The concept of digital manufacturing could have been designed with asset management in mind. It’s ideally suited to asset-rich, high CapEx industrial operations where a lack of asset visibility causes spiralling costs, duplicated effort and operational risk. In a single, strategic decision to move to digital enablement, industrial asset managers have the opportunity to transform both the financial health of their organizations and the end-to-end asset lifecycle.

It’s no wonder then that CapEx intensive industries are seeking out digital solutions and partners to address common asset-based pain points. The top six of these pains are concerned with: time-to-market and delivery; availability and asset longevity; total cost of ownership; security compliance; regulatory compliance; and international standards.

A single source of data

So how does digital help? The right digital solution is built on an understanding of the value of data. Every single asset can be better managed, from design through construction and operation to end-of-of life, with a trusted, singular source of asset data. With a digital platform, this asset data can be aggregated to establish a digital identity of each industrial asset. This identity is then shared across operational areas in a ‘single source’ repository that puts an end to the information silos in owner-operated teams (EPC, project managers, third party subcontractors, etc.).

This is a powerful business enabler. It addresses the increasing data volume from multiple sources with different versioning over the asset lifecycle. A trusted digital repository of asset information, with connected process and workflow management features, improves collaboration across the extended enterprise. It minimizes human error in data handling and helps validate optimization and expansion plans.

This shift from document-centric to data-centric digital asset management has huge ramifications. It enables cross-company collaboration, as well as integration with external ecosystems (suppliers, tech partners, etc.). It provides access to physical asset information, held as digital data. This means that at any one time there is visibility of an asset’s reliability, availability, traceability, etc. throughout its lifecycle. Equipment can be monitored and better utilized. Maintenance becomes predictive, rather than reactive. Operational records are maintained in one place, with one single source of truth.

Adding up the benefits

The value of a robust, digital platform to record, organize, validate, and apply asset and process information is indisputable. At Capgemini, we’ve seen the results at first hand with the measurable outcomes of our own DiALM (Digital Asset Lifecycle Management) solution. These include reduced TCO, lower maintenance costs, improved asset reliability, more effective third party and contractor management, and faster handover between design and operation.

In industries characterized by heavy investment in assets, digital identification as part of digital asset management is surely the way forward.

- Co-authored with Markus Rossmann

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