Most common challenges in electrical and automation asset management that could put your business at risk

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Asset management

Imagine having a car but neglecting its maintenance – irregular oil changes and service checks, worn tires, or no fluid replacement. It once had that new car smell and performed well. But how long until it breaks down and leaves you stuck?

It’s the same for electrical and automation assets.

Whether due to time or budget constraints, lack of knowledge about complex technology, a retiring workforce, or other priority issues – deferred asset management can lead to maintenance shortcomings in the electrical assets and infrastructure. How long until it leaves you stranded? The short answer is ‘not long.’

Deferred asset maintenance can be expensive. Studies show that every dollar deferred elicits a future four-dollar expense, not including possible collateral damage.

Coupled with this insight, we’ve gathered data over the past decade through our on-site audits and data analysis, revealing some interesting results common to almost every facility installation.

Five discoveries from our customer audits

We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work with our customers over the years and appreciate the valuable insights we’ve been able to capture from our site audits.

Here are the major insights we’ve uncovered:

1) 98% of sites had potential operator and electrical installation safety risks

Almost without exception, every site had direct safety risks, including:

  • Accessible live parts under voltage
  • Damaged or lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) or equipment
  • Corroded cables
  • Damaged insulation systems
  • Underrated (vs. the installation’s nominal value) equipment.

These potential risks can be disastrous — a fatality, electrical fire, poor service continuity, and damaged company image.

2) 76% had no or only partial electrical or digital monitoring systems

Facilities have a minimal vision of their electrical infrastructure without connected digital devices like power meters and sensors; they have a very limited vision of its electrical infrastructure. Without the right sensors, maintenance personnel have difficulty identifying and resolving issues before they cause downtime or damage to equipment.

3) 98% of sites did not follow manufacturer maintenance recommendations

Adhering to manufacturer recommendations is crucial; however, most audited facilities did not. Failure to do so can result in:

  • Avoided warranty, making the facility responsible for any repairs or replacements
  • An increase in failure risks and non-proper operation of protective devices could lead to a shutdown
  • Less efficient equipment leads to higher site costs and (in some industries like health care or food service) leaves a facility in non-compliance with regulations and guidelines requiring specific maintenance procedures

4) 79% used obsolete electrical equipment

A typical electrical installation could be over 10 years old. Depending on how an installed base was managed, several devices within the system may be obsolete – meaning a device is no longer available or serviceable.

If these devices stay operational, there is usually no noticeable problem, but what if a breakdown occurs? Facility operators face increased downtime, possible safety hazards, and reduced efficiency. Obsolete electrical equipment is also incompatible with modern technology, limiting the ability to access digital features.

5) 71% lack the spare parts to ensure service continuity

Most sites struggle with spare parts management. Identifying the right inventory versus service continuity and feeders criticality could be quickly a headache. In addition, some equipment manufacturing/lead time may reach several weeks.

Any shutdown can lead to significant production and financial losses in a very short time.

How asset management services can help

These insights underscore the challenges of maintaining an electrical facility. Asset management services provide facility managers and owners expert guidance on managing and maintaining their electrical systems and helping ensure electrical assets are always safe and running at peak efficiency.

Our expert consultants help ensure a successful, long-term service relationship by:

  • Helping you identify and mitigate potential risks
  • Improving infrastructure visibility by implementing electrical and digital monitoring systems
  • Recommending best-practice maintenance to prevent downtime and equipment damage
  • Ensuring your electrical installations are well-designed to help avoid potential safety issues and are future-proof to adapt to company strategy evolutions.
  • Providing digital twin solutions to digitize paper-based electrical single-line diagrams, allowing for more efficient maintenance and management of the facilities.
  • Delivering a plan to address electrical equipment obsolescenceSupporting your spare parts management to maximize service continuity and prevent significant production and financial losses due to shutdowns

To learn more about our key insights from a decade of audit results, download our report and learn more about our EcoConsult Services.

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