Better production efficiency, optimal plant condition, and minimal downtime – these requirements apply to companies across industries from chemical and pharma to food production and logistics. At the same time, success in competitive markets requires strict cost control and compliance with health, safety, and environment (HSE) regulations. Managing this complexity can be challenging and is often further complicated by a lack of transparency and collaboration, poor documentation, and limited access to asset data. This is precisely where Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions come in. EAM systems collect all the data and information relating to a company’s assets in one central location to empower the business to make the most of this knowledge.
Cloud-based EAM solutions enable the management of all physical assets from machinery and equipment to vehicles and buildings throughout their entire lifecycle. By bringing together all the information relating to planning, executing, and documenting maintenance-related activities, they provide companies with a holistic overview of the performance of their assets and the costs relating to them. They can also enhance how other processes, such as those relating to knowledge sharing and retention, materials, tools, and data are managed. Ultimo is strongly represented in manufacturing (chemical, food, oil and gas, machinery and packaging). But also other sectors, like infrastructure, healthcare, environment and energy, and logistics are well supported.
Higher plant availability through better-planned maintenance
Unscheduled maintenance or repairs can be a serious problem for plant managers, especially in the manufacturing sector. Even short downtime can translate into high costs and have a significant impact on profitability. EAM systems can mitigate these risks: by collecting data on the plant condition, they help plant managers make well-founded decisions about the maintenance of their assets. Ideally, this insight enables maintenance to be carried out before an unplanned shutdown occurs, enhancing plant availability and futureproofing operation. However, these intelligent maintenance models require cloud-based EAM systems that leverage the latest IoT technologies to allow maintenance and servicing based on data and risk analyses.
Data-based cost control
Reliable data on operations and maintenance history is also crucial for making carefully planned decisions relating to asset maintenance. Leading EAM systems make it easy for asset managers to monitor and manage asset conditions and keep track of maintenance costs. They provide an overview of all activities and help identify cost drivers, inefficient maintenance processes, and unprofitable assets. The software can also be used to monitor critical KPIs to enable continuous process optimization and improved cost efficiency.
Extended service life
For most businesses, the ideal maintenance strategy achieves a long service life and high productivity while maintaining low maintenance costs. Ultimo’s cloud-based EAM platform helps asset managers meet these goals by visualizing different strategies to show how the plant condition can change depending on whether maintenance is performed. Based on these insights, asset managers can maximize their resources and find the best way to plan maintenance and replacement activities to extend asset life and enhance productivity.
Integrated HSE and asset management
To help asset managers simplify the management of vital processes, Ultimo has integrated HSE management into its EAM platform. The software displays the status of all assets in real-time, enabling all stakeholders to view the same information. This helps identify and minimize risks to employees, equipment, resources, and the environment. Furthermore, by hosting the required documentation in Ultimo, maintenance managers can easily manage the execution of tasks and demonstrate compliance with the regulation.
Improved knowledge retention
Many companies rely on the expertise of long-serving employees who know the assets, and their maintenance, inside out. With a lot at stake, keeping this knowledge within the company is crucial, especially when employees retire or leave. To ensure no vital information is lost, Ultimo records process digitally. This way, details of all maintenance issues, and the measures taken to resolve them, can be easily recalled when needed. As a result, businesses are well equipped to deal with maintenance challenges even during staff absences, with centrally stored information and insight available to everyone involved. This enables better information sharing across departments and locations – a key step to enabling successful operation during times of unexpected disruption, as recently highlighted by the COVID19 pandemic.
Efficient and quick maintenance
Enterprise Asset Management systems can also be used to improve how maintenance tasks are carried out and communicated between teams, providing plant managers with a safe way to make the most of the available resources, for example, by redistributing responsibility through autonomous maintenance. When standardized processes and instructions are stored and recorded in Ultimo, the operating staff can perform recurring minor maintenance activities, such as cleaning and lubrication. This saves time and costs and allows the maintenance team to concentrate on more complex jobs and predictive maintenance. The cloud-based platform simplifies knowledge-sharing and cooperation between different departments, including maintenance, safety, and operations, facilitating quick reactions to potential issues to protect uptime and productivity. At the same time, it allows businesses to make full use of the expertise the plant operators have gained through the time they’ve spent working with the equipment.
Enterprise Asset Management: tools for the future
EAM systems help companies break down data silos, introduce greater transparency and optimize how data, information, and practical knowledge are shared and retained in the company. This creates the basis for well-planned asset maintenance and repairs decisions and improves resource management and documentation. By providing plant managers with a comprehensive and holistic view of their assets, Enterprise Asset Management systems enable them to protect uptime, cut costs, increase service life, and ensure compliance with the regulation.