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What is Asset Performance Management (APM)?

WHAT IS ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT?

Asset Performance Management (APM) is the practice of tracking the use and condition of fixed assets throughout all company locations to optimize their efficiency and effectiveness. APM processes are critical to asset-intensive organizations where asset idleness and degradation threatens business goals and poor asset maintenance jeopardizes environmental, health & safety compliance. Additionally, underperforming assets contribute to unplanned downtime which is often vastly more expensive than the alternative plan of regularly scheduled maintenance, some reports warn it could be up to 10 times more costly.

To combat this and reduce total cost of ownership, many companies have turned to Asset Performance Management software. Asset Performance Management software approaches optimizing asset lifecycle performance using a data-driven methodology. Collecting data, interpreting, optimizing, and visualizing are basic features, with more sophisticated APM applications able to predict and prescribe courses of actions based on current conditions of the asset (real-world condition at the moment).

The best APM apps will offer prognostic features, which anticipate if, when, and how the asset/machine/component will fail, and then prescribing a plan of maintenance before the critical failure. Data variables that contribute to prognostic software can be exceptionally detailed, such examples can include the monitoring of bearings, gearboxes, tires, electrical load, vibrations, road conditions, etc. This translates, for example, in understanding which vehicles within a fleet are undergoing more stress and in need of sooner maintenance.

KEY COMPONENTS OF ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Asset Performance Management software provides features for tracking fixed assets and their performance to optimize utilization. To be considered an APM, the package must include features that consolidate fixed asset data, track performance using KPIs, identify trends and risks, suggest improvements, and track financials. 

  • ·Asset Management — The asset management component of APM software draws in data from various sources, often through IIoT, to compile a database of asset models that can be used to predict degradation, risks, and anticipate asset fixes.
  • Risk Identification — Performance is the main aim of APM software. Therefore, quality apps will stress accurate early identification of risks and asset degradations. This component relies on real-time analytics and predictive models to highlight key actions at risk, as well as mitigating responses.
  • Maintenance Prioritization — Maximum asset utilization comes with additional costs, namely regulatory and HSSE costs. Maintenance prioritization algorithms provide large organizations optimal maintenance schedules that maximize their team’s limited time and resources while prioritizing the most vital repair issues.
  • Prognostic Analytics — Prognostic analytics essentially allows organizations to see the future of their asset’s health and make trade-offs based on multiple likely future outcome scenarios. The knowledge of future critical levels and when they will probably occur allow teams to optimize their corrective actions before a critical event occurs, putting companies ahead of their business goals.
HOW ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS WORK?

Asset performance management software connects disparate data sources and leverages analytics to turn data into insights. Using data management, pattern recognition, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, APM packages can look across multiple sites, finding familiar patterns, and suggest optimizations accordingly. 

These features are incredibly powerful for efficiency and optimization, with Digital Twin modeling, a new approach and technology for modeling real-world objects with a virtual representation, raises the bar. With Digital Twins, assets can be modeled, put under stress tests, and detect even hyper-subtle opportunities of failures that potentially could save high-value assets, or assets far from reach such as spacecraft or submersibles.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN APM AND CMMS?

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs) are used by small and medium companies that need to manage assets and equipment. CMMSs help track and optimize the use of assets and their maintenance. Tracking can cover multiple stages of the product's useful life from acquisition to disposal. CMMS features are also found in enterprise asset management (EAM) systems, but EAMs deliver advanced features, including Automation and AI techniques, for complex organizations in asset-intensive industries like manufacturing, government, energy, mining, or construction.

Asset performance management (APM) software is specifically designed to optimize the use of fixed assets by deploying more powerful analytics associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). APM functionality is often included in EAM packages, making them the most robust solutions for tracking and optimizing assets.

ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT BUSINESS BENEFITS

Asset Performance Management software benefits asset-intensive organizations, so they can achieve operational efficiency and ultimately improve profitability. To achieve this, APM has several key benefits:

  • Anticipates Risks and Resolves Before Critical Events Occur — APM software makes major improvements in asset performance by reducing unplanned downtime, a critical challenge for maintenance teams and asset managers. Using predictive and prognostic analytics, APM software can anticipate critical events based on real-time conditions combined with other data indicators and determine a resolution before risking downtime. 
  • Maximizes Time Management — The benefit of using insights about future downtime and anticipating critical security risks with their appropriate resolution allows teams to eliminate many time-consuming practices while retaining essential routines that maximize worker schedules. 
  • Extends Useful Life of Assets — Because asset performance becomes more efficient, their economic life is extended thereby reducing capital expenditures over time as fewer assets need to be replaced as often. 
  • Data Optimizations — A repository of structured data captured from assets creates a historic record that smooth job transitions, much like patient records, teams can refer to an accurate chronicle of jobs performed on the asset. Further analytics on this data could suggest asset optimizations that can improve its efficiency and usable life.
  • ·Streamlines Compliance Management — Compliance management also improves with streamline workflows and embedded reporting.
WHY IS ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?

