Transforming Asset Inspection Programs With Enterprise Asset Intelligence
Organisations with mission-critical assets know that in order to make smart decisions about their operations they need a complete and accurate picture of the condition, state and history of all their assets, across the enterprise. Routine asset inspection programs and maintenance activities offer the ideal opportunity to capture this critical data. However, despite the proliferation of enterprise asset management systems [EAM’s] and computerised maintenance management systems [CMMS’s], many companies fall short when it comes to integrating this intelligence into strategic, tactical and operational decision making.
The inefficiency of manual asset inspections
Historically, asset inspection programs have been repetitive, time-consuming and costly manual processes. Asset data from these activities may be isolated in disconnected information siloes or locked away in paper-based records that are incomplete, erroneous and out-of-date. This leaves organisations at a significant disadvantage – unable to make smart decisions about individual assets, and unable see the big picture across the entire enterprise-wide asset base.
Enterprise asset intelligence technology, like assetDNA from Relegen, solves these issues by automating the collection of accurate asset data [in real-time] and driving consistent, repeatable, standardised processes – so organisations can maximise asset availability and lifespan, and ultimately improve decision making.
Key features of an automated asset inspection system:
Asset tags – Asset tags [e.g. barcode or RFID or DPM] identify assets by using a unique serial or code which serves to link operational data [e.g. temperature, vibration, fluid levels etc.] collected during inspections with the asset itself. Whilst barcode tags are a more cost-effective solution, RFID can enforce proof-of-presence and does not require direct line of site which can be an advantage for high-volume inspections or assets in hard-to-reach or high-risk locations.
Mobile apps – Mobile applications add value in 3 important ways. Firstly, they accelerate efficiency and productivity, by guiding front-line maintenance teams through standardised inspection workflows, step-by-step. They can also improve safety by enforcing ‘Take 5’ and risk assessments into workflows. Secondly, they enable field staff to access the asset’s complete electronic record such as OEM information, performance and operational history, servicing, user manuals, instructions for repair and more. Thirdly, staff can update asset records [and take photos] in the field and in real-time, eliminating the need for error-prone handwritten notes which need to be manually entered well after the event.
Database – The asset intelligence database is the engine room. It allocates and manages the unique serial ID’s [which are passed onto the real-world asset via the tag] and serves to store, share and report all asset data for enhancing decision-making. An integrated system enables management to track the history and operation of each asset, receive alerts if inspections are due or missed, and provides analytics about maintenance, operation and performance.
- Data accuracy – Ensures complete and accurate data at the point and time of inspection
- Data availability – Real-time data collected in the field is immediately available for analysis and strategic, tactical and operational decision-making
- Data integration – High-quality data can be fed to business systems [EAM’s, CMMS’s] for planning and decision-making, or shared with OEMs and external repair agents for warranty, servicing and part requests
- Productivity – Guides frontline maintenance staff on efficient inspection routes, enables faster data collection, eliminates manual data entry and processes
- Real-time alerts – When equipment scheduled maintenance or inspections fall due, or when operational values fall outside a normal range alerting the right people at the right time
- Data-driven audit trails – Electronic records of who inspected, what, where and when, providing proof of presence and assurance that data has been collected by authorised personnel, making it easy to meet regulatory compliance and reduce enterprise risk
- Improved equipment reliability – Identify faults before failure, reduce losses related to interruptions and shut downs, reduced risk [OHS&E and other] and costs as maintenance can be triggered based on condition rather than time
The ultimate objective of any automated asset inspection system is to empower organisations to make smarter decisions. Quality data fed into primary systems also provides stakeholders with a ‘single point of truth’ and an enterprise-wide view – the foundation that underpins successful asset-intensive operations and sustainable growth.