Before I write about what you can currently get from PAS-55 or what you can expect from ISO-55000, let's explore how and where maintenance reliability professionals can influence asset management. For the purpose of this article, physical assets are inferred unless noted.

Asset management is optimizing the lifecycle of an asset to deliver the performance specified by the asset owner in a safe, socially beneficial and environmentally responsible way. This by definition infers the management of both the upside and downside of asset related risk.

"The optimal combination of costs, asset related risks and the performance and condition of assets and assets systems across the whole life cycle." ISO-55000

Asset lifecycle can be simply defined1 as:

  1. Create/acquire
  2. Utilize
  3. Maintain
  4. Renew/dispose

Create/Acquire Asset Management Phase

Maintenance reliability professionals should always participate in the needs analysis for new assets because they usually have a pretty good understanding of the capacity of existing assets. In many cases, existing assets are discovered to be underutilized or are being operated under potential performance levels. Increasing performance of existing assets should always be investigated prior to asking for scarce new capital investment.

Design engineers would do well to involve maintenance reliability professionals in the design phase as well. Physical assets typically have an operate/maintain phase of 10 to 75 years, so a little extra effort to avoid poor quality and low maintainability will pay off.

Handoffs also should be carefully coordinated so all asset information is captured in a format that is useful to operators and maintainers.

Utilize/Maintain Phase

"Delivering the best value for money in management of physical assets is complex and involves careful consideration and trade offs between performance, risk and costs over all of the assets' lifecycles. There are inherent conflicting drivers to manage, such as short-term versus long-term benefits, expenditures versus performance levels, planned versus unplanned availability..." ISO-55000

These two phases are parallel and good relations between operations and maintenance are a must to avoid excessive downtime.

Renew Phase

Most companies are drowning in a sea of data, but most of it is not used to support optimal renewal or replacement. As time passes, most suffer asset information mortality because it is not accessible in a searchable format that is useful for people involved in other asset management phases.

Modifications are often not well planned or well funded. They result only when a major safety issue is identified or if it will bottleneck operations.

Knowing asset condition in real time, or at least close to real time, is also missing from most organization's decision support process.

Maintenance reliability professionals often have ideas and suggestions, but few rise to action levels because they are not supported with business data. Support your input with data to gain support.

Disposal/Decommissioning Phase

As technology progresses, many of your assets become out-of-date and non-competitive. When there is no formal, continuous improvement program and data for decision support is missing, the only companies that can create profit are ones that have a monopoly or are in a very high demand cycle.

From a maintenance perspective, watch for signs of reduced maintenance budget as your company tries to react to high operating costs and reduced profits by hacking away large parts of the operations and maintenance budgets. Of course, there are short-term periods when belt tightening is appropriate; however a useful asset lifecycle will be greatly reduced with proper maintenance and care. If this is your companies long-term asset management strategy, you may want to bring your resume up-to-date as your company will either be sold soon or will go out of business.

PAS-55 and ISO-55000 will help companies determine which elements should be in place to create an affective asset management "management systems;" however these fine standards will NOT tell you how to manage your assets and certainly not tell you anything about maintaining your assets. The asset maintenance plan, asset information management plan and asset health management practices are up to each individual organization to define.

There is no need to wait for the new ISO-55000 standard to be published as any progress you make in the areas of asset maintenance, asset information management and asset health management will roll up nicely into your company's efforts to meet ISO-55000 requirements. It is those companies that choose to wait that will be feeling the pressure.

References: 1. The Institute of Asset Management

Click here to link to: Top 10 Reasons Why We Should Rethink the Use and Purpose of Asset Management Standards

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