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The Primary Causes of Poor Data Integrity: What Are Your Options

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The Primary Causes of Poor Data Integrity: What Are Your Options?




Most industries are leaning toward asset management in order to cut operational costs (OPEX). Engineering Asset Management (EAM) is the management of engineering assets that gives guidance on how to use all physical assets within an organisation effectively. This objective is centred on the consistency and quality of asset data. This article focuses on the “not-so-hidden” but ongoing unsolved challenges that lead to poor data integrity and offers solutions for their resolution.


Working in silos leads to poor collaboration.


A siloed approach to asset management, with a lack of coordination between Project Engineering, Maintenance and Reliability teams and other business divisions, results in poor asset data management throughout the organisation. Effective collaboration within organisational divisions is one of the important factors for success, and it is addressed in the best asset management practises established in the ISO 55000 family of standards. Any engineer with expertise in both project engineering and maintenance and reliability engineering will attest to the vast difference between these teams.


During project execution, it is standard practise to collect asset supporting paperwork such as spares, warranties, after-sales service agreements, change management forms, and so on. However, in most situations, a lack of coordination between project engineering and maintenance and reliability engineering teams impedes this phase. It is difficult to resolve underlying design concerns that may have been addressed when the project engineering team was still active once an asset has been handed over to the maintenance and reliability engineering team. Furthermore, because most organisations outsource their project engineering departments, it is difficult to prevent these concerns.


The operations/production team may have contributed to the difficulties that the maintenance and reliability engineering team is attempting to fix through asset management. For example, the operations/production team believes they have the power to bypass or alter an asset’s operation without contacting the maintenance and reliability teams. However, when the asset begins to exhibit signs of unreliability, they seek assistance from the team in charge of maintenance and dependability. As a result, it is critical that the change management process be followed, properly carried out, and key stakeholders are involved and informed prior to any plant operating adjustments.


Inadequate Utilization of Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)


“Trash in, garbage out”—Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) offer a single platform for day-to-day asset management. However, deploying software without appropriately arranging data inputs and workflows inside the software platform of choice might result in poor software performance. Organizations must offer enough training and ongoing assistance to users of this programme so that they are capable of loading new data, coding data, retrieving data, evaluating data, and changing data. This is a key function inside an organisation and cannot be substituted for a team member who has done poorly in their present capacity.


Using only MS Excel to store or manage asset data


This is a formula for catastrophe, and it is an issue that there are still organisations in this expanding sector who are not investing in good CMMS software. The disadvantage of using MS Excel spreadsheets to store or manage asset data is that they are not cloud-based, prohibiting real-time multi-user collaboration and providing no backup. Furthermore, if the organization’s IT system is hacked, the majority of the data would most likely be lost. On the other hand,


MS Excel lacks the capacity to track changes properly.


Forbes also discovered that “almost nine out of ten spreadsheets (88%) include inaccuracies.” The bulk of these mistakes were caused by human error. As a result, depending entirely on Excel will continue to reverse the gains accomplished via technological improvement to better asset management.


Inadequate Management of the Centralised Plant Maintenance System


Most organisations have the necessary tools to ensure asset management success. Different teams, however, use different systems to store, evaluate, and update data. Engineers, for example, hold a distinct copy of asset data in physical files (in their offices) with no backup copies or exchange the data with plant maintenance coordinators or the document control office. Furthermore, critical documentation such as process control narratives, operational philosophies, OEM data books, and so on is rarely preserved on a centralised platform following new installations. It is strongly advised that the document control office serve as the custodian of any modifications made to plant assets. As a result, all stakeholders must guarantee that the document control office is kept informed during and after the change management process. Furthermore, to track “add, edit, and delete” operations, a change register can be shared on a cloud-based platform.


Review Intervals for Inconsistent Data


The industry’s transition to the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) necessitates the digitization of assets. As a result, it is clear that there is a space for continual development. as well as Companies are attempting to remain relevant in this volatile business by altering their current plant processes and equipment. Regulations and laws, on the other hand, are pushing certain plant adjustments. As a result, it is critical to guarantee that asset data is constantly reviewed and updated in order to maintain its integrity.


Last Thoughts


Based on the main reasons discussed in this article, it is clear that in order for an organisation to get value from asset management, data consistency and accuracy must be at the heart of the asset strategy mission. As a result, each effort taken to increase data integrity will greatly contribute to the success of asset management and, almost certainly, cut operational expenses (OPEX). As a result, the return on investment (ROI) improves.When it comes to Optimal, we assist our clients with asset data management as part of our Asset Reliability as a Service portfolio of products, which improve operations, maximise income, lower risks, enable innovation, and provide a competitive advantage.

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