Wikipedia defines Asset management as “any system that monitors and maintains things of value to an entity or group. It may apply to both tangible assets such as buildings and to intangible assets such as human capital, intellectual property, and goodwill and financial assets. Asset management is a systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets cost-effectively.” In engineering we manage key assets, such as facilities and equipment, with the objective of getting the best support for users while minimizing costs.
So you might ask, “What does that have to do with systems engineering?” Well, since we postulate that systems engineering supports all aspects of the lifecycle, including operations and support (O&S), then we need to treat O&S as apart of system and engineering, so to optimize cost, schedule and performance. During the O&S phase of the lifecycle costs include labor force and equipment used to perform the operations, as well as recurring costs of materials used during maintenance of the operational system. Schedule, in this context, implies making sure that operations deal with shift changes, maintenance schedules, and interrupts. Performance in this phase can mean making sure the O&S system meets the overall performance goals of the stakeholders. Asset management clearly takes all these things into account and so does Innoslate.
One of the primary aspects of Asset Management is known what you have and where it is located. In Innoslate, we capture what you have as Asset class entities. The figure below shows the Entity View of an Asset, in this case an Ice Machine. Note the upper left corner contains a picture of the asset. You can capture a complete description of the entity in the description field.
However, you can also capture it’s characteristics as Characteristics class entities (see the “specified by” relationship on the bottom right of the figure). These characteristics provide information about the storage capacity of different models of the machine. An example of one of those characteristics is shown in the next figure. Note that this entity is a Measure class item. Measures are a subclass of Characteristics. The Measure class entities have a number of standard values, including the projected, threshold, and objectives.
To identify where the Asset is, you just have to select the “Location” tab in the relationships panel of the Asset. It looks like the figure below.
The physical Location class entity is shown below. It allows the user to identify specific coordinates and altitude of the location.
The location coordinates can be chosen from the Google Maps interface (on the Cloud version) using the select button and the dialog below.
Also note that if the Asset had been a satellite, the orbital location is also available.
Not all Assets have a fixed location. Since Location and Time class entities also have a relationship (occurs/occurred by), you can specify the location at different times.
In addition, all of these classes have a “decomposed by/decomposes” relationship, so you can start with a facility, decompose it by rooms and then decompose the rooms with the equipment in those rooms. The locations can also be decomposed to allow you to identify a broad area (using points) to a specific point.
Assets may also have significant amounts of documentation associated with them (user manuals, maintenance manuals, maintenance schedules, etc.). Innoslate® provides the Artifact class entities to capture this information and upload the documentation to the database. Artifacts can have Locations and Time class entities associated with them as well, so if you do not have or want digital versions you could specify where the documents are stored and when they become obsolete.
An Asset may also have standard operating procedures associated with it. Those procedures can be captured as Artifacts or modeled as Action class entities. By using the modeling capability of Innoslate, you can adjust the procedure as needed and see the impact on cost or schedule (see the How to Perform Cost Analysis blog for details). Actions can be associated with Assets using the “performs/performed by” relationship.
Part of your management of assets may include having to make decisions about the future of the asset or to identify risks associated with the asset. Innoslate enables you to track decisions and risks using the Decision and Risk class entities. Relationships between the assets, decisions, and risks are also available.
With all these aspects of Asset Management, you can see how Innoslate® may be the ideal way to not only perform systems engineering, but also aid in the management of all elements of your enterprise.
Topics: How to Use Innoslate Series