Posted at Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Establishing Best Practice in Asset Management

Paul Skade
By Andy Cruse
Technical Director, Flow Control

I joined ERIKS in 1999 and have over 35 years’ experience in the pump industry. Originally from a service/repair background I have worked in many roles and enviro...

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The role of asset management within a functioning production line should not be underestimated; but what does best practice look like? 

men planning


As any maintenance engineer will know, there is a correlation between: improving the reliability of critical assets, extending their mean time between failures (MTBF), and reducing warehouse costs. By bringing asset management into the equation, you unlock a host of additional benefits, such as: avoiding catastrophic failures, minimising unplanned downtime, rationalising spares purchasing, and reducing the overall unit costs of production caused by energy and raw materials wastage. What more incentive could you need?

Start with condition monitoring

The first step towards effective asset management is to establish a condition monitoring strategy. You can then identify any potential asset failures, and plan for repairs or swap-outs in a way that does not impact production. Identifying issues in their early stages also means that you can rectify them before a catastrophic failure occurs.

No such thing as spare capital

Getting the size and shape of your spares stock right can be difficult.  No business wants unplanned downtime, but no business wants its capital tied-up in spares that are only needed if a critical asset failure occurs, either.

We recently conducted an analysis of the pumps, spares strategy and asset criticality at a global beverage manufacturer’s UK production site. We started by producing a Pump Reliability Tracking Graph, which measured the number of failures, the monthly MTBF, and the rolling MTBF, over a period of five years.

Once this was done, we carried out a criticality analysis, in which we highlighted any pumps that required spares to be in stock. Our analysis categorised each pump on a scale from one to five, which was as follows:

  1. A pump failure will not stop production because there is a standby pump.
  2. A pump failure will result in the loss of production on a line, but a spare is in stock.
  3. A pump failure will result in the loss of production on a line, and there is no spare.
  4. A pump failure will result in the loss of site production, but a spare is in stock.
  5. A pump failure will result in the loss of site production, and there is no spare.


This analysis allowed us to highlight any pumps that required spares to be in stock, thereby reducing the criticality rating of each pump from a five, to a one or two.

The final step involved establishing the MTTR for each pump type, and identifying the number of spares required.

From all of this information, we were able to define a spares strategy, which the manufacturer could then use to standardise and rationalise its spares stock. Together with process improvements and repair best practice, this project led to an improvement in the pumps’ MTBF, which now measures 100 months, against an industry target of 60. The manufacturer also reduced its annual pump system maintenance costs, from £250,000 to £100,000.

Partnering with success

In my opinion, best practice in asset management involves a supplier that can advise you on the best possible purchasing and stocking decisions for sufficient coverage and reduced costs. In doing this, you can benefit from specialist knowledge of various types of equipment, as well as the supplier’s close relationships with leading manufacturers.

Specialists in asset management also go beyond monitoring assets, predicting failures, and scheduling swap-outs and repairs. They maximise your MTBF by identifying the root causes of failures, and mitigating the potential for any reoccurrences. In adhering to best practice and partnering with a specialist, you’re investing in the best-possible service, for your plant’s best-possible performance.


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