Enterprise Asset Management: Top 5 predictions for 2018
The current uptick in the economy creates an opportunity for companies to catch up with the investments they should have been making, to return productivity growth to its full potential.
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Editor’s Note: Kevin Price is Infor’s Technical Product Strategist, specializing in enterprise asset management.
The enterprise asset management (EAM) industry is moving to the cloud—but not everyone has bought into the idea that digitizing their maintenance operation will improve performance and profitability.
According to McKinsey, many asset-intensive industries such as oil and gas, chemicals, mining, and construction are lagging behind other sectors in the digitization of asset management. This trend has been especially pronounced since 2009 when these industries began underinvesting in asset management because of the market crash and correlates strongly to reduced productivity growth today.
For asset-intensive industries, profitability and growth depend on how efficiently assets are employed—including minimizing downtime, maximizing availability, and managing changeovers. The current uptick in the economy creates an opportunity for companies to catch up with the investments they should have been making, to return productivity growth to its full potential.
Here are the top five predictions of trends that will impact EAM in 2018.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Obviously, the IoT is already here, but it is going to become more prevalent as the cost of devices like GPS trackers, digital cameras, and smart sensors continues to decrease. IoT and EAM are foundational elements of Smart Cities, which monitor the conditions of all critical infrastructure, guided by eight principles: smart energy, buildings, mobility, healthcare, infrastructure, technology, governance, and education/citizens.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Smart Cities create mass amounts of complex data requiring intelligent analysis. Big Data and analytics unquestionably contribute, but AI can help improve data handling. AI—already present in systems like Amazon’s Echo—is expanding to EAM systems. We can communicate with these systems using natural language; for example, by asking “How many PM work orders do we have on track 17?” The system will extract the data so managers can spend time making critical decisions, rather than running reports.
Automated condition assessment
The reliability of equipment and infrastructure previously depended on the quality of visual inspection and an accurate estimation of condition rating. However, visual inspection has limitations: it is time-consuming, provides incomplete information, and varies by inspector. Automating condition rating, based on digital image analysis, is the solution—and can be accomplished via mobile devices, drones, and other methods.
It is essential that an EAM solution is purpose-built and relevant to industry needs. In the industrial manufacturing sector, companies need the ability to predict future capital allocations and their impact. In the chemical industry, asset management helps meet regulatory and compliance mandates efficiently. In food and beverage, EAM empowers the business to respond to changing customer demands while optimizing recipes and formulas and minimizing waste due to shelf-life issues.
Software systems, to be applicable in the modern world, must be capable of scaling to accommodate the demands of unprecedented growth. The platform must offer high uptime, with the ability to handle elastic demand. Modern architecture and innovative solutions scale to add computing power as needed.
Companies looking to return EAM productivity to its full growth should watch and leverage these five trends in 2018.
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