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Home > Posts > Asset Information Management for Automation Systems - Current State and Recommendations
August 01

Asset Information Management for Automation Systems - Current State and Recommendations

Keywords: Production Volume, Quality, Maintenance, Asset Information Management, AIM, Mechanical Devices, Electrical Devices, Automation.

Automation systems have a high level of criticality since they control the process and help determine production volume, quality, and cost. Unfortunately, most organizations focus their maintenance and asset information management (AIM) programs on mechanical and electrical devices. An ARC Advisory Group user survey shows that users give AIM for automation systems less attention, and often employ manual methods.

Automation systems contain many components including both special-purpose computers (like PLCs) and general-purpose computers (like PCs). These are systems in themselves, and contain significant software and related IT components. Compared to mechanical devices, software changes frequently, often daily. Software customization – in the form of configuration settings, HMI screens, programs, and automated business processes – represents intellectual property for an organization that often provides a competitive advantage. Degradation or loss of these systems strain business sustainability.

The inherent complexity of software needs to be managed as a system along with the other mechanical, electrical, and electronic components of the automation asset. Key findings include:

  • Organizations should coordinate maintenance strategy and change management: Extend the existing enterprise asset management (EAM) and AIM systems to manage the IT in assets in addition to mechanical and electronic activities.
  • Organizations should assess the value of leveraging ITIL and COBIT practices for their automation systems. Both COBIT and ITIL contain a maturity model to allow organizations to adopt the level of practice that is appropriate for that organization and its use of tech-nology.
  • To ensure that their automation systems are taken seriously, organizations should include them in their maintenance management KPIs.


Table of Contents

  • Executive Overview
  • Information-Driven Enterprise
  • AIM and Automation Systems
  • Survey on AIM for Automation Assets    
  • Dynamics with Automation Systems
  • Recommendations


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