Enterprise asset management (EAM) is the maintenance of an organization’s physical assets–equipment, plant, or facilities–to maximize lifespan, reduce costs and downtime, and improve quality, efficiency, and environmental safety. EAM covers the design, commissioning, construction, operation, and decommissioning of assets, and includes monitoring, planning, and prioritizing what maintenance is needed, as well as carrying that maintenance out.
Physical assets are tangible items that a business owns and typically fall into one of three broad categories:
EAM is most frequently seen in industries that involve expensive and complex assets like aerospace or shipbuilding. Ensuring that those high-value assets are in the best working order reduces costs and ensures the business gets maximum return on them. Timely maintenance of assets–when they actually need it according to usage and wear, not simply after a set period of time–reduces the likelihood of them breaking down or operating incorrectly and injuring employees or damaging production materials.
The ultimate goal of enterprise asset management is achieving the best possible utilization ratios and return on asset investment. Not surprisingly, manufacturers are increasingly looking to Industry 4.0 and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to help them achieve this and to remove errors, make smarter decisions, and reduce risks.
Real-time asset health monitoring combined with predictive analytics and smarter work instructions can both predict and prevent problems, and can identify the cause of problems before production is actually interrupted. The net result is up to 50% less unscheduled downtime.
Digital manufacturing solutions mean reduced changeover times and faster routine maintenance. Supported by augmented reality—which reduces maintenance and training time, and increases information retention—it means having a reduction of up to 70% in changeover times and 50% in maintenance time.
A major source of waste in lean production methodologies, work in process can be reduced by real-time production monitoring and digital work instructions. You also get visibility in real time, enabling you to make informed decisions about production that allow for better inventory management. You get a 30% increase in factory output coupled with a halving of scrap.
Traditional asset management approaches rely on a planned schedule of maintenance or only intervene when an asset fails. This increases unplanned downtime and eventually limits asset lifespan. IIoT-driven solutions gather real-time information about users to offer a more intelligent forecast of maintenance needs and increase the useful life of assets.
Health and safety and environmental regulations place increasing demands on manufacturers. Effective maintenance, and monitoring and recording of maintenance activities, is an essential part of compliance. Digital manufacturing solutions make it possible to have those activities automatically recorded and collated at the touch of a button. An additional benefit is that accidents are significantly less likely in machinery that is kept in optimum working condition.
Minimizing waste and maximizing ROI is a fundamental part of the industry today. Proactive maintenance through enterprise asset management reduces asset downtime, increases longevity, reduces accidents, and offers greater control and forecasting of maintenance costs. Digital solutions powered by the IIoT promise manufacturers the opportunity to drive even more value from EAM—reducing errors, increasing cost savings, informing decision-making, and minimizing risks.