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Create Sustainable Asset Management with Real-Time Data and Predictive Analytics

Create Sustainable Asset Management with Real-Time Data and Predictive Analytics

Create Sustainable Asset Management with Real-Time Data and Predictive Analytics

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Bryan Friehauf, the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Software Solutions at Hitachi Energy, explains how companies can create sustainable asset management strategies with real-time data and predictive analytics solutions.

The asset management challenges facing companies have shifted dramatically over the past few years. Global economic uncertainty, the ongoing supply chain crisis, and a looming recession have only added pressure on industry leaders as they navigate the changing landscape. There is also a sense of urgency to bring a sustainability lens to their work as the Biden Administration continues to push for net zero emissions by 2050. The recent Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) only advances the administration’s war on climate change, sending industry leaders a clear message—sustainability and renewable energy need to be top of mind not in the distant future but in the present. 

This focus for many c-suite executives, coupled with growing concerns about unforeseeable threats facing society and the environment, has increased the urgency of effective and sustainable asset management. Assets are the centerpiece of any organization, and in today’s economic and political climate, companies have no time for downtime, loss in production, or quality disruptions.

An ineffective asset management system is simply bad for business. Poor asset management can lead to expending excess carbon emissions by driving to assess the state of the assets, wasting resources by using time-based maintenance, and accidentally limiting the usable life of the investment by performing maintenance when it wasn’t needed, resulting in possible litigation, loss of reputation, and incurred cost. 

With asset managers tasked with navigating uncharted waters in a sustainable world, industry leaders need to adopt real-time data and predictive analytics to improve sustainability. Sustainable asset management enables organizations across sectors to assess their assets’ health and make strategic decisions regarding O&M costs, risk, and availability.

What Data and Software Can Improve Sustainability for Assets? 

Real-time data and predictive analytics allow asset managers to build environmentally friendly processes. Beyond that, real-time insights provide a competitive edge and help cut operating costs. Let’s take a deeper look at how data and analytics can build a sustainable future for the industry.

Three Ways to Leverage Data and Analytics   

Asset management is vital to ensuring your company functions to its best ability, and data science can help improve its efficiency, offering new options and ways to manage assets:  

1) Data and analytics deliver better investment insights

Data and analytics are critical to moving forward with greener decisions and operations. They provide valuable insights that allow asset managers to analyze unstructured and structured data and help make strategic investment decisions. As we shift toward a sustainable future, data can better determine how long and when assets need to be changed, repaired, and upgraded.  

2) Making better decisions about the future of the asset network

Asset managers gain a better understanding of their assets’ needs and their client’s requirements through data. They can assess if and how certain market conditions will affect sustainable investments while helping them optimize their current green initiatives

3) Extending the life asset

Assets are the lifeblood of the power and utilities industry. An engineer’s dream is to prolong your asset’s life without catastrophic failure. However, before real-time data and analytics, going beyond the shelf life of your asset was considered risky. Fortunately, with online monitoring, data collection, and analytics, operators better understand the asset’s health. They can intelligently predict which equipment is at a higher risk of failure, taking the guesswork out. By incorporating sustainability considerations, you can reduce the amount of fuel used by your technicians and save on energy costs by identifying where the problem is. 

How Denmark’s Energy Grid Uses the Technology  

Recognized by the IEA as a global leader in the energy transition, Energinet is Denmark’s national energy transmission system operator (TSO). Their goal with asset management is to create a more effective, holistic process to take care of its grid assets and help achieve its 2030 carbon neutrality goals.  

We recently partnered with Energinet to help them do what we’ve outlined above: save resources and extend the life of their assets. The key to this is having real-time data on all of their assets and the suitable algorithms in place, not just automation, to identify what assets need. For instance, maybe a particular part on a substation needs to be replaced, or perhaps it’s okay and doesn’t need that scheduled maintenance, meaning no one needs to waste carbon emissions driving out to the site. The key is that there’s little guesswork in how to take care of assets best or how long Energinet can keep operating them. 

What it Takes to Implement this System  

Significant data can open a company up to exponential growth. Still, it can experience barriers if there aren’t executive buy-ins, and simply having the right tools and technologies isn’t enough. Companies must deploy the proper infrastructure to support their needs, and I recommend taking three key steps:  

1) Secure third-party validation from your employees.

Find someone who can help champion the technology internally and has used it successfully. Digital transformation can be a significant change, but hearing from a peer about the benefits of the technology will help ease the transition for others.  

2) Establish trust in the technology and its predictive abilities.

For decades, asset-intensive industries have cared for their assets through time-based maintenance or institutional knowledge.  

3) Align business goals with asset management.

Companies yield the most benefits when their asset management software aligns with overarching business goals. Asset management can help support business decisions, identify risks, and prioritize actions when aligned.   

The speed of innovation is changing, and as we look toward the future, a practical, sustainable asset program needs to be paired with data and analytics to yield success. The future is here, and with the right technology, assessment can help lead the charge toward a sustainable future.

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