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The Asset Management Value Proposition
More than Minimizing Unplanned Outages
As defined in the international standard ISO 55000, published in 2015, Asset Management is the “coordinated activity of an organization to realize value from its assets”. Derived from a variety of industries, ISO 55000 has been successfully applied in numerous companies around the world, demonstrating business benefits and value to the organization. In addition to reducing equipment failures, the ultimate goal of asset management is to optimize the operation and maintenance of equipment to minimize costs and risks, while ensuring safety of personnel and customers. Asset management strategies have matured from being reactive, i.e., a “fix it when it breaks” approach, to time-based or preventative maintenance – routine maintenance performed on equipment at regular intervals to reduce the likelihood of it failing. In these approaches, maintenance is typically considered an expense to organizations. Asset management has now matured to the point where information on the operating conditions of an asset is a valuable tool for condition-based, reliability-centered and predictive maintenance programs. These approaches determine the remaining life and condition of an asset in order to predict when maintenance should be performed to optimize the reliability and life-cycle of the asset. Here, asset management is seen more as an investment, not an expense.
It starts with Monitoring & Diagnostics
Key to a more proactive asset management program is the monitoring of assets and analysis of the operating data (diagnostics). Asset monitoring starts with robust sensors taking accurate measurements of equipment operating conditions. The sensors must be well-proven technologies, hardened for field conditions on the grid or in an industrial environment. Collecting and analyzing the data and diagnosing the condition of assets requires extensive domain knowledge and experience in asset construction, operating conditions, and their failure modes. Monitoring may include both offline testing and online, real-time measurements and analysis of the asset operating parameters. Other asset operational data (e.g., power quality, fault records, alarms/events, and environmental data), together with asset historical information (e.g., manufacturer, data of manufacture, previous maintenance work), are collectively used with real-time monitoring and diagnostics in a holistic asset management program, typically known as Asset Performance Management (APM). A good APM strategy includes knowledge sharing and collaboration throughout the organization to manage costs, risks and performance, and optimize return on investment in assets across the whole asset life cycle (planning, design, purchase, installation, operation, monitoring, performance assessment, maintenance, retirement).
The Business Case
Justifying asset management programs lies in the criticality of the assets, failure risks and cost-benefit analysis. The asset management value proposition includes:
- Reduced failure-related repair or replacement costs. Early detection of a developing fault will reduce the cost of repair. Consideration should also be given to the strain placed on assets that are called into action to cover an unexpected failure.
- Reduced inspection and maintenance costs.
- Improved real-time asset loading capability. Critical assets, if appropriately monitored, can be operated close to, or marginally above, nameplate ratings while minimizing risks.
- Deferred upgrade or replacement of assets due to monitoring equipment age or condition, i.e., extending asset life – see Figure 1.
- Improved planning for scheduled outages.
- Optimized design and operating practices.
- Enhanced personnel and customer safety.
- Improved environmental safety.
Figure 1: Deferral of Asset Replacement using Asset Management
Contact Qualitrol Today!
Qualitrol has many years of experience in the development and application of sensors, monitoring, testing and diagnostic solutions for generators, transformers, switchgear, cables and motors. Qualitrol can help utilities and industrial companies identify critical assets in their systems, and develop an optimal monitoring, analysis and reporting program through cost-benefit analysis. Click here to contact a Qualitrol expert today.