It’s time to talk about Asset Optimization. But before we do that, let’s recap. This post is the final in a 4-part series on Asset Performance. Imagine you’ve taken all my advice so far, and you’re on your way to enhancing Asset Performance. First of all you addressed Asset Reliability and made sure your assets are running and available. Secondly you looked at Maintenance Excellence, picked the right strategy for maintenance and you’re using your budget effectively and avoiding unplanned downtime. Now what?
The next step is to ask yourself ‘are your assets running as efficiently as they could be’?
This is where Asset Optimization comes into your Asset Performance Management strategy. Asset Optimization is like the Goldilocks of Asset Performance.
The right balance gives you the best of both worlds
Today in business we hear about the ‘Goldilocks Principle’. As we all know Goldilocks and the three Bears is about a little girl with golden hair who goes for a walk in the forest and stumbles on the house of three bears. She finds three bowls of porridge, three chairs and three beds. Only one bowl of porridge, one bed and one chair is ‘just right’ to eat, sleep in and sit in.
As in Goldilocks, Asset Optimization is about finding that sweet spot where things are ‘just right’ and you produce the maximum quality output at the minimum energy and raw materials input. In other words, optimizing asset productivity and profitability dynamically, while the asset’s running. Of course, the equipment must also operate within its safe working envelope.
The path to Asset Optimization – how to get it just right
The key to ‘Optimization’ is that it’s not just about reducing the use of energy or raw materials to the absolute minimum. Those things only matter if production output volume and quality both remain solid. If either of these suffer then it wouldn’t really be optimized, would it? As in the Goldilocks story, it doesn’t matter what size the chair is if it breaks when sat on. It has to be just right in every respect.
A cement crusher is good example. The more rocks you use the more energy it uses. It also won’t produce a good quality output because it doesn’t crush the rocks evenly. However, if you’re too cautious and add too few rocks, your productivity will also suffer. If you can find just the right amount, you will be operating much more efficiently in terms of energy usage.
The balance between output, raw material use and energy is constantly changing. To maintain this balance at just the right levels, it must be continually adjusted in real time, which is why accessing processes and reacting to real-time data is so important. IIoT solutions help by connecting to data from other facility systems (power distribution, forecasting, procurement, quality etc.) and including these in the calculations.
Remain competitive while improving sustainability
The benefits of Asset Optimization include both Increased equipment availability and improved operational efficiency and profitability by allowing you to:
- Reduce your energy usage
- Increase production output
- Maintain output quality
- Optimize asset life
- Reduce unplanned downtime while make more effective use of resources
Asset Optimization is a big one when you consider that on average 75% of an industrial enterprise’s energy is used by the process, and 75% of the capital used to build a plant goes into production machinery. You can’t get away from using energy in industrial processes, but you can make sure every kilowatt, BTU or ton of raw material you do use really counts. What’s more, making the assets last longer by using them asset more efficiently is another big plus.
For more on how to get started with your Asset Performance Management strategy, download this free white paper.