The solution to extending plant equipment life cycles to maximize productivity and reduce costly downtime sounds simple enough but any experienced plant manager knows that these obvious words to the wise are easier said than done. Tracking, monitoring, and correcting the vast amount of plant equipment performance and conditions simply isn't possible with 20th Century analog procedures, or worse, pen and paper maintenance programs.
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An informative article at maintworld, "Extending the Life of Aging Assets" discusses how APM (asset performance management) is a vital tool for companies in the energy and resource industries dealing with the combined one-two punch of aging workforces and legacy equipment. APM is an effective life extension tool for any asset-intensive enterprise to name just a few sectors including:
- Data Centers
- Oil and Gas
- Electrical Utilities
- Water and wastewater
In a business environment where huge capital investments have been made it's imperative for companies to get the most out of existing facilities and assets by extending equipment life cycles before more expenditures for "rip and replace" maintenance is required. The idea is to minimize costly unplanned reactive maintenance by tracking performance in a way that transforms traditional preventative maintenance into efficient predictive maintenance. As the maintworld article points out, reactive maintenance is frequently too little too late to prevent equipment failure. Conversely, too much too early is a waste of time, parts, and labor resources.
The go-to solution for efficient asset management in the age of Industry 4.0 leads us to sort out yet another batch of technical alphabet soup.
APM, CMMS, and EAM
CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System, and EAM is the popular acronym for Enterprise Asset Management software. Both are parts of the overall Asset Performance Management (APM)strategy. Tracking and storing maintenance data on a computer, whether via the cloud or on an onsite mainframe, opens up a whole new world of maintenance advantages which simply aren't possible without digital technology. Benefits of CMMS/EAM include:
- Increased equipment life-cycles- Performance tracking enables data-driven maintenance schedules so maintenance is performed at the right time
- Improved inventory management- Parts and materials used are recorded in real time to avoid deficiencies or costly surpluses in inventory.
- Work order management- Work orders can be prioritized to minimize downtime while maintaining productivity
- Custom Reporting- Spot performance and failure trends which can transform traditional preventative maintenance into predictive maintenance schedules to extend the life-cycles of common assets company-wide.
Let's take a look at asset management/CMMS in action, from one of Mader Electric's industry-best vendors.
ABB System 800 XA Asset Optimization (AO)
Imagine if you will, an automated maintenance management system which not only detects device faults in real time but generates the work order and procedure required to correct the problem and enhance the asset life-cycle. This is especially important for plants relying on aging assets for continued productivity.
AO makes information available seamlessly for decision-makers in operations, maintenance engineering, and management, eliminating interdepartmental "silos" and keeping all hands on the same page to reduce unplanned downtime.
ABB's Industrial IT patented Aspect Object ™ technology is the key to System 800 XA, allowing it to gather and display information for the installation, operation, and maintenance of each plant component. 800XA integrates multiple servers to detect, diagnose, and recommend corrections. Asset monitors keep a careful watch on:
- Simple equipment status changes
- Asset health and performance conditions
- High. low, and deviation limits in control systems
- compressor/pump curves
- Pump and fan performance
When performance conditions are detected the AO issues an ACD, asset condition document, and generates an alert throughout the system. AO's vigilance is only limited by the number of preconfigured asset monitors for the entire range of the plant hierarchy from high-value "parent" assets to individual devices or "children" assets.
Taking Control With Automation at Mader Electric
At Mader Electric we've been keeping industrial operations in the Sarasota Florida region up and running since 1983. We have the technical expertise to assist with advanced control and CMMS solutions which can keep your plant competitive in the demanding digital age of Industry 4.0. When it's time to upgrade your plant with the latest 21st Century smart technology it's time for Mader Electric.