In simple terms, asset management for a business is realising the value of infrastructure and equipment and proactively preserving those assets in a way that optimises their performance, lengthens their lifespan, and retains their value for as long as possible.
Asset management practices can be used throughout the entire lifestyle of a product, from design to construction, commissioning, operation, and eventually decommissioning and disposal. For the purpose of this blog, we will focus on the importance of asset management during the longest and most valuable stage – operation.
The importance of asset management when equipment is operational
Once your equipment is installed and commissioned, it will be put to work straight away to deliver outputs for your facility, meet customer demand, and ultimately deliver profit. Once operational, asset management – in the form of both ongoing maintenance and regular, timely calibration (where applicable) – should be considered a necessity for all assets. The stark reality is that the better you manage any asset, the longer it will perform for you, the more cost-effective it will be to run, and the more profit it will bring to the business.
Asset management: Cost vs benefit
Despite the clear benefits of good practice, asset management is an ongoing operational cost. Some businesses may be tempted to cut corners in their OPEX when there is an economic downturn or a slump in demand.
The repercussions of poor – or worse, no – asset management can be serious. Health and safety, quality control, legislative compliance, and customer loyalty are all on the line if you fail to maintain your assets appropriately. In the end, poor asset management can impact your bottom line.
Statistically speaking, running a piece of equipment to the point of failure is estimated to cost up to 10 times as much as a regular maintenance program.1 In other words, not maintaining assets will actually cost considerably more over the longer term.
Only maintaining equipment when it breaks is a fool’s game too, with the U.S Department of Energy, stating that predictive maintenance saves up to 40% over reactive maintenance procedures.1
The role of calibration in asset management
In addition to mechanical predictive maintenance, calibration plays a particularly important role for metrology equipment. Ensuring that the digital and analogue aspects of a machine are working correctly will help to guarantee that the measurements it feeds into your daily processes are accurate, repeatable and standardised.
Without regular calibration, equipment can fall out of spec, provide inaccurate measurements, and risk quality, safety, and equipment longevity. Let’s take food processing as an example – a poorly maintained meter could fail to pick up that your facility was cooking or storing food at the wrong temperature, leading to bacterial growth and microbial contamination. This is likely something that could have been highlighted during the calibration process, which could then be fixed by mechanical repair or adjustment, and showcases the importance of including regular calibration in your asset management plan.
The calibration of equipment will almost always fall within a set of standards either geographically or from an industry body like the Food Standards Agency (FSA), therefore remaining compliant is an important task. These standards, legislations and regulations, combined with manufacturer guidelines, will tell you how and when to calibrate your equipment, and working with a specialist calibration partner can ensure compliance and equipment performance.
If you need support with calibration to improve your asset management practices, call us on 0845 939 0020.
Avery Weigh-Tronix specialises in providing a comprehensive range of metrology calibration services. All calibrations are expertly performed to exacting standards for accuracy, reliability, and traceability. Our calibration laboratory is accredited by UKAS to ISO/IEC 17025:2017.