I’ve talked in the past about the value of Enterprise APM, the components necessary to implement it and the benefits it brings. One item that we haven’t covered is how to implement APM and which use cases to consider. To begin with, foundational elements such as a well implemented EAM with defined work processes need to be in place. After that, every company is different and there are multiple variables to consider as to where to start (which makes an APM Assessment very helpful). However, there are three immediate use cases that can generally bring the most value from APM.
The below implementations are useful because they fill gaps in companies’ operations and provide real business solutions. What if you could digitally transform and automate almost all your work processes? What if you could predict problems before they happen? Or examine and disassemble an entire asset virtually? These are all possible with APM. These solutions are being used in the real world today – Infineum increased plant availability above 90% by digitally empowering their workforce, and Tata Power saved almost $300,000 with a single predictive maintenance catch.
Empower the digital workforce with APM
APM allows a complete digital transformation of the working process. Mobile operator rounds increase operator situational awareness, improve safety and ensure operators always follow best practices. As a result, operational efficiency, asset performance and reliability improve substantially. Best practice enforcement is also helpful in maintaining standardization and regulatory compliance across multiple sites. Knowledge transfer is another helpful benefit – newly trained workers replacing retiring operators are empowered with best practices. Otherwise that institutional knowledge would simply be lost.
In addition, real-time field data collected from stranded assets adds another valuable source of information. With the data captured from mobile operator rounds, users across the company can have a truly holistic view of how assets are performing. Automated workflows mean that once an issue is flagged, the proper alerts are immediately sent and maintenance can take corrective action.
Catch problems before they occur
Industrial companies are awash in big data – the question is how to take advantage of that data. Condition-based and predictive maintenance leverage a company’s industrial big data to improve asset performance and reliability. These solutions can save millions of dollars for the enterprise. Condition-based maintenance solutions monitor pre-configured conditions of asset health. Once an asset’s data meets these conditions, automated workflows can start a business process. For mission-critical assets, predictive asset analytics solutions analyze an asset’s base operating state. The solution then uses advanced pattern recognition and machine learning to detect fluctuations in the operating pattern. This means companies can catch problems days, weeks or months before traditional HMI alarming would. Early warning alerts and automated workflows mean operators can take early action to improve asset performance and reliability.
Read our Strategic Guide to Digital Transformation to see why digital transformation is necessary for manufacturers who want to remain competitive
Visualize and manipulate a virtual asset
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are two of the most exciting developments in digital transformation. AR/VR offers numerous benefits from design/development, to training, to operations and maintenance. At the design stage, engineers can use AR/VR to model and construct an asset for maximum efficiency in operation. Then, during operations users can access a digital model of the asset to understand current asset health and strategize asset operations for maximum return on investment. If an asset requires inspection or corrective action, maintenance engineers can combine AR/VR capabilities for an ‘augmented’ user experience that improves workforce efficiency and safety. With integrated Enterprise Asset Management software, maintenance can automatically order replacement parts if needed and optimize maintenance scheduling and downtime for the least impact to operational activities. This means AR/VR can have significant benefits across the entire asset and operations lifecycle to improve profitability and maximize return on capital.
To learn more about the value of APM and digital transformation, download our Strategic Guide to Digital Transformation and infographic.