Innovative Asset Management Tools Increase Plant Reliability, Throughput and Availability
Connectivity is Critical
Asset management systems typically collect information on the health of critical plant assets. Real-time data on both health and process variables is distributed to maintenance and operations staff, giving early warning of asset degradation. The resulting alerts and recommended actions are directed automatically to the right people, who can act quickly to prevent issues from developing to the point where they cause downtime or lack of safety.
An EAM system can include modules for maintenance management, materials management, procurement/purchasing, human resources, and financial management. The EAM is an enabler for the maintenance process. Whereas an asset management system is event-based, scanning assets for alerts, an EAM is transaction-based, typically generating work orders, scheduling maintenance and checking spare parts inventories.
Automated communication between the real-time asset management system and the EAM means that islands of asset information are integrated to give a holistic asset view that helps plant staff make the best decisions for improved asset performance and plant reliability.
Reveal the Cause, Arrange a Cure
In a typical scenario, an email generated by the asset management system alerts operators to the fact that the plant is not running as efficiently as it should. The email shows a dip in key performance indicators for overall equipment effectiveness in one of the process units.
A link in the email directs the user to a personalized intranet page carrying more information. Here it is clear that a critical valve has triggered several travel deviation alerts and caused problems with downstream fluid levels.
Another link points to recommendations, including a historical record of actions taken when this issue happened previously. A work order is created, with recommendations attached, and sent to the EAM/CMMS system for immediate attention by maintenance. Progress of the work order can then be monitored throughout the day to ensure that the issue is resolved. Status updates can even be emailed to key people in the organization.
New integrated asset management software solutions allow information to be organized for the first time in ways that are most helpful to each user, whether he or she is a technician or maintenance manager. Information can now be sorted by location, asset type, description, health index or significance to plant reliability, with the highest priorities presented on a single dashboard. This provides users with a broader view of the current operating conditions of the mechanical and process equipment, as well as field instruments and valves throughout the plant.