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Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla

Asset Inspections made easy with SAP Asset Manager and Dynamic Forms

Evolution of Asset Inspection and Maintenance

Inspections are an integral part of Asset up keeping and monitoring for any potential defects and degradations. Overtime the methodology and tools for Asset Inspections has evolved:

Paper based inspections were prevalent, used for compliance, regulatory and tracking purpose. However, it has its own limitations when asset intensive industries had a need for Enterprise solutions.

Traditional paper-based inspections (image source: sapbrandtools)

 

These paper-based inspection results and measurements were there used on a primitive whiteboard for tracking and other maintenance work scheduling.

Paper%20based%20inspection%20process

Exemplary paper based inspection process

 

The next evolution was when asset intensive industries started to adopt Enterprise Asset Management solutions to manage their asset maintenance. However, it still required the organisations to translate and maintain inspection data records against the asset in EAM. An additional challenge was having to use industry or asset specific inspection apps with little or no integration with EAM systems.

 

Traditional%20Integration%20of%20paper-based%20inspections%20with%20EAM

Disconnected inspection data from multiple applications and sources with EAM

 

As a next evolution where industries envision digitalising their enterprise solutions, mandates having a connected ecosystem of solutions bringing in better user experience and ease of use.

 

Next-gen%20digital%20inspections%20integrating%20with%20EAM

Next-gen digital inspections seamlessly integrating with EAM

 

Next-gen digital inspections integrating with SAP EAM

The next-gen digital inspections are driven by 3 major building blocks.

               

 

Dynamic Forms Management

Dynamic Forms are managed via a set of applications on BTP (Business Technology Platform). These applications help design, configure and publish Form templates for use in inspection work.

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Dynamic Forms applications on cloud

Form Builder

The Form builder application provides the ability to create and design Form templates suitable for various work streams. There are various controls that can be used, enrich it with validations, formulas, create dependency etc. It also has the ability to manage the lifecycle of the Form with versioning. You can also create library sections and reuse it in various forms.

Form Builder

Template Configuration

Along with Form builder, there are a set of applications which support better reusability and help creation of bulk forms with limited effort, thereby resulting in quicker implementation of high-volume Forms.

Template configuration applications

Manage Dropdowns

Allows you to manage drop-downs and their values. Allows reordering and sequencing of values, and also assign them to questions. Any change in picklist can be published to templates, there-by making it easier for mass changes.

Manage Questions

Allows you to manage checklist question library for different data types and inspection types. The where used section can be used to track the usage of the question in various modules and templates. 

Manage Modules

Allows you to manage modules and group questions for modularisation of inspection checklist activity. You can order the sequencing of questions and also manage various conditions and validations against each question to reflect in the Form template. 

Manage Templates

Allows you to manage Form templates, assign modules and reorder them. A generate function can be used to create the structured form in the Form builder automatically.

 

Asset Inspection and Work Execution – Dynamic Forms and SAP EAM in S/4HANA

Once the Form templates are created and published, they are available to create instances to perform actual inspections. Since inspections in SAP PM are typically carried out by means of a Work Order, it is imperative to associate Forms with Work Order.

In order to enable association, the solution makes use of defining rule sets via BRF+ in S4/HANA. You can define rules against Work Order information and associate Form Templates created in BTP.

Whenever the Work Order gets dispatched, the Form template is identified automatically via pre-configured BRF+ rules and is associated with the Work Order operation.

Automated Form look up and association via BRF+

 

Mobile and offline Inspections – Forms, SAP EAM in S/4HANA and SAP Asset Manager

SAP Asset Manager is a mobility solution that helps transform how maintenance and field operations professionals help prolong the life of Assets. For more details, refer.

SAP Asset Manager works as an offline first application, which enables field workers to perform their job even in areas where there is limited network availability.

With Dynamic Forms, the solution has been extended to support offline inspections, by enabling Forms to be available offline so that the field workers can carry out inspections in remote areas with limited connectivity.

Dynamic Forms on SAP Asset Manager

Dynamic Forms have a very easy to use and intuitive design that enable field inspectors to perform inspections efficiently.

In certain cases where there is a requirement for field inspector to report incidents or associate adhoc forms that were not pre-determined, field users can associate a form with a maintenance notification.

Adhoc Forms association with Notification(images source: sapbrandtools)

 

Inspection Process overview with Dynamic Forms and SAP Asset Manager

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Inspection with Forms and SAP Asset Manager

SAP Asset Manager coupled with Dynamic Forms provides a very intuitive and easy way to operationalise inspection work. It provides easy way for business users to design forms with absolutely low or no code. Its ability to integrate with SAP PM/EAM (S/4HANA / ECC) work execution process makes it even more powerful and ready for business use in various asset intensive industries that spend considerable resources, both in terms of capital and man-power on regular inspections.

