Asset Reliability Starts With Ideation: Applying Product Design to Plant Design

quality_cost_to_profit-3.pngMany of LNS Research’s manufacturing clients have product lifecycle management (PLM) processes in place that include design-for-quality or design-for-reliability built into their basic structure that includes quality and reliability criteria, and design principles into the product requirements. These PLM processes start at the ideation or product conceptualization phase.Click here to speak with Dan

As the Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled a plethora of smart products, the need to leverage connectivity as an element of product support and by extension, product reliability, is taken pretty much as a given.

It is time for asset intensive industries to emulate their manufacturing brethren and do the same. Plant or facility design needs to include reliability and the leverage of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) at the earliest stages of the design effort during conceptualization, and carry reliability and IIoT enablement right through to retirement of the facility. The old model of third party driven capital construction at lowest-possible cost with a hand-over to the eventual owner-operator never was a good model and it is only becoming worse in the age of Smart Connected Assets.

APM is to Asset Intensive Industries as PLM is to Manufacturers

Asset performance management (APM) must be thought of in the same context as PLM is in manufacturing. For most product driven companies, PLM comes into play at the ideation phase of product design. This is often referred to as the “as-conceived” bill-of-material (BOM). Throughout the product lifecycle (notice this is the PL of PLM) there are the as-engineered, as-designed, as-manufactured, and as-maintained BOM’s as well. Ideation is the very first element of product design for many manufactured goods, and starts with capturing the fundamental design philosophy of the specific product. Concepts like functionality, quality, and reliability occur during ideation at the best-in-class manufacturing firms. The same needs to occur to become a best-in-class physical asset owner-operator. As soon as the need to construct new facilities surfaces, you need to start capturing and documenting the critical requirements. This must include not only the production requirements, but also the reliability and performance requirements. As with manufactured goods, reliability needs to be designed into the plant from the beginning.

Your APM Systems Need to Support the Asset’s Entire Lifecycle

Just as manufacturers choose their PLM platform and tools to support a product throughout its entire lifecycle, asset intensive industries need to ensure the entire plant lifecycle can be managed. A critical step in this process is understanding how to create and maintain an asset master data structure that will suffice over the entire lifecycle of the plant/asset which may be many decades. One of the greatest problems with the traditional “build then toss over the wall” model of past plant design and construction approaches was the inability to readily take the as-built data, and accurately and easily load it into the APM tools used to operate and maintain the plant.

The importance of crafting an enterprise architecture (EA) that embraces technology choices that support the asset environment throughout its entire life including the retirement or disposal phase can’t be over emphasized. Whether you choose a single-provider solution that meets your functional requirements and future needs, or take a platform approach combining best-in-class applications using a standardized data model as the integration path; your EA plans need to take the long-term perspective. To become a cost-effective asset manager, the cobbling together of disparate point solutions will not allow you to focus on function because you will be distracted by maintaining the integration to enable that single window into your asset performance. To ensure you can achieve operational excellence from your assets:

  • Manage your assets across their entire lifespan
  • Design reliability in from the very first stages, at conceptualization
  • Leverage EA to ensure you have the technology portfolio to support the assets over their lifespan
  • Select solution providers that either offer that platform approach or support a standardized environment that reduce the integration and data integrity burden

Access the LNS Research Asset Performance Management Solution Selection Guide that provides a more in-depth write-up of 20 APM solution providers by key decision making criteria. It is an invaluable resource for organizations that are either just testing the waters surrounding an APM investment as well as those that are further along in their selection journey.Asset Performance Management

All entries in this Industrial Transformation blog represent the opinions of the authors based on their industry experience and their view of the information collected using the methods described in our Research Integrity. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

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