METHODOLOGY

AMSYST’s Asset Management Framework maps the fundamental practices for good asset management,
looking at their nature (strategy or execution) and according to their layer of application
(Operation & Maintenance, Asset Lifecycle, and Asset Footprint).

1 - STRATEGIC ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) is structured in three parts:

  • The Objectives: derived from the organisational objectives. Asset policies will be developed and linked to this section
  • The Approach/Tactic: how the company plans to develop good asset management practices and put in place elements of the framework
  • The System: the framework elements, stakeholders’ roles & responsibilities, performance measure, integration with wider business, etc.

The SAMP represents an ongoing effort to see the company align all equipment related activities to its organisational objectives, as well as providing an effective feedback mechanism from the asset footprint to support the organisation strategic planning.

2 - EARLY EQUIPMENT MANAGEMENT

Early Equipment Management (EEM) is a programme of activities rolled out at an early stage of the asset lifecycle to optimise the assets’ total cost of ownership. It covers all the project phases (asset design, construction and commissioningand ensures the delivery of: reliable and safe equipment / a complete and integrated manual / aligned training of operation & maintenance teams.

It is a crucial activity for the asset, as asset redesign and equipment modifications are extremely costly, usually 10 to 100 fold the original cost. It is also accepted that equipment data and strategies become increasingly difficult to put in place once the asset is in normal operation, as the project focus moves elsewhere and behaviours start to set in.

3 - RELIABILITY & AVAILABILITY ANALYSIS

Reliability & Availability help in understanding the performance “nameplate” of the plant/unit, based on production requirements. Planned stoppages, buffers and redundancies are taken into account, and then combined with individual asset’s reliability data to calculate the capability of the plant: how often will the production be interrupted and for how long, and what percentage of the time will the plant/unit be unavailable for production. A typical study will highlight bottlenecks of various nature: asset not sufficiently reliable, imbalanced design and/or ineffective buffers, insufficient planned downtime to maintain assets. Corrective actions could include: redesign asset, design out issues, modification of the planned downtime structure, add redundancy, etc. This could also be the starting point for the development of Equipment Strategies with a known residual risk to mitigate.

4 - LIFE CYCLE COSTING

The total cost of ownership of an asset is the investment/expenditure costs combined with the cost of performance and risk penalties over the entire asset lifecycle, from specification to retirement. It is used to determine the option that is best aligned with the company’s goals. Equipment selection is a typical context to apply the total cost of ownership calculation: initial purchase costs, added to expected maintenance costs (based on mean time between failures, parts costs, etc.), added to cost of failures (mean time to repair, warning period before failure, etc.). Complete replacement is also a scenario where the total cost of ownership calculation can help decide if it would be better to invest in new equipment compared to dealing with increasing breakdown frequency of an old machine. The total cost of ownership is also used when comparing options in a category plan.

5 - ASSET MANAGEMENT PLANS

Asset Management Plans are developed to control the lifecycle of the equipment. They include major maintenance requirements (overhauls) as well as predicted replacement/retirement (end of life), based on criteria like wear, technical obsolescence, or market requirements. The plan is regularly updated as asset health assessments are conducted and business requirements change. It builds a view of the next 10 years (usually) of expenditures and investments required to sustain the asset function. The collated view of these costs in a plant/factory/network is a major input to the zero based budgeting activity as well as the investment plan for the company. However it also has to form a realistic outlook considering budget restrictions and investment policies set by the company’s strategic and financial functions, within an acceptable level of risk. This ensures the company supports its asset footprint in a way that is best aligned with its goals (operational, financial and sustainability).

6 - ZERO BASED BUDGETING

Building a zero based budget consists of layering planned and predictable costs for a period to form the base of the budget for a given period, with a fixed amount then added to cover unpredictable costs. Planned costs include preventive and predictive activities (inspections, fixed time parts replacement, overhauls driven from the category plans) and investments (equipment replacement also from the category plans or total cost of ownership calculation, asset improvements, etc.).

7 - TURNAROUND MANAGEMENT

Turnaround management can be defined as all the management elements of a turnaround not covered by the day to day operation. Usually, the planning & scheduling, inventory management, problem solving, etc. will be applied in a similar way in the context of a turnaround. However, the unusual amount of equipment maintenance and improvement related activities (as opposed to production activities) really define the turnaround. A turnaround manager will usually be appointed to lead the design, planning, budgeting, and scheduling of the turnaround while the operation manager leads the last production run before the turnaround. The turnaround manager will then take over for the stoppage, decommissioning and preparation of the production area, followed by the execution of the turnaround activities (all activities by projects/maintenance/operation), commissioning and start up, and right through to standard production, where the operation manager will resume his role. The turnaround manager will finally close off the turnaround activities and lead review/learning sessions. The most challenging element of turnaround management is the overlap with standard production periods (before and after). It is therefore essential to manage the turnaround as a separate entity, and resource it adequately in these overlap periods.

