The goals of APM are:
- Continuous (pre-emptive) monitoring of asset health, incorporating stability and performance considerations
- Early detection of incipient problems
- Applying corrective measures proactively on a just-in-time basis, thereby reducing time and cost of problem resolution
- Reliably identifying persistent plant issues to drive capital/time investment decisions
Intelligent asset performance management employs advanced systems and technologies to help automate and support the APM process. SGS’s Asset Health, Effectiveness and Diagnostics (AHEAD) is a platform for intelligent APM. AHEAD addresses certain industry needs at the plant level:
- Increased business and process complexity – there is a high skill level required to operate and troubleshoot processes effectively and analysis is time consuming
- Operational and HSE considerations – AHEAD minimizes unnecessary maintenance and limits personnel exposure to dangerous environments
- Difficulty finding and retaining experienced staff, especially in remote locations – AHEAD allows you to operate with leaner staffing levels
AHEAD provides an advanced process condition monitoring system that intelligently analyzes and assesses plant asset performance on a continuous, pre-emptive basis. A comprehensive and effective tool, AHEAD helps you achieve and measure compliance with operational excellence standards, with the ultimate goal of better asset utilization, optimized product quality and lower operating costs. AHEAD achieves optimal asset (equipment, process and controller) performance through:
- Monitoring of asset health continuously and consistently
- Detecting existing or incipient problems which may affect equipment or process operation and or efficiency
- Diagnosing the root cause of detected problems
- Making timely and problem-centric advice available via web based displays and summary reports
- Assisting operations personnel in minimizing the effects and duration of identified problems
- Mitigating the impact of employee turnover by helping retain key process knowledge
AHEAD reliably automates process monitoring and troubleshooting tasks to consistently and quickly detect deviations from desired performance targets (Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs). The system then diagnoses the causes of such deviations and recommends appropriate actions to rapidly return the process to normal operation.
One of the unique strengths of AHEAD is its fully automated Root Cause Analysis (RCA) functionality that is based on heuristics (modeling the troubleshooting reasoning of the process or asset specialist). This methodology provides a framework for real-time fault management in large-scale systems while protecting the operator from 'alarm-flooding' and increased workloads.
AHEAD delivers concise and targeted communication in a consistent and repeatable manner within a plant organization. At operating sites where AHEAD has been integrated into staff’s performance management culture, SGS’s approach enables closer adherence to operational discipline, helps standardize Performance Management within unit operations, and ultimately reduces or eliminates the impact of operational loss events.
AHEAD can further play a role in consolidated control centers, where centrally-located specialists and operators manage several geographically dispersed and at times remote operating sites. Consolidation of large volumes of data and events from several sites has the potential to rapidly overwhelm the control center staff; being able to react to a prioritized problem list and quickly identify each problem’s causes will be of paramount importance to the center’s and each site’s effective operation.
Trust SGS to deliver quality intelligent asset management solutions to contain costs, reduce risk and enhance value.