Enterprise asset management (EAM) is a combination of software, systems and services used to maintain and control operational assets and equipment. The aim is to optimize the quality and utilization of assets throughout their lifecycle, increase productive uptime and reduce operational costs.
Enterprise asset management involves work management, asset maintenance, planning and scheduling, supply chain management and environmental, health and safety (EHS) initiatives.
In the Internet of Things (IoT) era — with everything from valves to vehicles connected by sensors and systems — practitioners are incorporating advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) into EAM. Data gathered from instrumented assets is analyzed using AI techniques. The resulting insights help maintenance teams make better decisions, enhance efficiency, perform preventive maintenance and maximize investments in their physical assets.
EAM is often associated with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), but a closer look at EAM versus CMMS reveals they are different. A CMMS can be one aspect of EAM. It focuses on centralizing information to facilitate and automate maintenance management processes. EAM is an asset lifecycle management approach that supports asset performance from acquisition to disposal.
EAM is important because it helps organizations track, assess, manage and optimize asset quality and reliability. Organizations of all kinds have hundreds, thousands, even millions of assets. They are asset intensive.
Assets come in many shapes and sizes — railroads, pipelines, manufacturing equipment, transportation fleets, windmills — and include virtually any piece of equipment needed to sustain production, services and operations. EAM best practices help maintenance teams gain greater control of complex environments to:
Centrally manage planned and unplanned work, from initial request through completion and including the recording of actuals.
Phases of maintenance
Move from corrective maintenance, when repairs are made after a problem occurs, to preventive maintenance (using scheduled repairs) and predictive maintenance, when repairs are made because data indicates imminent failure.
Planning and scheduling
Graphically view work orders and preventive maintenance schedules on a Gantt chart. Intuitively navigate work order management to help dispatchers manage task and work dependencies.
Supply chain management
Assets and the materials used to maintain them are part of the supply chain. Effective solutions should incorporate IoT technologies that help integrate EAM with supply chain management systems.
Health and safety
Document and report environmental, health and safety concerns. Reduce risk by using incident analysis, corrective action traceability and process change management.
Accomplish more from reading meters to capturing electronic signatures to using bar codes and RFID. Take advantage of smartphone capabilities such as photos and voice-to-text to capture information and deliver tools, documentation and collaboration.
Run extended and enhanced analytics, often powered by AI, to gain operational insights. Use optimization models can be used to automate the planning, scheduling and work management processes based on analysis.
Support SaaS, cloud-based deployment or hybrid cloud deployment to control costs, improve system flexibility and decrease dependency on IT.
The future of EAM may be in the cloud. Hosted in the cloud, SaaS EAM offers the flexibility to expand and contract with data demands. Users only pay for the data resources they need. SaaS requires far less intervention and support from IT than on-premises deployments. As a result, capital expenses related to IT can be converted into operational expenses and resources.
Upgrades are made by service providers in the cloud, so the latest versions and functionality are always applied. SaaS also integrates new technologies faster and with less risk.
Transmission and distribution of water, wastewater, gas and electric power requires capabilities for linear assets such as pipelines or powerlines. These systems also need to accommodate complex crew scheduling and consider geospatial information from remote assets.
These industries place an emphasis on integrating safety, reliability, compliance and performance into workflows. EAM systems are needed to reduce costs by standardizing and improving maintenance practices and fostering collaboration.
Manufacturing includes an array of sectors: automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics, industrial products, consumer products and more. In these contexts, EAM systems become part of overall process management methodologies such as Lean Six Sigma and complement product lifecycle management requirements.
The focus for these applications is providing details about assets and inventory that enable a service or logistic function. Fuel management, driver logs, spare parts, bay schedules and other data are critical to maintaining rail, road and air traffic operations.
These systems monitor, track and manage equipment, facilities and mobile assets. Management of standards, traceability and e-signature is critical. Documentation packages are used to help meet and validate complex regulatory requirements.
Healthcare EAM solutions must manage complex relationships between facilities and equipment readiness. They track and locate critical assets, monitor facility conditions, comply with reporting requirements and integrate with operational health information systems.
Nuclear organizations stress work and asset management to support regulations through detailed state management, workflows, escalations and e-signature. Solutions consider stringent regulatory compliance for health, safety and security.
Liquefying natural gas depends on thousands of components. Gas producer Cheniere uses EAM to move towards predictive maintenance, align maintenance with asset demands and prolong the life of its assets.
Avoiding delays due to equipment failure is a big win in the airport business. Schipol deployed a mobile EAM solution that automatically prioritizes incidents and gets them efficiently addressed in the field.
Manage and maintain high-level assets with IBM Maximo Application Suite, using AI and analytics to optimize performance, extend asset lifecycles and reduce operational downtime and costs.
Empower the connected technician with intelligent mobile enterprise asset management (EAM) to manage any asset, anytime, any place.
Turn data into actionable insights to improve workplace safety. Put compliance at the center of safety, making it easier to identify and eliminate hazards.