New Name For Existing Tools

A new buzzword has been coined to describe the range of effects plant operators use to improve asset uptime and extend asset life: Asset performance management, or APM.

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“Asset performance management has become a popular catch-phrase for strategies that can help asset-intensive organizations get more value out of their costly equipment investments,” says Sid Snitkin, vice president and general manager of enterprise advisory services, ARC Advisory Group Inc., in Dedham, Mass. “But it is rare to find two cases where APM means the same thing, making it difficult to compare approaches and evaluate solutions.”

Snitkin notes that many organizations have already achieved acceptable levels of efficiency, consistency and predictability in their operation and maintenance activities. “But they are now looking for more advanced strategies that can take them to the next level,” says Snitkin. “That includes optimization of facility performance in areas like return-on-assets, energy use and carbon emissions. They call such programs asset performance management.”

Part of a successful APM program involves collaboration between teams such as plant operators and maintenance. “A successful APM initiative requires organizations to operate beyond functional boundaries and balance asset availability and utilization by improving collaboration among maintenance and operations teams,” says Mehul Shah, analyst, Aberdeen Group Inc., in Boston. “They need to close the loop by connecting asset performance to corporate performance.”

Shah notes that an Aberdeen benchmark report indicated that best-in-class companies are leveraging advanced asset management capabilities such as analytics and asset performance monitoring while also putting in place process and management capabilities to keep assets at optimal performance. The APM programs are designed to deliver a clear return on investment.

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