Factories

Understanding asset health with Maximo

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Change and transformation in business is inevitable. Last December I spoke at the International Maintenance Conference about how advancements in technology have disrupted industries over time – and why it is critical to utilize advancements for improvements, or get left behind. With all the hype around the Internet of Things – we need to look at its reality. The ability to capture, correlate and develop insights from a wide variety and large scale of structured and unstructured data – harnessing ‘islands’ of data to develop new insights, in a highly efficient manner. When I think about IoT I think about its impact on how infrastructure is run, managed, and interacted with.

Companies in every industry are making significant investments to ensure their infrastructure and physical assets run as expected – reliably, within specific cost and risk constraints. Where these investments, both operational and capital, are made has largely been best guess or a patch work of data sourced from disparate sources, systems and studies. For example, preventive maintenance schedules have traditionally been based on advice from equipment manufacturers or experienced foremen. Sometimes they’re adjusted based on observations from an inspection, based on past failure patterns, some even on real-time performance against performance models.

But there is so much opportunity to get better – maintenance is ripe for change. First, it is still much too hard for maintenance and reliability professionals to correlate and see data from different sources simply. It is difficult to find and apply formulas or simple models to indicate the ‘health’ of an asset. And frankly, there is data available that improves the insights about asset health – such as impact of weather on equipment and infrastructure. Combining this information, into a single pane of glass, and then using analytics to predict failures before they occur will change how maintenance is conducted.

Maximo Asset Health Insights

This is the driver behind Maximo Asset Health Insights. This new offering for Maximo combines insights from sensors on assets, operational systems, weather data with information from asset records and work history, and then applies formulas and analytics to calculate health scores for assets – all in a single view. These scores can be linked to spatial work patterns, families of assets across multiple locations, and planned work schedules to advise maintenance operations on the status of assets in a single dashboard.

I’ve spent the last 20 years involved in the pursuit of effective asset management and have talked with countless customers, partners, and industry experts about their challenges to realize their potential for cost reductions and improved uptime. Asset Health Insights provides a direct solution to address the most common issues clients face, such as:

  • Knowing status of critical business assets
  • Optimizing maintenance schedules based on early warnings from assets
  • Avoiding unplanned downtime
  • Minimizing unnecessary repairs
  • Identifying economic outcomes and risks associated with asset strategies

Feedback from our customer development partners sums it up well.

“As a utility with pipes running underground or equipment operating at customers site, such as water meters, we don’t have a sight line to the components to do visual inspections. And even if we could, visuals only take you so far. We think IBM Maximo Asset Health Insight analytics will give us an enormous amount of data delivered in simple 1 chart views that incorporate data points that are important to base decisions on. It takes us days to do similar analysis, even if we could get at all the data. From what this tool could help save time and money by helping us make strategic decisions on how to assure the best we’ve seen, possible service to our customers.”

“When we assemble a train, we’re choosing the cars knowing they’ll be on the track for a specific period of time, for a specific service to our customers. We expect the IBM Maximo Asset Health Insights product to help us make smart decisions about which components are best suited for the purpose based on a very fine grained view of their overall health. Any time we have a failure of these components outside our service shop, it’s a major disruption to service and we have to answer with costly investment of dispatched crews via emergency service. We anticipate being able to predict health conditions of these cars which would help us make decisions on when and where to maintain them, saving time and money.”

The Internet of Things is changing the way businesses operate, and maintenance is no exception. Asset Health Insights is advancing the discipline of asset management. To learn more, I invite you to watch a webcast presentation on this new offering or get in touch with our team.

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