Introduction to CMMS and EAM

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems are software platforms that provide maintenance and asset management for asset intensive industries such as oil and gas, chemical, and wastewater treatment. A CMMS focuses on maintenance while an EAM system handles a multitude of business functions.

Let’s take a look at each of these tools, how they’ve helped the industry, what limitations they have, and what the future of reliability looks like.

What Is a Computerized Maintenance Management System?

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are software platforms used by the oil and gas and chemical processing industries to manage maintenance data associated with a facility’s equipment. They house data such as equipment records (including location hierarchy and asset attributes), maintenance schedules, work orders, and spare parts inventory. The programs are used to schedule and record planned/preventive maintenance tasks associated with a facility’s equipment.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems are good for what they are designed to do: manage maintenance. They hold work orders, equipment records, and in some cases, Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) data. However, because they don’t do much more, this limited focus leaves gaps that requires organizations to use other software tools.

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What Is Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)?

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems are used by a variety of asset intensive industries to manage the life cycle of an organization’s physical assets. EAM systems perform the same tasks as a CMMS, including scheduling maintenance, assigning resources, managing inventory, and tracking costs. In addition, EAM functionality also includes procurement, project management, equipment reliability tracking, accounting, and regulatory compliance.

However, EAM systems are also limited in that while they are used to manage maintenance activities, they don’t quantify how the activities provide value to reliability. Because of this limitation, they do not allow users to optimize activities to maximize reliability.

What Does the Future of Reliability Look Like?

Complex manufacturing systems are constantly trying to make better and faster decisions to improve reliability and maintenance. However, to make those decisions, they must work through millions of pieces of data that are stored separately—for example in CMMS, Inspection Data Management System (IDMS), and Asset Performance Management (APM) programs. However, the industry is continuing to see major advancements in data acquisition, warehousing, modeling, and analytics. With these capabilities in mind, we have the opportunity to take the next leap in reliability analysis, allowing us to improve reliability further while decreasing total maintenance and inspection spend.

We believe this leap is made possible through Quantitative Reliability Optimization (QRO). QRO is an approach that connects every data point, analyzes the data to generate the most advanced, accurate, and current risk model to date, and enables system-based strategies—meaning you can prioritize actions across your entire facility based on current market conditions, availability goals, and/or budgetary constraints. QRO can be used to harness more value from your CMMS or EAM software.

QRO is a powerful way to connect all asset data and see key performance indicators, such as availability, risk, and cost. It can also simulate multiple asset management plans to develop the best path forward across units, facilities, and enterprises.

QRO allows users to do things like:

  • Near real time optimize all maintenance spend based on short/mid/long term reliability targets.
  • Understand the economic value of every inspection or maintenance activity performed.
  • Understand the economic value of every piece of data that is currently being gathered or possibly gathered in the future.
  • Near real time scenario modeling, including the implications of deferring a turnaround, feedstock pricing changes, or various capital projects.
  • Drive effective economic decisions in the event of operating excursions that may impact equipment reliability.

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