4 February, 2013
Gluttony is one of the 7 Deadly Sins of asset management. It is also one of the easiest to identify because of the impact it makes on energy costs. It is also the easiest of the 7 deadly sins to fix. For maintenance managers, gluttony is when assets that require energy (electricity, water etc.) begin to consume more energy than normal. Causes of the increase in energy usage include inhibited heat transfer, leaks, corrosion, a need for lubrication as well as anything that causes the equipment to run longer or harder to achieve normal output.
Neglecting asset operating condition will not only increase the gluttony factor but it will also shorten the useful lifecycle of an asset. The asset lifecycle is shortened because the piece of equipment is running longer and under greater stress. The increased usage cause the asset to wear out faster as well as require additional maintenance and repairs. The double impact of gluttony is increased energy bills and higher maintenance and repair costs. These amounts can be significant if you consider that the energy costs for an average facility run between 20% and 60% of the total operating costs or that companies in today’s downturn can ill afford an increase in labor or repairs.
As previously mentioned the fix is not difficult especially if an asset intensive organization makes use of an EAM system. Enterprise asset management (EAM) systems are designed to give maintenance management the tools necessary to manage the work order process more effectively. More effective maintenance operations spend less time fighting fires and more time performing maintenance functions such as inspections or preventive maintenance. The additional time spent inspecting and addressing problems such as pressure/water leaks, lubricating critical parts or identifying other issues will keep assets running more efficiently. Energy costs will decline as the result of early identification of problems and swift fixes.
To better understand how this works, the maintenance management functions of an EAM automate the work order process so that paper flow is reduced to a minimum. For example, with the use of handheld technology maintenance teams can submit work requests at the point of origin (problem identification). Upon management approvals, the work request is converted to a work order allowing on the spot repairs. This method is much more efficient than returning to an office to fill out paperwork and await approvals and a subsequent return trip to the work order location.
The advantages of an EAM do not stop with improved maintenance operations. One of the strongest features of an EAM is its ability to help manage the entire useful lifecycle of an asset. This is accomplished during implementation by creating a knowledge base of all asset information. The database that is created includes an asset description, location, purchase costs, designed use, expected useful life, asset condition, maintenance history and can be customized to include a multitude of asset detail.
When completed the asset information contained in the database enables management to identify MRO trends, monitor standard operating procedures or make more accurate capital projections, all by knowing where the organizations assets are, what condition they are in and what maintenance work is being performed. Gluttony no longer has to be an issue when assets are managed with an EAM system.
Stuart Smith writes about Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) Solutions for Mintek Mobile Data Solutions. Learn more about EAM/CMMS features that can help your business navigate through tough economic times.