A strategic approach to Asset Performance Management (APM) helps you keep critical equipment and production lines up and running, using the mountains of operational data now available to help you track equipment performance, anticipate the need for maintenance, and prevent breakdowns before they occur. But even in steady economic times, and certainly in the midst of a global pandemic, the decision to embrace the new technology will always be guided by the bottom line: Will the cost of the new system be justified by the efficiencies and cost savings it delivers?
1. Making the best use of human resources
When times are tough, labor costs come under the microscope. But you have to be careful—cutting jobs or scaling back hours without a clear plan for getting the work done runs the risk that mission-critical tasks will fall through the cracks.
That’s a real and present risk in asset management, where the drive for greater efficiency can backfire if a crucial maintenance task is delayed too long, or if the entire maintenance function gets backlogged. The solution is to strike the right balance, using sensor data to spot problems, prioritize maintenance needs, and ensure technicians are deployed when and where they’re needed most.
2. Reducing inventory costs
Without complete visibility on maintenance needs, it’s tempting to keep a larger inventory of spare parts and consumables in stock in case of an unexpected failure. But those inventories are expensive to gather and store, and some items can pass their expiration date before they’re even used.
APM helps identify the key components organizations need to have on hand and which ones are not necessary to keep in inventory. That’s a key advantage that helps you optimize maintenance efficiency and keep costs under control.
3. Keeping food and workers safe
Safety is always a top priority for every business, and it takes on a whole new dimension in the midst of a global health emergency. Eliminating food safety risks and risks to workers are primary responsibilities of any food processing company. This is an essential area of operations where APM really shines, giving you the data and analytics to anticipate risks and prevent costly incidents that delay production and, even more important, could endanger employees’ health.
“With APM,” the Best Practice Guide states, “organizations that perform ongoing monitoring of asset condition, for example using IoT sensors,” can analyze condition and work history data to predict when a piece of equipment will fail and what consequences could result. The advance warning gives you time to take preventive action, keeping your plant floor safe and your essential business processes on track.
4. Supporting sustainability initiatives
A significant portion of consumable food is never eaten. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, it’s estimated that one third of all food is lost or wasted between the farm and the plate. A significant part is wasted in the factory.
Properly maintained processing facilities and trucks not only tackle unnecessary food waste, but it can also help save water and energy. Being able to report on carbon dioxide emissions, water usage, and wastewater pollution is rapidly becoming more important. APM, autonomous maintenance, and the use of IoT sensors help to enforce procedures to capture the needed information consistently, and these tools are making it easier to generate reports on the key criteria required by the regulatory agencies.
5. The dawn of precision budgeting
The need for rigorous cost control is nothing new to any business. But imagine bringing a whole new level of precision to your budgeting process, thanks to an asset performance management platform that allows you to predict the assets your business will need to buy or replace, based on a given set of business objectives and operating conditions.
According to the Best Practice Guide: “APM enables organizations to capture large amounts of data from assets over time, perform failure analysis and then model what will happen under various conditions in order to create more precise budgets.” The platform delivers on that promise by consolidating data on past asset performance, current performance and risk status, capital replacement priorities, and more.
By evolving your EAM strategy to incorporate APM capabilities, organizations can manage and analyze the vast amounts of data and automated workflows necessary for predictive and prescriptive maintenance—and better understand assets, predict failures, and manage failures.
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