Winter is coming. For most of the northern hemisphere, now is the time to break out those cozy sweaters, insulate outdoor water pipes and hunker down for the cold months ahead. For companies, especially those with field equipment, machinery, and other physical assets, preparing those assets for the seasonal challenges winter brings is equally important.

The 2021 Texas power crisis was a testament to the necessity of adequately preparing infrastructure for winter and for continuously keeping aging infrastructure up to prevent unexpected downtime. The same applies to the summer heat’s impact on power grids in parts of the world that might not be equipped to handle high temperatures, just like Texas wasn’t prepared for the freeze.

Thankfully, it’s easier than ever for companies to protect themselves and their infrastructure from such incidents. In a recent IDC Future Enterprise and Resiliency Survey, 49 percent of organizations are investing in digital transformation. In the process, companies are creating new ways to manage their assets, optimize their data, and ultimately improve their standing for both short-term stability and long-term growth. Instituting a predictive maintenance program and ensuring ESG compliance for the sustainability of the business’s operations will be critical to reaching this goal.

What Is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance uses an asset’s performance data, which is collected in real-time, to indicate the health of the equipment. This approach reduces the unplanned downtime between when an asset breaks down and when it’s able to be fixed, sparing emergency maintenance costs.

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Prevent Downtime With Predictive Maintenance

You can use a wealth of data, both from IoT devices and unstructured information collected directly from assets in the field or on the manufacturing floor, for an asset management strategy known as predictive maintenance. Many people think of asset management as a reactive activity, maintenance in its most basic form: something breaks, you fix it. If a filter’s lifespan is three months, you change it every third month.

Predictive maintenance often delivers better results, however. It uses the asset’s performance data, which is collected in real-time, to indicate the health of the equipment. If an organization can maintain assets on such a schedule, it reduces the unplanned downtime between when an asset breaks down and when it’s able to be fixed, sparing those emergency maintenance costs.

To take this idea one step further and fully make use of the technology we have at our disposal, we can share real-time data with an AI and machine learning tool to make predictions. The program can tell when the equipment will need maintenance by combining direct performance data with historical trends and outside factors like the weather. Once it establishes a timeline, AI will create a maintenance schedule or trigger a maintenance request ticket to reduce or eliminate the opportunity for an unexpected failure.

 

Why Asset Management Is Important

In business, asset management is critical to achieving business goals. From monitoring performance in real-time and detecting irregularities to allocating resources and effectively managing aging infrastructure, a strong enterprise asset management (EAM) strategy sets the stage for improving business outcomes and growing for the future.

Maintenance is necessarily more complex for asset-intensive businesses, which rely heavily on the upkeep and output of each piece of equipment. Even a single failure can be critical to the business and in industries like manufacturing, failures can be hazardous to worker safety and the surrounding infrastructure.

For bigger companies, with hundreds or even thousands of assets spread across several locations, the complexity of maintenance scales with each site. In this intricate web, the malfunction of a single asset has the potential to disrupt the seamless workflow of the entire network, potentially impacting critical services such as power or gas. On the other hand, an interconnected network with proper planning in place can ensure that other locations can shoulder more demand while one asset is down.

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Achieving ESG Compliance

In recent years, sustainability has become a bigger focus for businesses facing pressure from both investors and consumers to increase ESG efforts. Maintenance 5.0, the push for smart maintenance and use of connectivity and data, emphasizes practices that maximize resource efficiency, reduce waste, and curb energy consumption.

It creates a positive cycle where ESG regulatory compliance requires more sustainability data, which can be used to improve asset management, which, in turn, benefits the sustainability of the company’s operations. For example, if a manufacturing floor is collecting data on water consumption and can identify ways to reduce its water usage, this makes its operations more sustainable and reduces its operating costs.

Ultimately, achieving greater business results happens with smarter and more efficient operations. Digital transformation is allowing for more connected assets and improved sustainability goals. Asset management is all about aligning a business’s assets to its goals and using those assets to their fullest potential through data collection and analysis.

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