What’s All the Buzz About?
There is a lot of buzz surrounding the release of IBM Maximo Application Suite (MAS) version 8. This integrated suite of applications includes Manage (EAM) which most of us know as Maximo, plus Monitor, Health, Predict, Mobile, and a bevy of other applications and add-ons.
Understandably, a lot of attention has been focused on the new Application Points licensing model and the cost of MAS. While it always makes sense to look at the cost side of the ledger, don’t let that distract you from the opportunity that MAS brings to significantly increasing the value of your asset management program. A great way to do this is to implement a Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) or Predictive Maintenance (PdM) program. CBM and PdM programs increase reliability and asset performance, lower costs, increase throughput, and improve your company’s brand.
High start-up costs can be a major obstacle for adopting CBM and PdM programs. A good portion of these costs are due to the licensing, implementation and integration of the monitoring, tracking and decision support programs.
So Why CBM and PdM Now?
MAS removes so many of the challenges with CBM and PdM. MAS provides all the technology components, minus the sensors themselves, needed for CBM and PdM and significantly reduces the complexity to deploy them. Licensing for all of the applications is built into the Application Points model. These applications are delivered as part of the MAS installation and the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform allows IT to easily scale and uniformly manage the entire suite.
MAS is clearly not a random collection of applications that happen to start with “IBM” or “Watson”. These applications are tightly integrated with a common user experience which allows the user to seamlessly move between applications in the suite and displaying related data in a single pane. MAS eliminates the need for complex integrations and disparate user interfaces.
Where to Start?
If your organization has reliability engineers, they would know best. If not, find the maintenance or operations staff who focus most on improving asset performance. Maybe there is already a CBM or PdM program in place but it is lacking automation or the seamless integration that MAS provides. When evaluating the next best step, consider your most critical assets, those that are the most expensive to maintain and assets which are already producing sensor data. Once you have identified your targets, you are ready to move on.
Monitor for All
The next step is to bring the data from your control systems, historians, and IoT sensors into a single data lake in Monitor. Once there, you will immediately realize value from AI-powered anomaly detection and Monitor’s tailored dashboards. Use the dashboards, KPIs, and alerts to discover potential problems and send service requests directly to Manage. With all this added functionality, it’s hard to believe that every MAS license includes Monitor. (Pro tip: The same is true for the new Maximo Mobile).
Here’s to Good Health
But don’t stop there. With Monitor in place, you have a clear and direct path to the CBM and PdM promise land using Health and Predict. Health and Predict are both powerful asset-management decision support tools. Health delivers KPI-based asset health scores based on data from Monitor and Manage. Health produces a complete and consolidated picture of your critical assets. It facilitates decision making to avoid failures, identifies your worst performing assets, optimizes your PM schedules, and finally, helps you reduce cost.
The Future Looks Bright
While Health uses data you already have to help you make decisions, Predict gives you an eye into the future. Predict applies Watson Machine Learning and predictive models to sensor and maintenance information to forecast an asset’s current condition and determine when it is likely to fail. This is where you are really taking advantage of the super-charged AI that is under the MAS hood. There is nothing after-market about it, unlike other platforms, it is professional-grade, simple to use and powerful. It comes bundled with prediction models that are tailor-made for enterprise assets and accommodates your own models. Predict correlates failure timelines with upcoming maintenance actions in a single pane. This allows you to take action directly from Predict to preempt failures, increase reliability, and avoid unnecessary maintenance.
The Big Picture
In summary, it is easy to fixate on the “Maximo” component of MAS and not see the forest from the trees. MAS comes packed with applications and features that take you to the next level of asset performance. If you are from the maintenance side of the house, seek out and collaborate with your reliability colleagues on the potential of MAS. Forward-thinking organizations will capitalize on the value-creating potential of Monitor, Health and Predict in MAS. Will yours?
Article by Don Omura, CEO at Total Resource Management
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