Fill the gap: APM 4.0 bridges the technology and generation divide

APM 4.0 empowers companies to adopt predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies, giving them the ability to look ahead, prescribe the most economically advantageous course of action that prevent costly failures and reduce unplanned downtime, says Kim Custeau

Kim Custeau, global asset performance management lead, AVEVA.
JMO PHOTOGRAPHY
Kim Custeau, global asset performance management lead, AVEVA.

The workforce has always adapted to ongoing generational shifts, and today’s employee landscape is no exception, particularly in the engineering and industrial sectors. With many baby boomers still in the workplace but potentially thinking about career exits and retirement plans, businesses must think not only about succession plans surrounding people, but also how technology can help bridge the knowledge gap.

New research revealed that 77% of finance directors are concerned about the skills gap and the negative impact from the widespread retirement of baby boomers over the next five years. Beyond this, there are also concerns beyond the new demands and expectations from the younger Generation Y and Z workforce, especially surrounding technology. It is essential that we align people, process and technology.

Inspire people to shape the future
If machines could talk, they would tell us that now is the time to unlock and capitalise on the knowledge of the retiring workforce so that Millennials and Generation Z can reap the rewards of their hard earned experience. In industrial operations in particular, it is time to consider how to blend the institutional knowledge that the retiring generation carries to benefit the younger generation that has additional skill sets in digital technology.

The next generation of industrial workers expect an easy, modern, scalable solution to conduct their work processes – high-speed internet access, mobile devices, touch screens and virtual reality. This combination of an evolving workforce and proliferation of technologies such as predictive maintenance, cloud, big data and mobility is bringing asset performance management 4.0 (APM) to the forefront of business.

Collaborate and create
APM 4.0 is bridging the technology and generation gap, enabling people to communicate and collaborate beyond traditional boundaries. As your business evolves, APM 4.0 enables continual digital transformation designed to accommodate the knowledge and expertise of your workforce.

BP is a great example of the power of collaboration. The company wanted to simplify and standardise its oil and gas downstream supply chain management creating an intuitive environment that enables refinery analysts to identify economic opportunities and share best practices. There was a lack of transparency and duplication of efforts across the supply chain, which was largely down to using outdated technologies that required rare specialised skills, often limited to a small number of specialists.

By adopting APM 4.0, BP was able to enhance data management and transparency to improve decision-making and knowledge share across global feedstock planning and refinery operations teams, spanning countries and generations.

Ascend Performance Materials is another great example of a company that gained real business value from APM, and how workflow enabled organisational collaboration amongst all teams, from junior to senior level team members.

Ascend’s goal was to transform from a ‘1950s’ era plant, into a modern manufacturing facility able to leverage the hidden insights in industrial data in order to help prevent plant shutdowns.

Prior to implementing APM 4.0, Ascend was collecting data manually on pieces of paper that stayed on a clipboard until the clipboard was full. It was a challenge to track down who implemented work, and what they posted in the system. Using APM 4.0, Ascend was able to eliminate the manual input of data and visualise the overall manufacturing process across all teams, improving communication and knowledge share, and saving over $2mn in potential plant closures.

APM 4.0 to revolutionise industry and enhance the human experience
APM 4.0 also unlocks the potential of your assets, opening new opportunities to bring together cyber and physical systems, the Internet of Things and cloud computing to create smart factories, facilities, or plants. As organisations invest in their people and technology to bridge any generational divides, they should be looking at APM 4.0 as a critical component of that strategy in order to help business to quickly adapt to market changes and capitalise on economic opportunities.

APM 4.0 is an evolutionary step that brings together many components we see now and that have the potential to make an impact in the future. At its core, APM 4.0 includes prescriptive analytics and machine learning, smart connected assets and services, IIoT platforms, industry best practices and digital twin as a mashup. It empowers companies to adopt predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies, giving them the ability to look ahead, prescribe the most economically advantageous course of action that prevent costly failures and reduce unplanned downtime.

We believe industry advancement should enhance the human experience, and not only revolutionise industries, but also empower the people behind them. Our comprehensive Asset Performance Management software portfolio is designed to overcome today’s industrial challenges by leveraging industrial big data. With improved analysis, you will eliminate inefficiencies, bridge the generational divide of your people, optimise operations, and improve profitability.

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