APM and Digital Twin Synergies

By Ralph Rio


Increasing business dynamics and competitive pressures have put additional emphasis on asset performance management (APM) and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Consider an APM approach that synchronizes engineering and asset management functions for faster time to benefit for projects, and higher reliability for assets. Digital twins enable and augment this APM approach.

Growing Need for APM

Industry dynamics, competitive pressures, and safety continue to drive the need to improve agility, plant performance, and asset reliability. The pace of change has quickened with a new generation of technologies including predictive analytics, digital twins, cloud, IoT, and much more. Also, new goals for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals have become a necessity. These dynamics have put additional emphasis on asset performance management (APM) and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).

Digital Twins Enable Improved APM

APM assures the reliability and performance of assets that are critical to operations. Asset-centric facilities increase uptime, decrease costs, and reduce operational risks. Digital twins provide the technology infrastructure that enables APM. The intersection of APM and digital twins provide manufacturers an opportunity for digital transformation in plant engineering and asset management. Digital twins combined with APM align various functions that contribute to improve OEE in plant operations.

Scope of APM

The APM approach to managing assets prioritizes business objectives in addition to traditional asset reliability and availability goals. APM has become a primary enabler of digital transformation for asset management among industrial companies. Modern APM combines traditional asset management practices with new digital technologies for Digital Twin Synergiestransformation advances in reliability, maintenance execution, and business performance. APM synchronizes reliability, maintenance, inspections, and information management for improved reliability and availability of physical assets.

Business Goals: Through digital transformation in asset and risk management, and improvements in asset availability and uptime, users achieve higher revenue and profitability while improving customer satisfaction with on-time delivery and quality.

Asset Ecosystem: The ecosystem for assets extends beyond the plant floor and facilities to include a wide range of applications across asset-intensive industries that leverage OT, IT and engineering systems and the associated production, maintenance, and engineering personnel. It also encompasses third party partners and other providers of parts and services.

Digital Tools: Modern technologies across a range of tools like smart devices, augmented reality, mobility, analytics, and more can improve business processes and create new methods for asset management.

Data & Analysis: Enable greater depth of collaboration across the asset ecosystem by using digital twin, digital thread, and other modern information assimilation and management approaches.

Practices and Apps: Traditional practices and applications are more effective when enhanced with data, digital tools, and support for business goals.

Digital Twins in APM

A digital twin is a dynamic virtual representation of a physical device, system, or plant that exists or will exist. The twin has a level of completeness for users to improve performance and/or project execution in the real world.

Project Digital Twin and Information Management

3D or 4D model with up-to-date and accessible information provides a vehicle for cross-disciplinary and cross-ecosystem collaboration while creating a manufacturing process, plant, upgrade, or infrastructure. This project digital twin typically starts during the engineering and construction phase of a project. It can become the primary vehicle for handover of engineering information to operations and maintenance. The project digital twin has become an emerging application for asset lifecycle information management (ALIM) across all phases of an asset’s lifecycle.

Business benefits include reduced out-of-date information, search time by engineering, errors, and associated rework. It can simulate construction sequence to reduce the project schedule’s elapsed time. A project is more likely delivered on time, in budget, and within specifications.


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Keywords: APM, Digital Twin, Reliability, Asset Management, Engineering, ARC Advisory.


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