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Author's profile photo Lars Fossum

PLM for Asset Intensive Industries: From Product Lifecycle Management to Capital Asset Lifecycle Management

Introduction to PLM
The concept of PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) has proven to bring great benefits to companies in the discrete manufacturing industries, like automotive and aerospace. In essence, PLM is all about managing product data and how this evolves and matures throughout the lifecycle of that product. PLM is a virtual representation of a product and all its components where each step of the product lifecycle is managed, all the way from initial design through manufacturing, supply chain management and operations, and asset maintenance. PLM software helps organizations to develop new products and bring them to market, and track and share data along the product value chain. Check out this blog post by Andreas Madlencnik to learn more how PLM can help connect engineering to the enterprise.

But what if the product is much bigger, like an oil refinery or a nuclear power plant? You might no longer refer to it as a product, but rather a capital asset. However, there is still a need to manage its data and lifecycle in a controlled manner. These assets are often highly complex and are a result of multi-disciplinary engineering and development processes. They generate a vast amount of data throughout their lifecycle, from planning, through concept design, detailed design, procurement, fabrication & delivery, installation & commissioning, handover, and operations & maintenance. For companies in these industries, it is a massive challenge to organize and manage both the virtual and physical assets throughout their lifecycles.

Industry challenges
To develop, construct and operate a capital asset there are often two main organizations involved: Engineering Procurement & Construction (EPC) companies, responsible for developing and building the asset through the capital project, and the Owner/Operators (O/O), responsible for operating and maintaining the asset. The EPC needs to manage the project lifecycle and the project digital twin. Once this in complete it is handed over to the O/O who is managing the asset lifecycle and the operations digital twin.

Both the EPC and O/O share many of the challenges related to managing the virtual representation of the capital asset. This often related to the fact that no single company has complete end-to-end lifecycle view of an asset. The EPC is focused on meeting project cost and managing the process of virtual design and construction. The O/O is focused on optimizing the asset´s performance. EPCs and O/O share many issues, bot often don´t share data. Many of the challenges the EPCs and O/O face are related to the issue with disconnected systems and processes. This makes it difficult to specify, develop, built and maintain an asset throughout its lifecycle. There are many silos of information describing the asset and often manual and paper-based processes to consolidate and manage all the information. This is especially challenging in the handover phase, where there often is a manual process for extracting, transforming, validating, and loading data into other systems. This has a significant impact on cost, time & quality of project delivery.

Learn from other industries
So how can these industries manage the asset data and lifecycle in an efficient way? The answer might be to look to other industries and learn and leverage what they have accomplished by implementing PLM concepts to manage the product lifecycle. The table below shows examples of what benefits PLM has provided the different industries:

Introducing Capital Asset Lifecycle Management
According to CIMdata, a leading research and consulting firm in the PLM domain, we can adopt and apply PLM concepts and techniques to the planning, design, construction, and operation of a plant, facility, or factory. CIMdata refer to this as Capital Asset Lifecycle Management, or CALM for short. A CALM solution need to cover the following main areas:

In short, a CALM solution takes the best from PLM and applies it to fit asset intensive industries.

SAP and Siemens partnership: 1+1=3
Last summer, SAP and Siemens signed a strategic partnership agreement in the PLM space. Follow this link to learn more. This partnership is the best of both worlds for our customers. By combining the world leading enterprise, supply chain and asset management software from SAP, with the leading PLM software from Siemens, we can help our customers to break down the silos by creating a digital thread of product and asset data. The partnership enables SAP to resell Siemens Teamcenter as part of the SAP portfolio. Siemens Teamcenter is one of the most widely used PLM solutions globally, and our SAP customers can now benefit from this. There is also a brand new SAP integration to Siemens Teamcenter, as you can read more about following this link.

SAP Teamcenter CALM by Siemens
To address the challenges and needs of the asset intensive industries, Siemens has developed an industry solution for SAP Teamcenter named Capital Asset Lifecycle Management. To put it short, SAP Teamcenter CALM is all about consolidating the engineering definition from multiple sources, making it possible to have one environment with data structures to completely represent the asset definition, capturing best practices, reducing handover times and providing the correct asset definition to the maintenance system. The figure below illustrate the concept of SAP Teamcenter CALM.

Main capabilities
In addition to the standard SAP Teamcenter capabilities, like BOM management, change management, 2D/3D visualization, etc., SAP Teamcenter CALM brings additional functionality specifically developed to support the engineering phase of capital assets. One example of this is the integration to the different authoring tools used in a capital project. This can be 2D P&ID (Piping and instrumentation diagram) tools, 3D plant design tools, and also building/facility/BIM tools. With SAP Teamcenter CALM we can import the 2D and 3D data from all of these systems and consolidate it in one complete asset breakdown structure. The data and the structure is created according to an industry standard called CFIHOS (Capital Facilities Information HandOver Specification). Structuring the data using the CFIHOS standard will make information handover process faster and with fewer errors.

Combining SAP Teamcenter CALM with other SAP solutions
The primary role of SAP Teamcenter CALM is to manage the engineering definition of an asset. This compliments other SAP solutions in a very good way, in order to support the complete design-to-operate process. In addition to the core SAP processes like ERP and finance, I would like to emphasize on two SAP solutions that fits well with SAP Teamcenter CALM. These are SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management and SAP Intelligent Asset Management. SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management improves transparency across capital project investments to better manage risks, activities, budgets, and costs within individual projects to reach organizational goals on time and within budget. SAP Intelligent Asset Management help companies to maintain and service the performance of physical assets with real-time insights, loT, machine learning, mobility and advanced and predictive analytics. Together with core SAP, SAP Teamcenter CALM, SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management and SAP Intelligent Asset Management can cover the entire capital project lifecycle:

  • SAP Teamcenter CALM manages the engineering definition
  • SAP Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management manages the actual capital project
  • SAP Intelligent Asset Management manages the physical capital asset in operations.

A dream combo!

Benefits
As mentioned above, the handover process from the EPC (CAPEX phase) to the Owner/Operator (OPEX phase) is a time consuming process of extracting, transforming, validating, and loading data into other systems. With SAP Teamcenter CALM we can drastically reduce, or even eliminate, this process through the creation of the engineering digital twin. This digital twin can seamlessly be transferred to downstream systems like SAP Intelligent Asset Management, for operations and maintenance. This is enabled by data consistency by adopting a common data specification (CFIHOS). Furthermore, SAP Teamcenter CALM makes it easy to exchange and review information, including multiple design formats. Finally, by using SAP Teamcenter CALM as the engineering digital twin companies can reduce information consolidation costs by up to 60%.

This was the first blog post on SAP Teamcenter CALM. Stay tuned for more information and details about this solution in the months to come!

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