Kicking the Break/Fix Habit with Asset Management

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As industries look to optimize the performance of assets, the trend is encouraging: Companies are moving away from traditional “break/fix” reactive maintenance or simple time-based predictive maintenance tactics. Leading firms have begun to embrace intelligent maintenance strategies for preventive and predictive maintenance as part of an overall asset management program.

In fact, asset management strategies are on the rise. Industry analyst, ARC, says Enterprise Asset Management and Field Service Management (EAM/FSM) grew an “exceptional” 12.3% in 2012, and will achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% through 2016 and beyond.

The ultimate goal of asset management is to maintain a balance between the costs (monetary and otherwise) of asset replacement (CAPEX) and the operational costs (OPEX) incurred by aging assets. Given today’s dynamic business environment and new corporate initiatives such as sustainability, this is no trivial exercise—and in addition there are many factors impacting asset performance to consider, including:

  • The performance and productivity of maintenance resources
  • The types and status of the assets being managed
  • The richness of the available data about your plant assets

One reason asset management is gaining traction is because companies are realizing the extent to which badly managed assets have a cost ripple effect: Not only do poorly performing assets deliver below optimal performance, but they can also generate waste in your process or cause preventable downtime.

Take the simple example of a modern molded case circuit breaker (MCCB) used in a building’s power distribution system: As the circuit breaker opens and closes, over time the contacts wear down and if not monitored and replaced, will ultimately cause the device to malfunction.

If that happens, it could cause a localized power outage and bring down your entire production line. That’s a big deal in many of today’s high volume manufacturing schemes. Managing this asset electronically with on-board predictive technology (i.e. the breaker sends an e-mail alert before the failure occurs) can ultimately impact your facility’s overall efficiency.

In this increasingly global economy, the pressure to boost profitability is heavy on all of us. Smart companies are already busy adopting asset management strategies utilizing modern analytics technology to effectively manage costs and maximize competitiveness.

Are you involved in asset management and preventive and predictive maintenance initiatives at your company? If so, Schneider Electric professionals can help. We offer a range of asset management consulting services, smart panels, as well as process and machine management solutions and our new line of asset and energy management products for circuit breakers. For more information, contact your local distributor.

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