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What do an airline, a national train operator and a global engine manufacture have in common?

Technical Blog Post


What do an airline, a national train operator and a global engine manufacture have in common?


What do an airline, a national train operator, and a global engine manufacture have in common?  They probably have any number of things in common, but as this is a Maximo blog I will focus on the fact that they are all using Maximo Asset Configuration Manager (ACM) at the core of their business. 

You may be asking ‘why’ and ‘what does ACM actually do’?  And apart from using ACM, what else do these businesses have in common?

  • Complex assets
  • High value assets
  • Safety Critical operating environments
  • Highly regulated by government and industry bodies

These four high-level characteristics of their businesses mean that they are heavily reliant on managing their assets with a strong emphasis on ensuring that the assets and associated maintenance processes comply with the standards against which they are certified to operate and provide services.  To do this they require a capability that can define the design standards, create the assets based on the selected standard and then validate the asset to highlight any invalid condition, all of this is highly dynamic operational environments – meeting this requirement is at the center of Maximo ACM.

Maximo ACM is a ‘Add On’ solution from the Maximo portfolio, this is pretty much the same as the ‘Industry Solutions’ that you may have heard of, for example Nuclear, Transportation, Oil and Gas etc.  Maximo ACM seamlessly wraps around the core Maximo Asset Management application to provide a deeper and broader degree of functionality; it actually adds an additional 36 applications (for Maximo ACM 7.5).

So, let’s start with the basics of configuration management and where Maximo ACM fits into the bigger picture. 

This schematic diagram  shows the 3 main phases of an asset life cycle, from the design phase through to the operational life of the asset. In each phase there are associated design releases and build standards, typically there are multiple changes to the design and build that need to be carefully controlled to ensure that the assets are built and operated in valid configurations.

Maximo ACM is used in the ‘as maintained’ phase, this is the phase where the asset is being flown, operated and maintained in dynamic and sometimes challenging environments. 

Maximo ACM also uses information and data from the ‘as designed’ and ‘as built’ phases so that it can compare what is happening to the asset in service against the design standards.



There are several design concepts associated with ACM that enable the application to support the configuration management requirements,  there will be covered in future postings, but I’ll start with the fundamental concept – the separation of ‘reference data’ and ‘operational data’.image

 This diagram illustrates, at a high level, the concept of data separation in ACM; the ‘as designed’ data is represented as the reference data, in simple terms this is what the asset is allowed to look like, how it should be maintained, how all the components are related to each other and what are the RULES that define a valid configuration (ACM is a ‘rules based’ system……….. to be covered in a future blog).

The ‘as maintained’ data is represented by the operational data; this is the physical assets that are in service within the clients’ organization and the maintenance activities that are carried out to support the operational requirements, e.g. planned maintenance, asset removal and installation and the recording of life usage (meter entries).

The piece in the center joining the two sides together is the validation process, this is called the Build Data Interpreter (BDI), it dynamically validates the asset status and alerts the user of any invalid condition ……… see the blog posting by Lee Cotton to understand some detail around the BDI (‘Keeping a BDI on your Assets’:


More to follow in future blogs about the design concepts behind ACM and how ACM is used by clients to support their business requirements.

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