Is validating and optimizing the asset hierarchy a waste of time and money? (2023)

Von Paul Langan, Lifecycle Engineering

Across the industry, we hear statements like, "I don't have time to do what needs to be done." "I can barely keep the system running and you want me to validate the system hierarchy?" "Who's going to maintain the equipment while I do this?" "I just don't see any benefit to hierarchy validation, it's a waste of time and money."

Sound familiar? In most installations, the maintenance team is so streamlined that it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything that needs to be done each day. We looked at all possibilities to make concessions and still keep the system running. Routine maintenance takes a backseat more often than we'd like, while reactive maintenance often dictates the day's workload.

Regardless of the CMMS system used to collect the information, an accurate hierarchy of system assets is critical in today's factory environment. When we examine the meaning and importance of an asset hierarchy and the pitfalls of an outdated asset hierarchy, it becomes clear that we are wasting time and money when the hierarchy is out of date. If the hierarchy is not precise, it is impossible to achieve the required reliability, maintainability and asset traceability. How are planners supposed to do their job if they don't know plant assets and especially how assets relate to other assets? The scheduler's only reference is the hierarchy of system resources and the parent-child relationships established within the hierarchy.

Let's take a closer look at the benefits of having an accurate system asset hierarchy and how we can save time and money by simply validating the existing asset hierarchy. There are several areas we consider when performing hierarchy validation: (1) the current system hierarchy and parent-child relationship setup; (2) closed or disposed of assets; (3) new assets not currently in the hierarchical structure; (4) BOM to support usable assets; (5) loading of spare parts into the warehouse for asset support; and (6) preventive maintenance assigned to assets. In this article, I will examine the first three of these areas.

Current system asset hierarchy and parent-child relationship structure

After development, the parent-child relationship of the asset hierarchy allows the end user to easily identify which assets are useful and which are considered GOOD assets. ISO 14224 illustrates how a parent-child relationship appears in a pyramid taxonomy.

Is validating and optimizing the asset hierarchy a waste of time and money? (1)
Figure 1: The nine levels showing typical asset-parent-child relationships based on the ISO/DIS 14224 taxonomy.

One of the benefits of building the parent-child relationship is planning preventive and predictive maintenance activities. For example, if the planner schedules maintenance on a tank, all equipment associated with that tank (pumps, drive motors, loop instruments, pressure relief valves, associated piping, and isolation valves) could also be candidates for maintenance. offline. . This saves a lot of time and money as we can shut down a group once for scheduled maintenance instead of taking multiple shutdowns to maintain individual assets.

Another benefit of establishing the parent-child relationship of the asset hierarchy is the ability to calculate costs for the lowest possible asset level, thereby providing a means of determining where maintenance money is actually being spent. Also, once the parent-child relationship of the asset hierarchy is established, engineers and field technicians can write job notifications at the correct asset level instead of a general area. This helps in developing historical data that can be used to identify the actual “bad actors” that are causing the maintenance effort.

When configuring the parent-child relationship of the wealth hierarchy, the ISO/DIS 14224 standard taxonomy can be a useful guide in determining appropriate levels. The pattern applies to CMMS programs that contain asset hierarchies. Businesses can customize the structure presented in the taxonomy to best manage their unique needs.

Asset validation and optimization

Plant validation and optimization is a process that requires the involvement of subject matter experts (SMEs), process engineers, reliability engineers, planners, the maintenance department, instrumentation and electrical engineering SMEs, to name a few. Asset validation is a methodical process that uses the most current process and instrumentation drawings (P&IDs), process flow diagrams and electrical schematics to identify assets relative to the current system configuration.

Let's discuss the process required to validate assets. The best way to do asset validation is to start by dividing your facility into manageable areas or sections. The quickest way to do this is to form a committee made up of system engineers, reliability engineers (REs) and planners from different areas of the plant. Once areas have been identified and prioritized, this is the best way to manage a large project and track progress as asset validation progresses throughout the facility.

Once the asset has been segmented into manageable sectors, assemble a team of SMEs and REs to participate in asset validation. Once the equipment has been identified, the next step is to collect all the necessary reference materials for the validation of the installation:

  • Current verification of the P&ID of the area where the asset validation will take place.
  • Current process flowcharts for the area where asset validation is performed.
  • Current assets and assets downloaded from the resident CMMS to be used as a reference in validating assets. The CMMS download reflects the current usage of planning resources. Typically, the CMMS asset population has an error rate of 35-40%.
  • Current circuit diagrams of the area where system validation is performed.

Once you have all the reference materials, assemble the Asset Hierarchy Validation and Optimization team and brief them on the validation/optimization process and expectations of what the validation should produce. Key points to include in the summary include:

  • The actual asset validation reporting process.
  • The methodology for tagging P&IDs that indicate assets that are no longer installed and assets that have been installed but are not included in plans.
  • The methodology required comparing the field validation data with the CMMS download data and making the necessary corrections to validate the CMMS system to reflect the actual system configuration encountered during the field assessment phase.
  • The method required to place validated assets into a parent-child relationship before loading them back into the CMMS system.

At this point, the field validation/optimization phase can be performed using the downloaded CMMS data, current P&IDs and flowcharts. The validation/optimization effort is a detailed and methodical comparison of all systems and assets in the field against the asset list in the CMMS with the assets shown in the P&IDs and flowcharts. The validation/optimization effort creates an asset hierarchy that reflects the actual system configuration. Validation/optimization efforts also indicate assets that have been retired or removed but are still an active asset in the CMMS system. Additionally, the validation/optimization effort shows all new assets that have not yet been entered into the CMMS system.

When a decommissioned, removed, or new asset is not reflected in the CMMS system, this is often a strong indicator that the Change Management (MOC) process is not working.

Eliminated Assets and Excluded Assets

Deactivated assets and assets that have been removed from the facility but still appear as active assets in the CMMS system cause a significant problem. One of the main concerns is that assets are often still mapped to project management tasks. If the MOC program does not work, planners will not know that assets are not active. Therefore, PM schedules have not been revised to eliminate unnecessary activities.

If we look at an install with an install load of 45,000 and calculate that 2% of those installs have been removed from the install and/or retired over time, we can assume that 900 installs are no longer active. If only two PM were assigned to each of these assets, we would now have 1800 PM that would apply to these assets. Assuming each PM requires one hour and applying a conservative hourly rate of $55, the cost to complete the 1800 PM would be $99,000 per year. But assets that require this PM no longer work.

Now we can see why it is so important that the asset hierarchy is validated and optimized.

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During validation and optimization of the asset hierarchy, many assets are identified that do not appear in the CMMS download or in the system P&IDs or flowcharts. These assets were usually added during system upgrades and upgrades. The concern is that new assets are often not included in the PM/PdM program or are not adequately supported by spare parts in stock. An efficient MOC program would eliminate this problem.

Go ahead

If you are working in an environment where the asset hierarchy in your CMMS is incomplete and out of date, timing can be difficult. you have to make the time. I would recommend using some of the arguments and examples I've provided to explain to your leadership team the importance of getting some resources to validate and optimize your asset hierarchy. The money and time you save in the long run more than justify an initial investment.

Paul Langan, Senior Reliability Technician at Life Cycle Engineering (LCE), specializes in providing best practice programs for asset management strategies that support CMMS implementations. Paul has extensive experience in developing hierarchies, criticality analyses, simplified failure mode and effects analysis (SFMEA), equipment maintenance plans, and work plan development and optimization. You can contact Pablo

© Life Cycle Engineering, Inc.

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