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Prove EAM Success Early in Its Adoption with These 4 Indicators

Prove EAM success early with these four indicators

Here are a few indicators we consider irrefutable proof your asset management strategy is well on its way.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and achieving end-to-end enterprise asset management doesn't happen overnight.

The development of a consummate asset management and maintenance strategy takes time and dedication, but once a businesses has gotten into the EAM rhythm, it's difficult to remember what life was like without it.

Understandably, asset-intensive industries fear the upfront costs necessary to initiate or expand asset reliability programs will grossly outweigh the returns on their investments, as anyone naturally would after shelling out considerable capital for something that matures progressively. Business leaders footing the bill want immediate verification that their money went to good use. This places asset managers and maintenance supervisors in a bind to produce evidence of EAM efficacy long before the program has had time to fully gestate.

However, the seeds of a successful EAM strategy start showing signs early in their incubation, especially if overseers know where to look. Here are several indicators we consider irrefutable proof your asset management strategy is well on its way to reducing maintenance spend, lowering failure rates and increasing the life cycle of your most valuable assets.

1. Time Between Failure growth

A little obvious? Maybe, but worth pointing out. As business leaders invest in EAM solutions, maintenance professionals should see Time Between Failures expand at a commensurate rate. As EAM enthusiasts are well aware, as asset management programs become more innovative and utilize sensor technology, total equipment failures occur less frequently.

"Maintenance spend should hover between 10% to 15% of total production spend."

So, where should maintenance spend typically reside if processes are EAM optimized? According to research from Manufacturing Benchmarking, maintenance spend should hover between 10 to 15 percent of total production spend to be considered optimized to EAM standards. Initial investment may inflate total investment and maintenance allocation, so be sure to take that into consideration when determining success.

Additionally, planned maintenance should be above 85 percent of all maintenance operations. Don't be fooled by higher than anticipated maintenance-versus-total-manufacturing costs if your unplanned maintenance hasn't dropped below 15 percent of maintenance operations. This is not necessarily a sign of a bad investment, but an indication your organization is still working out the kinks.

2. 'Squeezed' low-versus-high variance

Production volumes always reflect poor equipment performance. How could they not? When assets fail outright and a plant calls in maintenance professionals to fix the issue, production or service will obviously take a hit.

That said, the mathematical difference between ideal production volumes and production volumes during downtime events should decrease as businesses undertake more intelligent, data-driven asset management strategies. After all, EAM aims to not simply reduce failure events but prevent them altogether by making maintenance more responsive to deficiencies telegraphing future failure events. Thus, early reductions in volume variance connote a step in the right direction.

But fair warning: Once a company fully embraces EAM and proactive maintenance programs, even slight production volume variance could still indicate trouble in need of rooting out, particularly if those inefficiencies occur continually and with the same equipment. Only during the initial integration period could any form of production variance be a good thing, and only if it's going down.

3. Identical equipment receives identical operational and maintenance strategies

Asset "babysitting," as we'll refer to it, may not be as easily tracked as other key performance indicators, but can still offer a lot of insight into whether innovative asset management strategies prove their worth at the beginning of adoption.

"No equipment in your facility should receive special treatment."

What do we mean by "babysitting?" True EAM is an equal opportunity discipline operating under the belief no equipment in your facility should receive "special treatment." Why? Because that’s usually a sign of wastefulness.

Perhaps a piece of finicky equipment requires more attention at changeover because components stick. Perhaps maintenance crews assigned to investigate one machine cannot attend to its inner wiring through the same entry point as they would for identical equipment. These deviations, however slight, represent old-world reactive thinking when industries today strive to make asset management and maintenance more predictable and standardized. Therefore, a reduction in incidence of this nature is an earmark of a prosperous EAM program.

But how do plant managers find reduction figures for something tantamount to tribal knowledge? Yes, casual conversations with operators and maintenance professionals could help draw conclusions one way or another, but selecting the right EAM software would prevent productivity losses stemming from fireside chats. IBM Maximo, for example, allows users to freely capture operational and maintenance data, even the hard-to-describe actions that detract from efficiency, and share them easily with co-workers.

4. Rising RCA success rate

Continuing from our last point on addressing bad actors, root cause analysis represents a noteworthy chunk of upfront EAM investment. After all, traditional reactive maintenance paradigms usually don't perform in-depth asset performance analysis at all. Its inclusion in EAM strategies is new territory, and as such incurs cost.

Yet well-conceived RCA is well worth its implementation costs even early on in the EAM initiation process, provided businesses follow a few elementary steps:

  1. The development of a precise Problem Statement
  2. The development of intelligent, potential Cause Categories for the Problem Statement
  3. The development of specific Cause Items for each Cause Category
  4. The pursuit of each Cause Item back to its Root Cause

Investors dread investment when they can't immediately see the results, so those working closest to EAM solutions should show them the way. Next time executives come a-calling, be sure to have these figures at the ready to prove just how successful your EAM program is and will be.

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