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3 Feb,

Monitoring how your assets use energy

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To stay competitive in a rapidly changing market, organizations need to incorporate asset management capabilities that optimize not only their assets’ availability, performance, and quality, but also their energy consumption. With energy costs draining more than 80% of a company’s operational and maintenance budget, asset sustainability that focuses on energy efficiency is becoming a top priority for many companies within industries such as chemicals, paper, iron and steel, petroleum, transportation, and healthcare to improve their operational, financial, and environmental health.

Best-of-breed enterprise asset management systems provide tools that incorporate the global asset sustainability index using four components—availability, performance, quality, and energy efficiency—to gauge individual asset health as well as the total asset health across the enterprise. These systems provide visibility into asset performance at meaningful and actionable levels and automatically send alerts to the right person at the right time to take corrective actions and preventive measures.

Companies that have added the energy consumption component to their asset management systems have realized big reductions in energy usage, a quick return on investment, and improved environmental conditions, as well as increased shareholder value and new market opportunities.

Organizations with major facilities have been practicing enterprise asset management (EAM) for years. Today, however, successful ones are relying more on technology and smarter asset management—a requirement for staying competitive within an uncertain economy, growing global competition, added regulatory pressures, and an aging infrastructure.

EAM’s major objective has always been to maximize asset availability, reliability, and performance, while minimizing total cost of ownership for every asset in the enterprise. But EAM has also grown to include another major factor: sustainability that focuses on energy efficiency.

Companies with plants, facilities, and equipment are now facing a daunting reality: Energy consumption is eroding profit margins. As rising energy costs continue to take a larger part of the operating and maintenance budget, corporate executives must focus on the challenge of managing energy use, as well as growing public and government concerns about carbon emissions and other pollutants.

To meet that challenge, software companies are stepping up to provide advanced tools for monitoring energy consumption at the asset level to support maintenance, replacement, and process control decisions, and even behavioral change. These tools factor energy demand management with traditional asset management functions. The result is the elimination of waste for better operational efficiency, lower energy costs, and improved regulatory compliance from lower carbon emissions.