Data Culture: One Step Forward in the Development of Assets Management

Among the premises for any reliability analysis, there is one that surely works as the common denominator of them all: historical data of equipment. Nowadays, many enterprises do not have a precise historical archive of their assets which would allow their performance in detail during their lifespan. Reliability is a topic viewed from many perspectives, and even the concept of “Human Reliability” is used, but many times the data managed by maintenance analysts do not reflect reality at a 100%, and it’s inferred in other standardized registers to diagnose the conditions of a system or equipment that would generally be managed in a different context than the generalized context from the standard registers, which are very useful but do not accurately portray reality. For some enterprises, the elaboration of an accurate database of their assets has been difficult since the quality of this system varies depending on the data culture used by the company.

How important is it to show an accurate and detailed register of assets when it’s submitted to a reliability analysis? How significant is it for enterprises that these registers for any equipment are stored in a reliable database? The answer to this is the optimization of all processes involving the maintenance of assets availability within the enterprises, increasing productivity and minimizing maintenance costs, just by keeping an exact register of the equipment’s conditions. Frequently, many enterprises handle their managements as sectors with different zones, many of them isolated from the other departments or having a lack of synchrony in the data they each use. How many times have we heard: “Maintenance is a necessary evil”, or “Operations only focuses on producing”, when we know none of them is right?

Every enterprise should be aware that all of their departments are a whole, and that all of them receive the benefits of actions taken to maintain the availability of equipments. I know you will ask yourself: What does this have to do with the data culture? Well, it’s easy in theory, but very difficult in practice: the organizations managing their data in a shared and precise way between their departments keep a plan that’s more adjusted to their reality and take action in a safer way when performing a diagnosis of their own conditions and follow necessary corrections of deviations derived from these studies. An enterprise with data culture awareness increases its capacity of response before any unwanted event, and it can define the necessary policies according to its operational context. The equipment operator registers all the variables related, the procure department plans its budget according to their updated inventory and the study of their replacement parts (optimal number of parts, maximum and minimum), maintenance supported by operations plans and programs their activities based on operational characteristics of every asset. It all involves data in interrelation, only that when going to the details it is underestimated in every area of an organization and leads to delays in many of the analysis.

The holistic character of the Assets Management under the ISO-55000 regulation makes the organizations determine their information needs to support their assets. This leads to not only register and save conditions and events of an asset but also share with the rest of their departments, allowing them to analyze and take decisions as a team. Hence the importance of the quality of data collected since this becomes the key for an effective communication between all departments and levels as stated by the PAS-55 regulation. “Communication is not only about information; it should make sure that the information from assets management is delivered, received, and understood through an organization. An effective communication is a two-way process, upward and downward, and from side to side”.

Another important fact is to keep a good data culture based on its availability when needed; this facilitates considerably the quality of response before any event. Likewise, it is necessary to establish safety policies regarding protection of information, without putting aside the interaction of data with the other departments that are part of the organization, all under the ISO-55000 regulations. Keeping an accurate register of our assets is not only a clear reference of a good organization, but also ensures the articulation of the rest of the departments.

Traducción: Richard Skinner

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