Cost Reduction Strategies for Utilities Part 4: Strategic Asset Management and Asset Health Tracking

Strategic Asset Management and Asset Health Tracking

The approach to asset management and asset health continues to evolve. The ability to gather, store and use data analytics to makes sense of large amounts of real-time data is giving rise to strategic asset management solutions that are more intelligent than the ones available even five years ago.

Today, utility asset managers can have access to higher quality "realtime" data. For instance, with mobile devices with barcode scanners technicians can record and tag the results of equipment maintenance and test result so their values can be tracked against acceptable norms to flag any abnormalities that may warrant further inspection. If this information can be monitored and tracked for all major or critical equipment, then at any time there’s a good indication of enterprise wide assets health. With data at fingertips it is easy to start looking for patterns such as assets nearing end of optimal useful life before reliability metrics start being impacted or risk of costly catastrophic failure start becoming unacceptable resulting in long-term operational savings.

In fact, using data analytics with intelligent algorithms analyzing various operating conditions, equipment failure scenarios and likely impacts it is possible to flag the zones of system weakness. Then applying dynamic modelling of severe weather scenarios it could be possible to start predicting with some level of confidence potential upcoming problems that may crop-up for example on a hot summer day, heavy rain or during a high wind, ice storm or during outage conditions.

Ultimately, helping utilities to better focus their resources and response strategies on the weak spots. In addition, having good asset health data equips utility executives with a dashboard to help them play various asset management scenarios, for instance to refurbish or replace, and better focus their opex investments to get the most life and utilization from their existing assets while reducing costly system failures and customer disruptions.

Guest Author: Ahsan Upal

Ahsan Upal