Asset optimisation and management

Chris Allen / Lots Road Pumping Station / CC BY-SA 2.0

Optimising assets how to start

Chris Allen / Lots Road Pumping Station / CC BY-SA 2.0

Optimising performance needn’t be a pain in the asset

Utility providers are facing two key challenges. Supplying an increasing population and at the same time mitigating the effects of climate change. In the water sector we hear about increasing cases of flooding and on the other hand, cities running out of drinking water. At the same time as battling these extremes, providers must also manage their own effect on the environment.

The message coming from a variety of conferences and reports is “You need to optimise and manage your assets”. But what does this really mean and how do you go about it?

What is it?

Asset optimisation is about the physical equipment. Improving the performance of existing facilities to allow them to run more safely, reliably and efficiently.

Asset management is about the processes and decisions required to provide the services required at the best possible cost.

Combined, we call this an Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) system. Its aim is to run what you have, but better.

What are the expected benefits?

The type of benefits from a well-resourced and deployed IAM system include:

  • A decrease in interruptions to supply.
  • Quicker times when a repair is required.
  • The holding of less spare equipment.
  • A reduction in the overall cost to run the maintenance function.
  • Avoidance of big lump sum replacement costs.
  • An increase is asset longevity.
  • Reduced reliance on Capex solutions.
  • Vital knowledge to improve designs in the future.

How can you achieve this?

An effective IAM system has three key components:

  1. Engineering and maintenance competence for the operational tasks.
  2. Business management input. This needs to align strategic objectives with medium term tactical plans and short term operations.
  3. An information management system to allow the best decisions to be made. This underpins both of the functions above.

Fortunately, it’s unlikely you need to start from scratch to create this system. The selective application of known tools and techniques to your existing business functions will enable you to run existing assets more effectively.

We’ve put together this model to show you they key steps to managing and optimising asset performance. It is based on the Planned Maintenance pillar of Total Productive Maintenance. Crucially it requires the contribution of employees across the board, from field teams to planners and managers.

Optimising asset model LCInt

This model encourages a system thinking approach. This means there is a structured approach to understanding current conditions and information before making a decision and acting. As a result you are far more likely to apply an effective solution.

Key measures, such as Overall Equipment Effectiveness, are used to show current performance level and later provide the data for Focussed Improvement Activities and Practical Problem Solving. An asset register is constructed and assets ranked in priority order using structured techniques. This detailed understanding of the assets enables you to select the best maintenance technique for each.

Not every asset requires a preventive maintenance approach utilising expensive analytical technology. Sometimes a predictive approach is most cost effective.

Next steps

If you want to know more about Infrastructure Asset Management an easy to read and informative paper on water supply is here.

Alternatively, contact us and one of our team will take you through a more detailed explanation of the tools and techniques involved.

You need to optimise and manage your assets to meet today’s supply challenges. What does this mean and how do you go about it?

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Optimising assets and PM

“Deploy an Infrastructure Asset Management system to run what you have, but better than before.”

Connect with our team to find out more on 01608 664589 or