Understanding Asset Criticality with Susan Lubell
Now as a maintenance and reliability engineer, you need to come up with some tools to help you do this asset criticality activity. The heat maps are a good way as they include the asset hierarchy of the organization along with the budget details and other related information. You rank every system in the map by creating matrices that have different illustrations—usually red dots for critical ones and so on—to allow you to focus on specific factors and the determine the consequences if those assets fail. In order to do this, stakeholders, plant maintenance staff and concerned officials need to interact as it leads to right answers by asking the right questions and addressing the right issues in a right way. This is done by cascading everything from the corporate level to the site level.
You can start with getting the guidelines from departments like health and safety, risk and insurance, environmental health and so on. They can provide you a good insight into industry best practices that give you an idea of what to look for even if you don’t have a standard chart to follow. The adaptation of the higher level criticality analysis tools depends on how you run things at your local level or production level where criteria vary among different organizations.
The asset criticality number also helps to a great deal—for condition monitoring, keeping planners posted, and so on—but the approach that you use depends on the criticality level of your equipment. If criticality is high, you will definitely perform a complete analysis like RCM, address all the failure modes, and take proactive maintenance into account. But if it is low, you don’t need to analyze at every level. So starting from the higher levels gives you an understanding of which assets are the most critical and then if needed, you can go to system level make sure that critical piece of equipment works at its optimum.
Once you have this criticality information about your asset, you can rank those assets with the help of your CMMS systems. This allows you to schedule your regulatory compliance in the right amount. You can always double check the criticality of your assets at the time when you make changes to make sure everything is fine. Setting early criteria and defining the granularity level helps with redundancy and other errors.
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