From a future perspective, the Vision is: Evolve into “intelligent” asset inspection

 

Let us know what you think. Happy to listen.

Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla Ramneek Sharma Nitin Mahajan

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      18 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Harbhajan Jit Singh
      Harbhajan Jit Singh

      good easy read Shaf....thanks

      Author's profile photo T.S. Bijlsma
      T.S. Bijlsma

      Nice set of functionality. Very useful for our (maintenance) purposes. Off course it triggers some questions 🙂

      Is there also any analytical capability available for analyzing the content of the forms that are filled in by the users?

      Is this part of the Asset Manager setup or is is possible to use it separate? For instance, is ECC, BRF+, BTP and an own Fiori application (for workorder management) also possible?

      Could you provide the prerequisites that are required for using this?

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Form Runner provides you the capability to track the Forms filled by users. For advanced analytics, the solution has interfaces to expose Forms data that can be plugged into reporting solutions for analysis.

      Yes, one part of the solution is online capability, can be driven by ECC or S/4HANA, BRF+ and BTP applications. In order to support offline capability (a typical end-end use case), SAP Asset Manager comes into picture.

      Pre-requisite as mentioned in the document are 3 main building blocks. SAP EAM(S/4 HANA or ECC), BTP with backing services and SAP Asset Manager.

      Regards

      Saif

      Author's profile photo Michael Haydock
      Michael Haydock

      Are the Forms Management apps on BTP something that has to be built, or do they already exist and are available today?

      Thanks

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Dynamic Forms apps on BTP already exists and available as a custom built solution.

      Author's profile photo T.S. Bijlsma
      T.S. Bijlsma

      Could you share any insights on how to get started with the Dynamic Forms? I expect some installation is required, how do we enable the dynamic forms functionality on BTP and some installation and configuration of the BRF+ rules is required.

       

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Since this is a custom built solution, it requires deploying the components on the target landscape to get started. Yes, you are right, requires installation, config of BRF+ etc. For details on how to get access to the solution please reach out to ramneek.sharma@sap.com

      Author's profile photo Uwe Malzahn
      Uwe Malzahn

      How do you link a meas. point to a Dynamic Forms question and how get a meas. document created after inspection result recording in a form?

      Do you link a Dynamic Forms question to a specific meas. point of an equipment or to a classif. characteristic of meas. point? The latter would allow to have one form for same kind of equipments/meas. points. Otherwise, you have to create a form for each single equipment.

       

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      We pre-map the relevant Form fields with measurement point in S4. Measurement documents are created by post processing the Form using SAP Cloud Integration.

      Form fields are mapped to the characteristic and measurement position, so optimises Form usage.

      Author's profile photo Peter Atkin
      Peter Atkin

      Very nice functionality Saif..

      Can it be used without Asset Manager i.e. via the SAP back-end IW32 transaction ?

      PeteA

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, broadly addresses two use cases. 1. Online - which can be used, as you described via IW32.

      2. Offline device capability - which requires Asset Manager.

      Author's profile photo Rajendra Pandey
      Rajendra Pandey

      Hi Mohammed,

      Where can we get more details of 'Dynamic Form' app? You have said, it is custom built. Is it available in SAP store?

      Regards,

      Rajendra

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Rajendra,

      The solution has multiple components. On BTP as well as extension to SAP Asset Manager. For details on how to get the solution, please reach out to ramneek.sharma@sap.com

       

      Regards

      Saif

      Author's profile photo Rajendra Pandey
      Rajendra Pandey

      Many thanks, Mohammed

      Best Regards,

      Rajendra

      Author's profile photo Gaurav B
      Gaurav B

      Hello,

      Is this like a preconfigured form available when we install asset manager or do we need to have some additional license or scope item for this to be activated?

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Gaurav,

      This is a custom built solution on top of SAP Asset Manager. For details on licensing please reach out to ramneek.sharma@sap.com.

      Regards

      Saif

      Author's profile photo David Hayward
      David Hayward

      A great blog!  This is an area we are focusing on in our next programme of work.

      Are there plans to make Dynamic Forms available in BTP, including the Trial account?

      Dave

      Author's profile photo Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Mohammed Saifulla Shafiulla
      Blog Post Author

      Hi David,

      Appreciate your feedback and great to hear that this is an area of focus for your organisation.

      The solution can be made available on BTP. Feel free to reach out to us(ramneek.sharma@sap.com, mohammed.saifulla.shafiulla@sap.com) and we can discuss the possibilities.

       

      Regards

      Saif