Did you know that the SAP Analytics RDS team rolled out an RDS call SAP Condition-Based Maintenance back in March of this year? With so many great RDS coming out to the market every quarter, it’s easy to let a small RDS like this one slip by you. But don’t let the “small” size of it fool you. While simple in design and implementation, the business value it can bring to an organization is anything but. The objective for SAP is straightforward – provide a solution that leverages the customer’s existing technical infrastructure to help maintain and inspect the right equipments at the right time.
Architecturally, the CBM RDS solution leverages SAP MII’s strong integration component to facilitate seamless data flow between operations (I.e., sensors, SCADA, Plant historian and etc.) and backend processes (ERP) to determine the best time to maintain or repair an asset.
SAP MII (Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence) is renown in the industries for its ability to bridge these two distinct worlds! There is no shortage of customer examples to demonstrate SAP MII’s track record in enabling manufacturing, maintenance, SCM, and sustainability
applications across the industries. Providing a composite platform (consisting of an integration, business logic, and presentation layer) on which manufacturing applications can be developed and deployed was the main design principle behind the original xMII. Since then, SAP MII has evolved as a platform and so has the range of use cases it has supported (i.e., manufacturing, sustainability, and maintenance). CBM is the latest addition to that list. Customers that have managed to deploy more use cases on their existing MII installation(s) are able to get greater return on their investment as a result of economies of scale. For customers reluctant to step foot into the MII world, the CBM use case may just be that extra bit of justification or convincing needed to get things started. The main takeaway is that CBM is a good message to convey to maintenance organizations that have existing investment in the manufacturing composition platform or are looking for a lean and cost-effective way to lay a foundation that can be scaled to support the gradual adoption of existing and upcoming solutions built to run on the MII platform.
E2E Solution Cluster
According to the industry maturity curve, condition-based maintenance is a natural next step from the SAP Asset Analytics RDS (released in Q1/2012) which leverages the customer’s day-to-day maintenance data to report on performances related to asset management.
As a cluster, Asset Analytics and CBM have a combined capability that can address a complete requirement at the proactive stage of asset management. Asset Analytics offer KPI scorecards that allow managers to quickly identify performance issues (i.e., overall maintenance cost or asset reliability) in their maintenance operations and then drill down to more granular information that pinpoints specific assets, functional locations, or org-unit(s) that have contributed the most to a performance issue. Reliability engineers can use that detailed information (discovered root-cause) to jumpstart a CBM initiative. Having the ability to monitor a set of critical assets closely to trigger email and/or maintenance notifications in ERP when conditions warrant it means that costly failures, resulting in production loss, accidents, and/or harm to the environment have a better chance of being caught in time. Information to update the equipment health indices (i.e., temperature, vibration, pressure, and etc.) can come from a number of sources. Real-time data can be collected by MII through the Plant Connector or relayed back from mobile devices used during inspection rounds.
The Inbound data is constantly compared with equipment-vendor specifications or recommendations. When the data exceeds a preconfigured tolerance, MII will automatically trigger a maintenance notification in ERP (Plant Maintenance). The maintenance planner can use the information in the notification to create a follow-on maintenance work order for a personnel to do further inspection or carryout repair. The maintenance worker assigned to respond to an alert can click on a link in CBM/MII to punch out to SAP Visual Enterprise to view an animated 3D image to aid in troubleshooting or repairing the subject.
This E-2-E scenario leverages the concerted capability of SAP Asset Analytics RDS, SAP Condition-Based Maintenance RDS, SAP Mobile Rounds application, SAP Visual Enterprise solutions, and SAP Manufacturing Integration and Intelligence (MII) and Plant Maintenance on ERP 6.0. Please use the following hyperlink to get additional information including the effort, price, and timeline to jumpstart a CBM program in as little as 7 weeks.
But let’s be frank – Is CBM right for every customer? The honest answer is: maybe. The customer’s current technical landscape and whether asset management is perceived organizationally as a chore or as an important strategic component contributing to the corporate strategy are important factors. Industry experts will tell you what havoc an unplanned breakdown can have on a manufacturer, measured in loss production, harm to workers and/or the environment (legal and compliance issues), and damage to customer relations and tarnish to a brand. Due to the severity of those consequences, many asset-intensive industries enforce strict maintenance guidelines and comply with regulations to mitigate the risks. Furthermore, organizations in these industries have typically made substantial investments in both hardware (IT hardware and field assets) and software to install a strict preventive maintenance program that is often carried out as a regiment based on elapsed time – for example, inspect, change, add this or that after so many hours, days, weeks, or months.
No matter how extensive your CBM program is, it shouldn’t be treated as a replacement for the existing preventive maintenance infrastructure that is already in place. The SAP Condition-Based Maintenance rapid-deployment solution fits into this complex environment in a supplemental role that leverages real-time data to provide health management information on equipment and provide insights (tell-tale signs) that further strengthen the overall maintenance strategy.