The Future Plant: Current Challenges In Value-Based Maintenance

Alexandra Glombik

Part 2 of a three-part series

As I shared in my previous article, asset management looked very different 20 years ago when Horst started his work as a machine technician at a manufacturing plant. Now an asset manager, Horst has created a modern maintenance environment that addresses many of the most common manufacturing problems.

For asset managers like Horst, the ultimate goal is maximizing asset runtime. Therefore, the reliability of assets in minimizing production disruptions is of major importance. However, keeping a high level of maintenance as a tool for reliability always requires the use of valuable resources.

Therefore, Horst has introduced value-based maintenance methodologies that match the value of each maintenance procedure with its associated cost. In this way, Horst can develop an individual-asset maintenance strategy that creates an overall plant-maintenance mix. Instead of using one universal maintenance strategy for all assets, this method combines different strategies optimally to ensure the highest level of asset reliability.

For Horst, who is in charge of managing a large number of assets, this requires assessments of each asset’s business criticality and failure risk in order to determine the right maintenance strategy. Luckily, modern asset management systems support Horst. With the help of performance-measurement tools, the system can track failures and evaluate current machine states. The system’s capability of performing Failure Mode and Effects Analysis especially enables the categorization of different assets into strategically relevant groups. In this way, specific strategy recommendations for each group can be developed and presented to Horst.

All Horst needs to do now is to provide the right data and information to the system and use his expertise to decide whether the recommended action is applicable or not. In this context, the assets’ digital twins can give him guidance, as they comprise all information available about the asset throughout its entire lifecycle. Based on these insights, different outcomes are possible: from predictive or calendar-based maintenance to Equipment-as-a-Service outsourcing concepts, the decision about what maintenance strategy best fits an asset is not bound to any particular methodology. In any case, production line redundancies can be reduced significantly, and resources, in the form of time, people, and money, can be allocated more efficiently.

By enabling technologies for the smart factory, companies are achieving Mission Unstoppable: making facilities management a transparent, manageable process.

Alexandra Glombik

About Alexandra Glombik

Alexandra Glombik is a working student at SAP. As part of her job, she supports the Business Transformation CxO Advisory Office in several research projects regarding future market opportunities. In her Master thesis at Technical University of Munich, she deals with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud ecosystem.