Asset Criticality Assessment
Understanding the criticality of your assets is the essential first step to working out how best to manage them. It’s based around a simple question: “what would happen if the asset failed to meet its functional requirements?” That might mean a breakdown or reduction in capacity. On the other hand, it might mean a collapse or explosion with serious safety or environmental consequences.
An accurate understanding of its asset criticality enables a business to do two things. Most importantly, they can design an appropriate asset management strategy for the equipment – the right balance of maintenance tasks, spares, and condition monitoring that controls the risk of asset failure without drawing in too many resources. The second benefit is that the maintenance and reliability teams can prioritise their efforts for building and revising strategies.
In Bluefield’s experience, businesses make three major mistakes with asset criticality assessment. Firstly, the methodology they use is too complex, employing far too many criteria which, in the end, doesn’t affect the result. Alternatively, they use a methodology that’s not granular enough. Typically, we see this when a business uses a consequence-likelihood approach based on a risk matrix. Great for working out criticality, but what do you do when you have 300 assets with the same risk rating? The third mistake is not starting from the top of your asset hierarchy, moving down, going from plant to system to asset. Finding low-criticality systems lets a business identify screen out hundreds of assets from the lengthy assessment process, enabling them to identify and get to the critical assets much faster.
Bluefield’s approach to asset criticality assessment, like everything that we do, is practical in nature, designed to help you quickly classify and prioritise your asset base so you can get into the important business of building strategies and plans. We’ve built and refined a method and tool that not only aligns with risk matrix-based approaches to criticality assessment but gives enough granularity to avoid having many multiples of assets with the same rating. Our technique is based on assessing both process/financial and HSE consequences and is flexible enough to adapt to the client’s’ specific criteria and processes.
At the same time, Bluefield’s team of asset management specialists are also capable of working with clients’ internal asset criticality processes. Many of our specialists have years of experience with major mining companies and in other heavy industries, so we understand not only the different processes in use, but how to develop outputs that can easily be uploaded into the maintenance system to save time and help clients move quickly to strategy development and planning.
Bluefield’s asset management specialists can also tailor their approach based on how a client would like the assessment performed. Nothing makes us happier than getting boots on the ground at on a site to see the assets in operation, gather the required information, and facilitate workshops with the client’s’ team. At the same time, we can also perform the work off-site, using our internal knowledge base and tools.
If you’re looking for a partner to help you get this fundamental part of asset management where it needs to be, contact Bluefield today.