breakdown time window. Using the equation arrived at(y = 0.0375x - 7.5333), we can give the value of x (number of days from base date) and based on the value of x we can find out the value of y which will be the predicted value. The data plotted should be at least for 5 years so as to pick a trend. The more the quantity of data in terms of the number of years, the more reliable and accurate the predictions will be.

The diagram mentioned below shows the asset breakdown data plotted on a graph called as Scatter Diagram. A line of Best Fit is arrived using Linear Regression Equation.

 

 graphs1.PNG

 

After the likelihood of assets breakdown is gauged, the next step is to take remedial measures. As soon as the probable asset breakdown time frame is predicted, a prudent maintenance activity is carried on that asset before it enters the predicted breakdown time frame. The prime focus of the maintenance activity will be on the problems because of which the asset might have been broken down in the past and may see a downtime again in future if the maintenance is not carried out. So a maintenance carried on the asset beforehand will practically eliminate the probability of breakdown because of similar problems faced earlier.

 

Smart Maintenance Model using Predictive Maintenance by way of Linear Regression is a boon for the electric utilities where the entire industry is reliant on the proper functioning of asset. The collection of data using both real time monitoring and historical data leaves no stone unturned for optimizing asset performance. This gives management a leading edge ahead of its competitors to manage asset lifecycle costs in a better way and make informed and judicious decisions.

September 2, 2014

Risk based Asset Management

Assets play a very vital role in every enterprise. Depending upon the nature of business, each organization categorizes their asset based on risk, criticality, safety & reliability and performs maintenance activity on their respective assets. Multiple risks are involved at every step of asset life cycle. In order to make sure that every vital asset performs within defined capability limits, risks have to be identified and proper measures have to be placed even before the risks appear.

The initial move to build risk based asset management is to indulge pertinent SMEs in a multi-dimensional performing peer. This is because, in association they can bring forth a shared sense of urgency with cumulative view including top tier management and rest of the organization in its execution.

Even before we get to know more about development of the system, it is necessary to know the concepts of Risk.

What is Risk?
The idea of Risk has been with us since quite long time: Concepts of which were first published in the mid-17th century. Risk management is defined by ISO 31000 as: "The effect of uncertainty on objectives".

Risk = Probability x Consequence
Three significant angles of Risk are:
1. Effect: An Effect is a shift from the normal result positive and/or negative.
2. Risk: Risk can be defined as the consequence of an action and its associated occurrences.
3. Uncertainty: Uncertainty is the condition of not having enough information, knowledge or understanding over an event its consequence or outcomes.

Basically, in a Risk-based Asset Management System (RBAMS) one has to muster appropriate data in line to the value stream. These collected information is used to make responsible decisions that will in turn add greater value to the organization. The result of adopting RBAMS results in making ideal choices and to do "right things" to mitigate risk. However, configuring this capability of the system to have long lasting and feasible effect on the business and to be able to withstand organizational and management shifts is the greatest challenge. The development of RBAMS can entail a huge investment of time which can run into years. Therefore it needs both short term (1-2 years) and long term (10-15-20 years) ambitions to set a future map to improve the capability of RBAMS.

RBAMS model is made up of four phases that are crucial to the success of this strategy. (PDCA) is the iterative approach of plan, do, check and act followed by models like Risk management and Asset Management. The simplified form of these elements fall as below:

1. The Plan sets corrective goals along with the processes with detail description to achieve them.
2. The Do executes the strategy and musters information required to verify and improve the plan.
3. The Check function estimates the mustered information for accordance to the scheme developed and in execution of the same. It is also made sure that improvements are encouraged during the course.
4. The Act works on considering the changes mentioned its implementation or rejection of data on the course of iteration.

The RBAMS Process

RBAMS is a continuous cycle that begins from collecting the main targets to be achieved, data of assets and resources and their base lined systems. The highest degree of the risk management work can then be pointed to those most crucial to the organization. Once crucial/significant assets are recognized, a risk assessment is executed to find threats and analyze the chance of occurrence and the resulting effect and additional measures that would make less severe this effect to a level agreeable to management.

Organization Structure of RBAMS


org structure.jpg                                                                                                
• Strategic Management looks to recognize the organization's purpose, its targets and objectives. It is really necessary to set priorities and to focus energy and resources towards common goal to establish the system.
• Operations Management advances the organization towards its purpose by concentrating on short term activities on daily basis.
• Risk Management is that process that assists to deal risks and uncertainties to make sure the organization is in line to reach its objectives.

Once risks are recognized, it is essential to overcome them. Complete eradication of the risk cannot be assured but its impact can be made less.  This system through which risks are reduced is known as Risk Management. The mitigation of risks to avoid loss by analyzing the process and parameters even before investing is the major purpose of Risk Management.
Risk-based Asset management System - Its Advantages:

1. Enabling Focus on KPI and Analytics: In case your system is not a risk-based, there would more expenditure on symptoms detected rather on root cause of the loss incurred. This might not allow one to focus on KPI and analytics.
2. Prioritization of Resources: While fixing critical problems expenditure on time, money and materials can be prioritized appropriately if the system is Risk-based.
3. Focused Goals and Continuous Improvement: It helps to achieve allied project goals and targets with regulatory consent and also provides scope for continuous improvement.
4. Comprehensive Risk Mitigation: RBAMS is all about recognizing, reducing and eradicating risks. It is followed by coordinated application of resources to minimize probability of risks.
5. Support on Asset Reliability: An Asset management system that is risk based is a combination of process and risk management alongside maintenance on condition based to ensure source utility based on process criticality. Thereby offering assurance of reliable analysis that includes a scope of further improvement with time.

RBAMS can help any organization to accurately log their asset information. Additionally, it can help system to identify multiple risks and losses and can provide scope of constant improvement through a reliable enterprise asset management. It should be borne in mind that RBAMS is not a one-time measure in a dynamically changing environment. It needs to be monitored for control through robust Internal Audit process.  Whenever necessary this should be supplemented by an External Audit to derive the benefits of the outsider's view on critical processes.

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