Successful asset performance management reduces unplanned downtime, decreases maintenance costs, and mitigates environment, health, and safety (EH&S) risks. By leveraging data that enterprise assets automatically generate, APM systems can identify ineffective processes, and direct worker and manager efforts towards process improvements. Systems can target maintenance tasks for specific assets and times displayed on convenient digital dashboards and reclaim the many wasted dollars and man hours lost to miscommunications, errors, and disconnects. Likewise, thanks to automated digital scrutiny of historic asset maintenance records, many regulatory and compliance obligations can be systematically handled, reducing costly risks.

WHAT IS ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY?

Asset performance management is the set of practices a company undertakes to improve company-wide asset usage while reducing costs. Companies can implement any number of approaches based on their resources. The following are some of the strategic approaches that best-in-class organizations have found have led to their successes.

  • Advanced asset performance management and analytical capability — Implement a tech stack that captures data from assets, then draws analytical insights using the latest analysis techniques such as with AI. Best-in-class companies invest in monitoring assets with hyper detail, e.g., indicators like machine vibration can help predict future downtime, and call for preventative maintenance.
  • Continuous improvement programs in place — Adopting a culture of rapid incremental improvements can help deliver value quickly after performance bottlenecks are discovered. Intermittent breakthrough improvements, although useful like when installing APM software where there was none before, are important, however they can leave long stretches of time open to underperformance.
  • Improve effectiveness of maintenance operations — Continuous improvement depends on improving overall maintenance operations. Tracking maintenance metrics, maintenance team training, maintenance planning and scheduling, improving worker morale, and improved basic maintenance systems are just some ways maintenance operations can be improved. The key is to measure and improve, raise the bar, and not allow teams to settle for good enough.
HOW SHOULD YOU IMPLEMENT ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT?

Standards and best practices surrounding asset performance management are rapidly developing within many industries. The following five considerations can guide organizations in succeeding implementing asset performance management practices.

  • Foster a Data-Driven Culture — APM software is intrinsically data-driven, and only begins at the capturing of data. Without a culture that understands the importance of data insights, the road to implementation success will take longer. Fostering a company culture with members that see value in leveraging data for use in accomplishing their work tasks and increasing their performance is already half the journey. Cultures that operate data focus will reap rewards from the benefits of APM software.
  • Develop APM Strategies that Aligns with Business Goals — APM directly impacts business goals but aligning APM strategy to specific business goals with key performance indicators (KPIs) helps teams continuously improve performance and demonstrate value to leadership.
  • Right Technology — Not all software solutions are built equal, and a greater mistake may be installing a package that is missing functionality needed, rather than having extra functionality. Two key pieces of wisdom to remember are understand your current needs and assets and anticipate your future needs and assets. If this is exceptionally daunting because there are too many assets, or the team lacks the necessary experience, consult an expert, and gradually start implementing by configuring APM monitoring with a select few priority assets.
  • Hire Necessary Skills — APM systems will require new teams with fresh skills or upskilling current teams. Hire new people or train your best. Either way, anticipate needing personnel to handle new systems that rely on analytical skills, IT skills, and communication and dispatch skills. Also, as APM systems improve worker performance, anticipate shifting personnel and resources to other tasks.
  • Integrate Your APM Systems with Complementary Systems — By integrating your APM data with other system data, like ERP, CRM, and BI software, new insights can be uncovered. For example, predictive maintenance schedules help ERP software procure and allocate resources more efficiently.
ASSET PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS

Asset Performance Management software approaches optimizing asset lifecycle performance using a data-driven methodology. Collecting data, interpreting, optimizing, and visualizing are basic features, with more sophisticated APM applications able to predict and prescribe courses of actions based on current conditions of the asset (real-world condition at the moment). 

The best APM apps will offer prognostic features, which anticipate if, when, and how the asset/machine/component will fail, and then prescribing a plan of maintenance before the critical failure. Data variables that contribute to prognostic software can be exceptionally detailed, such examples can include the monitoring of bearings, gearboxes, tires, electrical load, vibrations, road conditions, etc. This translates, for example, in understanding which vehicles within a fleet are undergoing more stress and in need of sooner maintenance.

For software to be considered an asset performance management solution it must have the following functionality:

  • Consolidate fixed asset data from multiple sources and/or locations
  • Provide standardized KPIs to accurately track asset performance
  • Analyze performance data and identify trends and risks that impact assets
  • Deliver responses and optimizations to improve asset usage
  • Track the financial performance of fixed assets
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