WHAT ENGINEERS NEED TO KNOW: ASSET MANAGEMENT

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In the 1980’s Dr Steve Boshoff was designing attack helicopter weapon systems, followed by tools and systems for maintaining nuclear power reactors.

In the 1980’s Dr Steve Boshoff was designing attack helicopter weapon systems, followed by tools and systems for maintaining nuclear power reactors.

In the 1980’s Dr Steve Boshoff was designing attack helicopter weapon systems, followed by tools and systems for maintaining nuclear power reactors. He has used this experience to develop a thorough knowledge of maintenance systems, reliability and managing assets to achieve the greatest return.

Dr Boshoff is one of the guest speakers at the 2016 National Maintenance Engineering Conference in Hamiltion.

He will give a high-impact no-frills introduction to asset management and how it affects us all. What is it? How does it change business thinking? What do Engineers need to know about it?

The ‘Engineers Introduction to Asset Management’ exposes engineers to the international asset management standard, PAS 55. The present understanding of asset management is challenged and the brief presentation is intended to show the differences in thinking about asset management.

An engineer’s day-to-day focus has traditionally been to keep the plant going. That is, we keep the pumps, valves, electrical system, etc, all working. If it breaks down, we fix it. The pressures of maintaining production hover over our heads and rightly so. So every day is about ‘fixing’ the asset.

Some will argue that we don’t only do reactive maintenance but that we also do preventive maintenance and some companies even do predictive maintenance. We use all the fancy tools for vibration analyses, thermography, acoustics, reliability centred maintenance (REM) and many more; the things engineers like to play with and we wonder why we are still faced with the challenges of increasing operating and maintenance costs, customer pressures, and maintenance budget cuts.

It’s because we are taking a micro look at the maintenance of the assets. For engineers, generally, assets are about the bits and pieces; the equipment that makes up the plant. Typically, the pumps, valves and all other types of assets. But by looking at each one individually or even as a subsystem of the plant still doesn’t give us the control of the plant.

Without getting into too much detail, lets agree that we need to take a more holistic view of our work – a macro view

PAS 55 is an international asset management standard that provides the guidelines to do exactly that. Essentially, the macro view of asset management is the consolidated business process to ensure that the physical assets will deliver the intended demand capability and return on investment required by the business’ operations – both now and into the future.

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