Asset Management: Turning precious bits and bytes into a profitable relationship and generating qualitative gains for the system as a whole

Tuesday, March 30, 2010



A fact in the industrial world is that through automation companies seek possibilities to become more competitive, among which are included process optimization and asset management.

Optimization ensures performance and quality improvement, reduces raw-material costs etc. The more information is gathered, the best a plant is operated and generates more products and profit. Digital information allows for a system to collect information for a plant´s most different goals and turn bits and bytes into a profitable relationship, in addition to system qualitative gains. And this can only be achieved if the process is running with excellence, which is a direct consequence from assets management and practices that reduce downtime, increase plant availability and cut maintenance costs.

A management and maintenance system must have resources that allow the user to easily and rapidly identify or predict any plant malfunction. In this sense, there must be technical ease in generating statistical data and reports, history survey and easy access to and from anywhere, even outside the facility, and it must avoid process stoppages and optimize the plant scheduled downtime, by using predictive and pro-active maintenance: the TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) concept. Moreover, it must take advantage from the modern network resources and software architecture, like the OPC interface, multiprotocols and WEB access, where these tools offer the user wide plant visibility, anytime, anywhere. Generally speaking, companies today want information that may generate benefits and facilitate decision making. Let´s now see some advantages and benefits brought by assets management:

  • Easy access to information all over the plant, from production to management;
  • Information uniformity and reliability at all hierarchic levels. Rich in information, it facilitates decision making;
  • Provides infrastructure and technology for field equipment online monitoring, configuration, calibration and management for best results in terms of performance and costs reduction;
  • Allows the best maintenance practices (mainly proactive), by diagnostics management, maintenance schedule;
  • Audit Trial;
  • Spare parts reduced inventory;
  • Increase of plant availability and operational safety and reduction of downtime;
  • Decrease of maintenance time for non-needing equipment (Preventive Maintenance);
  • Gains and operational costs decrease for general costs reduction.

AssetView is an asset management tool and an integral part of the SYSTEM302 and was developed under its philosophy. It uses the WEB Browser as platform for graphic user interface and is based on two international standards of device description: EDDL (Electronic Device Description Language) and FDT (Field Device Tools). AssetView supports FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART and Profibus equipments and allows maintenance execution, job scheduling, e-mail report issuing without the need for a specific software.

In addition, it enables managing all assets documentation, as manuals, procedures, data sheet, reports, links to equipment manufacturers etc, concentrating the entire documentation for better user day-to-day work.

AssetView powerful interface allows the operation with multiple field equipments (transmitters and valves) and mechanical and electric devices of any manufacturer for easier parameterization, operation, calibration and diagnostics. It enables to register every and each alteration made by the user, reconcile configurations and online monitoring hundreds of products certified with FOUNDATION fieldbus, HART and Profibus technology.

Furthermore, AssetView has a Wizard that improves the graphic interface defined by EDDL for new equipments. It also allows defining advanced diagnostics, with the inclusion of graphics.
Among several benefits are enhanced: the simplification of tasks involving parameterization, diagnostics and maintenance; reduction of maintenance costs; fast identification of problems; avoidance of non-schedule stoppages due to equipments or devices failure, with consequent increase of plant MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures); reduction of scheduled or sudden downtime, with decrease of MTTR (Mean Time To Repair); and finally, open solution and easy access to information.

AssetView holds two international patents covering its innovative characteristics and pioneerism: 6,631,298 and 6,725,182 . For more information on AssetView, access: www.smar.com/products/asset_view.asp