Author: Ronnie Taljaard, Chief Operating Officer | International Services and Consulting
Asset management is an integrated discipline that requires competent, consistent and optimal decision-making to find the right compromise between competing interests. Think about:
- Asset utilisation/performance versus maintenance,
- Capital investment cost versus operating expenditure and
- Short-term benefits versus long-term stability
In today’s global and ever-changing environment, a successful maintenance engineer should be able to deal with an array of challenges when designing credible maintenance solutions.
ISO 55000 and best practices
The emergence of ISO 55000 to globally standardise on the application of asset management principles requires a theoretical understanding of best practices in maintenance management.
A thorough understanding of the manufacturing process and the complexity of the assets in question is required to accurately define asset criticality. Not all assets require the same level of sophistication with regards to maintenance.
Sufficient engineering or technical knowledge of the physical asset is the key to understanding the behaviour of the asset, defining and analysing failure patterns and designing effective maintenance strategies according to the principles of reliability centred maintenance (RCM) or the more simplified optimum maintenance mix (OMM) methodology
Spare Parts Management
Effective supply chain management is crucial to ensure that spare parts are available on time when required in support of the maintenance activity. Asset reliability and maintainability can only be achieved when backed up by effective purchasing, stockholding and provisioning systems and processes within an organisation.
Mobility and work planning and control
The design and implementation of effective work planning and control processes, utilising modern mobile technologies and tools that are available today, are key to ensuring optimal resource utilisation and effectiveness.
Information management systems
The evolution of information management systems over the past two decades have led to and open and integrated IT environment, and it is essential for the maintenance activity to have access to a “fit for purpose” and effective computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) in support of the maintenance activity.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT, where all assets will be interconnected in the future, with sensors on machines to make performance data available and to enable machines and people to “talk to each other”, is another element that maintenance engineers should keep their eyes on. Condition monitoring, the early detection of asset deterioration and the initiation of timeous, corrective action will increasingly change the future of the maintenance management activity.
Business intelligence and decision support tools
With asset performance and condition monitoring, data will increase and become more accurate in the future. The focus of engineers will move from the analysis of historical trends to analysing real-time performance information in support of pro-active maintenance management and more effective decision making in support of business objectives. This is also a fast evolving area of asset management; engineers have to ensure that they utilise these tools to the best of their ability to enhance the maintenance function.
Maintenance as an integrated function
Maintenance management is an integrated part of the overall asset management function in the broader organisation, with the involvement of all the related disciplines of marketing and sales, operations, finance, procurement and IT. It is the responsibility of the maintenance engineer to understand and work with all these disciplines to align everyone in the business in support of maintenance goals.
Smart Maintenance Solutions
To deal with these challenges, the maintenance engineer of the future must design and implement smart maintenance solutions to the best possible benefit of their organisations. To do this, they need sound experience, technical knowledge of equipment and the ability to apply best practices in asset management, utilise information management technology and the internet of things (IOT) to optimise the effectiveness of the maintenance activities in their organisations.
Pragma is poised to support maintenance engineers in industry to deal with these challenges. Our engineers have extensive technical and practical experience in various industries, are accredited ISO 55000 practitioners, can design and implement maintenance strategies and can bridge the link between the physical asset and the latest technologies available to design and implement smarter maintenance solutions.