How to implement and operate Asset Performance Management efficiently

19 May 2021

Implementing an APM can be challenging, but it is possible to be well prepared to make it happen in the best possible way. The following seven points should make this operation easier.

Putting data at the center of the maintenance culture

Part of the APM implementation is the management of data and its quality. For this to be effective, you need data. While this may seem obvious, it is important to realize that sometimes maintenance departments are more concerned with safety than with the well-being and regular maintenance of assets. Asset performance management must therefore go beyond the software aspect and be inherent to the maintenance culture, in order to have the full power and functionality of an APM solution.

 

The business goals that drive APM strategies

In order to get the most out of APM, it is critical to support the business objectives. Indeed, the resources required to acquire and integrate an APM solution will depend on support from the top of the company. It is therefore important to emphasize and demonstrate the coherence of an APM’s contributions in relation to these objectives.

If, for example, one of the company’s objectives is operational excellence, it would be wise to demonstrate that an APM is one of the essential elements for achieving this. Presenting the savings in maintenance time, the limitations in terms of risks, thanks to the different types of recognized analyses, or the monitoring of equipment thanks to a large amount of reliable and precise data, will support the arguments in favor of an APM solution that is in line with the company’s objectives.

 

Familiar technology

In order to effectively use an APM solution, it is important to become familiar with it. This means knowing how to navigate the interface and understand how to use the different functionalities and the various results generated by them. Training can be time-consuming, as solutions are becoming more and more complete, but it is essential for consistent and competent use of the software.

The best approach, especially for a facility that is not yet monitoring its equipment, is a step-by-step approach. By monitoring key equipment first, and then expanding to an entire production line, teams will become familiar with APM-related technologies. Eventually, the entire facility will be monitored by a team that is fully competent in both the monitoring itself and in the effective use of the software and its full capabilities.

 

Integrated and applied core competencies

As mentioned earlier, optimal use of an APM requires skills. In addition to “normal” maintenance skills, diagnostic and technology skills will be required. Here are some of the main ones:

  • Technology skills, an APM is a complex tool. In addition, a competent IT department will be needed for good management of the network infrastructure.
  • Analytical skills, in order to get the maximum information from the readings, measurement points, reports…
  • Attention to detail and thoroughness.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Communication.

 

Full connectivity between APM and other enterprise solutions

In the second point, it is mentioned to argue for the acquisition of an APM solution by aligning with the company’s objectives. In order to have a more global vision and impact, it is interesting to couple APM with other software. This allows to align with global objectives, via the functionalities present in CMMS, ERP, EAM… This also allows the centralization of information and coherence between the different systems of the company.

In addition to the “objective” aspect, the capabilities of APM will be multiplied and even more precise! In addition to the notions of risk and maintenance, budgetary notions, including finance, planning and stock management can be added. Thus, equipment maintenance will be based on well-founded and precise decisions.

 

Focus on key data points

All the data collected is important, but some of it deserves to be particularly well monitored. The data in question are the health indicators of the company’s equipment:

  • The temperature can, in case of excess, indicate the presence of a problem.
  • The energy consumption of the equipment, as well as the state of the protections.
  • The energy system, whose flow can be disturbed in the case of bottlenecks in particular.
  • Vibrations and noise in order to identify cases of wear and tear.

Data collected and used

Having a large amount of quality data is a key point in managing equipment performance. However, data alone does not tell the whole story; it must be leveraged to its full potential, especially with an APM and its analysis and management tools.

According to the Harvard Business Review on Data Strategy, their study shows that on average, less than half of structured data is actually used in decision making. An asset performance management solution allows for optimal use and monitoring of data, thus avoiding waste.

 

Conclusion

An APM system relies on data collected during the activity of a company. This data is needed and processed by the software in order to draw conclusions and make decisions about the equipment. Through its functions and use of data, an APM will optimize maintenance and production, thus moving closer to goals such as operational excellence. By leveraging the skills of the users, as well as the connectivity of the solutions, and by paying attention to the important elements, the result is a powerful and communicative technology package. By cross-referencing and exploiting data correctly, the optimal functioning of an APM solution is achieved.

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About SIRFULL

Sirfull is a software vendor with a strong industrial culture and French know-how, which develops solutions that enable its customers to anticipate changes in their market.

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