When we think of asset services, we probably picture a finance genius sitting at a desk in a suit and tie talking about retirement savings, stocks and bonds, and everything in-between. Typically, asset services apply to the managing of one’s finances – advise on where, when and how to invest, and what bogus things to avoid if we don’t want our savings drying out within the first five years.
WHAT ARE ASSET SERVICES?
But in manufacturing, asset services are a little different, and take on a particularly unique route. For the most part, managing assets is likely to involve overseeing machinery and equipment parts. Things like making sure the technical integrity, reliability, and above all, the safety of factories and manufacturing facilities all meet the highest standards, so production can remain efficient and stable.
Making sure equipment stays reliable and strong is all part of asset management in manufacturing. Often, this requires the constant monitorization of labor parts to make sure they stay healthy. Granted something isn’t right or an issue appears, it can be dealt with before it escalates into something worse.
WORKING FROM AFAR
Even more impressive is the fact that most monitorization is now done remotely. Staff members are no longer required to be in-house or on the factory grounds to ensure things are running smoothly and equipment performs at its best. Inter-connected sensors can read machinery at a rate that would make the fastest humans jealous. These sensors collect data that for the most part, is analyzed and delivered to managers and executives for further study. The data inherently clues them in to what’s going on and what requires immediate attention, and information is sent to a central platform that one can read from anywhere in the world. It’s an effective process that allows work to be done while lessening the need for onsite worker presence.
In a way, the person receiving the data serves as a kind of SME (subject matter expert) – a figure in charge of overseeing operations and flying in to save the day when things go wrong. Until now, the phrase “flying in” was a literal term. Prior to IoT technology and the idea of remote management, an expert often traveled or was flown in to further examine factory grounds and operations. While travel was effective to a point (it got people where they needed to be), expenses have ultimately grown every year, as have flight delays and other issues that prevent one from conducting business. A remote route is not only more effective, but allows companies to save some moolah on travel expenses.
PREDICTIVE OVER PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
Additionally, this method of handling data and overseeing operations has enabled patterns of predictive maintenance. Prior, factories usually operated on a schedule of preventative maintenance. This involves routine maintenance on equipment and machines that may not have even been problematic to begin with. While the goal was to stop problems from occurring at the front, preventative maintenance would often cost companies more money, particularly through their enforcement of factory shutdowns.
Predictive maintenance, however, works very differently. The process requires maintenance only when a part is not performing up to speed. The data suggests an error is occurring within the machine, prompting maintenance to step in and examine the problem before things get any harrier. With executives monitoring the data regularly, there’s no need to interfere unless the data suggests so.
The power of sensor-based technology has provided a path for rapid and massive change in the manufacturing industry. Employees can monitor the goings-on of any company from a distance, and in-house service is no longer required to get things done. As advancements continue, production can strengthen and grow to grant our global economy the stability and prowess it’s always needed.