Going beyond alerts and advisories with intelligence
As discussed previously in this blog series, implementing an optimized asset strategy can provide great initial benefits such as reduced maintenance spend and lower risk to asset failure. However, a key consideration that needs to be accounted for is the initial creation of a strategy is a ‘point in time’ decision based upon currently conditions and other assumptions. As we know, Industrial environments are dynamic; business objectives change, equipment ages, asset health degrades, process conditions flex, maintenance and inspection activities are performed and each one of these elements components can negatively impact the value of a ‘point in time’ or ‘static’ strategy. We believe the key to truly optimizing asset performance and getting long term value from an asset strategy is to connect the risk of failure to these dynamic elements, monitor emerging threats in near real time and drive proactive action when increased risks are detected. We call these living strategies which are a key characteristic to an intelligent asset strategy.
Intelligent asset strategies provide organizations with alerts and advisories via condition monitoring data, engineering or design data, safety and compliance data, process condition data and maintenance history data. But we’ve also placed intelligence behind those alerts and advisories (health indicators) through the concept of policies. Policies are a very robust way of combining human knowledge, industry standards, and compliance standards into one solution and having them work effectively for your organization. Policies integrate the strategy definition, appropriate input data sources, the analytical routine to determine the appropriate proactive action and automatically drive implementation processes.
As sensors and monitoring systems have become more prevalent, one of the more popular use cases for a living or dynamic asset strategy is driving condition based maintenance (CBM) programs. We have seen many customers use the policy capability, within Predix Asset Performance Management (Predix APM), to take very simple conditional inputs such as vibration levels or flow rates, assess against known failure risk thresholds and automatically drive proactive maintenance activities to optimize maintenance resources and minimize downtime. However, intelligent asset strategies go beyond CBM approaches and our customers continue to amaze us with many forms of an intelligent asset strategies, other examples include:
- Dynamically measuring integrity operating windows against risk based inspection damage mechanisms to detect if process excursions have shifted integrity risk or require an adjustment in inspection plan to comply with regulations
- Ensuring key strategy recommendations (such as maintenance or inspection activities) are not sitting in an EAM execution backlog thus creating another hidden risk to the business
- Automatically detecting machine start and stop events to more accurately measure equipment downtime and potential production plan impacts
- Leveraging smart instrumentation to measure, in real time, the integrity of safety systems
These are just a few examples of implemented intelligence and one of our customers recently shared with us that they have implemented over 10,000 intelligent asset strategies in their organization! We believe one of the key reasons for the diversity and scale of intelligent strategies with our customers is why we designed the Policy application for direct use by equipment experts in a very intuitive environment. GE Digital's APM provides the integrated view of key asset data and with Policies we have given the resources that understand the asset, potential risks, detection methods and the appropriate mitigation plan the tools to define and implement the intelligence without having to really on software programmers.