Plant Asset Management for the Manufacturing Industry: Top 5 Benefits and Use Cases

Plant asset management primarily consists of services, software and hardware deployed by a manufacturing company to monitor assets over their lifecycle. This usually includes tracking equipment, parts, and production lines to ensure that everything is working to its full capacity. 

In order to keep the operations running, manufacturing companies must ensure that they have the supplies and spare parts they need for production and equipment breakdowns. This is only possible if a robust asset management system is implemented to oversee operations. Real time tracking through an automated asset management solution enables manufacturing companies to maximize returns on investment through improving efficiency and productivity. 

To design an effective plant asset management system for your company, it is vital to understand the common challenges in the manufacturing industry:

Lack of data interpretation tools: The manufacturing industry is being rapidly digitized. With online management systems, companies put in a great effort to record maintenance costs, usage times and log in labor hours. However, the majority of manufacturing companies are not equipped with the right tools to interpret primary data into actionable practices. This results in large volumes of information going to waste with suboptimal asset utilization.

Inventory mismanagement: Manufacturing companies often deal with turbulent customer demand. For instance, in order to cater to increasing demand, the plant capacity has to be increased. Without a robust management mechanism, manufacturing facilities fail to fulfil inventory requirements thus missing out on potential clients and revenue. 

Cybersecurity threats: According to research, the number of ransomware incidents in the manufacturing sector increased 156% in the first quarters of 2019 and 2020. The main cause of security lapses was the adoption of cloud platforms without attention to data protection practices. Manufacturing companies need to invest in the right technology to combat security breaches and protect their data. 

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Read more: Maintenance Work Order Best Practices 

Why should you deploy automated plant asset management for your company?

The plant asset management market is expected to grow from $5.5 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024. Such rapid growth is accompanied by adoption of lean manufacturing practices including cloud-based asset management solutions.  An automated asset management system for your manufacturing plant offers a variety of features to help optimize the production processes. Let’s briefly discuss the top benefits of an asset management system for your company:

1. Comply with rigorous safety requirements

Manufacturing processes involve dealing with heavy machinery and equipment on a daily basis. Without the proper safety mechanisms in place, accidents can happen. The Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Administration (OSHA) levied $11 million worth of penalty fines for violations of safety regulations for the manufacturing sector last year. 

In order to avoid hefty violations, it is necessary to comply with safety standards. A cloud-based plant asset management system enables manufacturing companies to run regular equipment inspections to lower instances of breakdowns. With every machine tagged in the system, technicians can easily check when inspections are due. For ease of use, managers can attach safety requirements along with equipment details so that all regulatory details are followed. 

2. Cater to fluctuating costs

Manufacturing companies face uncertain cost fluctuations due to the number of variables involved in the whole process. This includes factors like demand, labor, raw materials, and the cost of certification and testing. In order to streamline production at the plant, it is critical to forecast such changes and alter capacity according to the current price levels. By tracking purchase orders, admin managers can keep a record of raw material prices while work order costs specify all maintenance expenses. An asset tracking system enables you to record  primary data that can then be translated into actionable insights. 

An automated plant asset management system offers in depth analytical features that enable you to consolidate real time data as reports. These reports can then be used to forecast future trends based on client demands and the current price fluctuations in the market. Having a reliable data processing tool makes it easier to track and control costs to improve productivity. 

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3. Refine calibration schedules

Manufacturing plants work with multiple types of machines and equipment to run their production process. Without a certified service checklist, there are high chances of unpredicted breakdowns. Unsurprisingly, the cost of unplanned downtime is 10 times higher than planned downtime. In order to minimize chances of unplanned downtime, it is vital to lay down a calibration strategy that combines real time monitoring and predictive analysis. 

The best way to combat unexpected breakdowns is to closely inspect equipment and machines on a regular basis. This can only be done when you have clear visibility on the tools and assets available at site. A plant asset management software offers instant access to real time data that can then be used to derive maintenance schedules. Along with this, you can also keep a track of equipment performance through service triage history. With the right tools at hand, your manufacturing plant can run the correct maintenance routines to lower downtime. 

Read more: 5 Benefits of Using Maintenance Management Software 

4. Track locations for efficient equipment use

The majority of manufacturing facilities operate across various locations.In such cases it is extremely important to track each and every piece of machinery. Failure to monitor mobile equipment can spike up theft and misplacement at the production site. 

A plant asset management system enables companies to track every location where machines are being used.  Real time location tracking enables field technicians to keep equipment utilization under control and confirm it stays with the authorized personnel. Having the ability to track locations also ensures that the machinery is handled within the safety limits for production at the plant. 

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5. Practice agile project management

Successful project completion requires manufacturing plants to adhere to strict deadlines set by the clients. However, working with outdated tools can hold your company back and eventually lead to loss of revenue and profits. A critical part of lean project management involves having clear visibility on the availability of staff and equipment. When you know about the inventory you own, you can make delivery commitments without any inconvenience. 

A robust plant asset management tool offers the ability to view the status of all equipment owned by the company at a centralized platform. Quick access to inventory levels and maintenance schedules leads to informed decision making and promising production outcomes. 

About EZOfficeInventory

EZOfficeInventory is a leading asset tracking software. It allows you to track, maintain, and report on inventory from anywhere, at any time.  We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!