8 - ASSET HEALTH ASSESSMENT

The assessment of asset health is a process usually run at a fixed interval, prior to the review of the category plans (as an input). Its purpose is to identify any change to the equipment condition, and/or its technical obsolescence, and/or a change to the asset requirements (product phase out, change in operating load, etc.). The assessment can include an in depth visual inspection (with associated non destructive testing), as well as reports from non intrusive inspections during the period and actual failures. The reliability engineers usually prepare the assessment, helped by third party experts when required. The most important (and difficult) part of the asset health assessment process is to determine what elements to consider, integrate these within the period, and finally collate all the information to form a final view at the end of the period. The period is usually defined as one year, which is why improving the quality of asset health assessment takes many years of dedicated focus.

9 - STRUCTURED PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem solving is a key activity to develop critical thinking at all levels of the organisation, by encouraging learning from critical events, and developing sustainable solutions. It is usually one of the first initiatives to put in place, to generate quick wins, and combat the most burning issues. In turn, the problem solving activity will focus less and less on single critical events, but rather on systemic issues, where repetition and cumulated impacts are considered, and even on potential scenario, targeting bad actors before they reveal themselves.

10 - CRITICALITY RATING

The aim of the criticality rating is to identify assets presenting a significant risk to the business. It considers the severity of each significant event (credible and undesirable), and its probability to occur. The severity is usually defined for each impact category (these will be aligned to the company’s objectives: Health & Safety, Environment, Product Quality, Productivity, Costs). The overall risk calculation places the asset in a risk zone, determining the amount of focus required: critical risks should have the operation team’s full attention and be reduced as soon as possible. High risks (and sometimes medium) will be addressed when activities like equipment strategies and category plans come into play. Low or insignificant risks will usually be deemed acceptable to operate the asset sustainably.

11 - EQUIPMENT STRATEGIES (FMECA/RCM)

The development of equipment strategies is used to maintain the equipment at a desired performance level, within acceptable risk and cost. It delivers the anticipated equipment life cycle and supports the asset during its useful life for the business operation. The output of the strategy will be preventive maintenance activities (essential care, periodic replacement of parts, early failure detection & condition assessment), but also preparation for corrective activities (standard procedures, planned intervention, adequate sparing, etc.). There are multiple processes and methods used to develop equipment strategies, but they all rely on the definition of the asset functions, functional failures, failure modes/mechanisms and root causes.

12 - INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

Inventory Management is the process responsible for ensuring the availability of equipment and spare parts to maintain the function of the asset. It includes the technical specification for sourcing, definition of spare holding levels and rotables (complete equipment used as a spare for quick exchange, then refurbished and returned to store), management of the engineering store (sourcing and purchasing are not included in inventory management).

13 - PLANNING AND SCHEDULING

Maintenance planning & scheduling is the common name used for work order management. The aim of planning & scheduling is to provide effective and efficient execution of maintenance work, by managing both the preventive activities (and therefore controlled) and the unplanned corrective activities. It is an essential activity as it is the only time we can positively and directly influence the equipment operation and lifecycle. It is also one of the few activities that involves most of the production personnel (operation, maintenance and specialists).

Planning & Scheduling commences when a failure is identified (whether it impacts or not production, deviation from standard conditions is considered as a failure) or suspected (in case of preventive maintenance). A work request is issued, then approved and prioritised by the asset owner.

14 - PRECISION MAINTENANCE

Precision Maintenance is a generic term used to capture the essential skills and craft associated with the care of the equipment. It includes alignment, balancing, setup/adjustments, cleaning and lubrication, but also the monitoring of operating parameters (vibration, temperature, contamination, etc.). All these activities are essential to extend the life of asset components, and better understand the condition of the asset.

15 - PERFORMANCE METRICS

Performance Metrics refers to the measure of effectiveness and efficiency in all processes related to the management of assets. It includes high level key performance indicators (like OEE) right through to localised process indicators (like the number of requests raised per day per team). The goal is to monitor engagement and discipline around key processes, while tracking the impact on production outputs and business performance. A good performance metrics system will ensure alignment between teams, and towards the organisation’s objectives.

16 - EQUIPMENT MASTER DATA AND CMMS MANAGEMENT

Data is at the heart of the Asset Management framework and is considered an asset itself. It is very diverse and is used throughout the framework practices, therefore upgrade of the records has to be considered when planning any improvement activity. Most of the data should be stored in the CMMS, where it is required for operational (and strategic) transactions.

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