Especially in capital-intensive sectors, equipment inventory is highly essential to conduct operations and they represent critical assets for that company. Therefore, a significant amount of capital investment is required to build and operate the critical equipment. Examples of equipment-intensive companies can be found in the automotive, oil and gas upstream and downstream (e.g production, refinery, and distribution), mining, heavy machinery, steel production, telecommunications, and transportation sectors (e.g., railway and airlines). Due to the importance of such assets, Dynamic Equipment Management is vital in all these industries.
At equipment intensive companies, it is important that the equipment is properly maintained and kept ready for operations as much as possible so that the unnecessary downtime is minimized and the equipment remains efficient.
What Needs to be Done?
- Timely execution of planned maintenance and repair activities
- Timely elimination of unexpected faults, breakdowns, and downtime
- Continuous monitoring of the equipment status and operational data
When all these are done effectively, a low-cost, always-ready, and high-time available equipment inventory may be possible. In this regard, dynamic equipment management is crucial.
3 Risks That Can Be Reduced with Good Equipment Management
Health Safety Environment (HSE) Impact
Any physical operation has an impact on HSE and must be properly managed to reduce the risks and minimize the harmful effects. Dynamic Equipment Management helps to control and manage the HSE impacts of the equipment. Factors such as the health of operators, environmental effects, and fuel expenditures must be considered. Along with these priorities, failure to manage the equipment well may risk the company’s image, reputation and not to mention there will be further environmental damage.
- Reducing Lost Time in Production
Being prepared for whatever the company’s business is and operating at the highest level in production. For example, a company that produces oil or natural gas or does mining can achieve a high level of production only if the equipment is in good working condition.
Another example can be given for the rental companies. By keeping a high availability of the equipment, it would be possible to meet the incoming customer demands to rent vehicles and construction equipment.
- Cost of Risk Reduction
Well-managed equipment, well-planned maintenance operations, and on-time repairs would improve the operational efficiency of equipment, which reduce the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increase capital efficiency.
Technologies That Facilitate Equipment Management
All business processes spanning through the lifecycle of equipment, from purchasing to scrapping, can now be followed through IT applications.
Equipment Lifecycle Management begins with the purchase of the equipment by the company. Throughout the time that the equipment is in service, it goes through many different stages. When it reaches the end of its economic life, it is scrapped eventually. In the meantime, it is a must to follow the processes with the help of IT applications as it is not possible to control equipment manually or by other methods.
This is especially the case in industries with equipment, in which the planning and execution of equipment management is a very complex task. It is vital to have a spare part available whenever it is needed. If not, it would result in the failure of an equipment part which may lead to the halt of production and bring a serious amount of cost of lost time. The processes work entirely on IT applications.
In today’s complex production facilities, companies, and organizations, IT Technology is essential beyond facilitating management. These technologies allow the use of mathematical and business models. The equipment management processes run on these applications helps to reduce the total cost of ownership.
IoT – The Internet of Things
The idea of IoT has come to life with the development of sensors and the collection of huge amounts of operational data. The IoT helped us know more about equipment, its condition, operational requirements and opened a new era in managing equipment. For the heavy equipment and construction equipment fleets, the IoT data is collected via a system called Fleet Management System (FMS).
The FMS systems collect data from the equipment via the sensors placed on the vehicles and based on the data received by several reports. Then analyses are conducted, such as the location of the equipment, condition, fuel consumption, temperature of the engine, engine workload, and even the performance of the driver and operator.
There are even more advanced FMS systems, which enable logistics and transport management activities with the help of real-time IoT data. With the development of IoT technologies, a large amount of information flow has been achieved.
Digital Twin Technologies
Combined with the advances in IT technology and increase in computing powers, the virtual presence of equipment as the digital twin technologies has become possible. Both the equipment and the business processes relevant to equipment management can now be followed in the virtual environment.
Pre-planning and simulation are made possible, various studies and analyses can be carried out with auto-guidance or remote control in risky areas without endangering human life.
Maintenance and Repair Systems
Systems used for the planning and monitoring the equipment maintenance and repair activities gather information about the equipment status with IoT technologies. Such systems enable taking critical decisions about equipment with accurate data, and the use of various mathematical models made possible by both analytical methods and AI technologies.
Importance of Equipment Intensive Companies Using SAP Technology in Equipment Management
SAP is an ERP application that has been widely implemented all over the world and is used especially by many large and medium-sized companies. The core modules of ERP applications are accounting, finance, and materials management. Purchasing, sales, distribution, maintenance and repair, production, customer relations management, human resources applications have been developed around the accounting and finance module and allow the proper management of resources.
SAP has introduced a globally accepted module with the FICO module which handles accounting and finance processes and other logistics modules are naturally integrated into the FICO and equipment management processes are processed in detail. As a result of this tight and consummate integration among the modules, equipment management companies, especially large-scale ones, prefer to use the SAP systems.
Using the SAP system adds value to the companies as SAP is considered an indication that the company is transparent, its processes are with audit rules, and that business processes are largely automated. Going through these stages requires serious financial and moral investment, a difficult Change Management process must be achieved, which eventually increases the maturity level of the company’s processes. Therefore, it can be said that companies running on SAP systems are considered to have more mature business processes, than the ones that do not run on SAP.
In summary, SAP is a widely used ERP system being a global market leader. By enforcing the best practices for managing and executing business and financial processes, the SAP system adds value to the companies which use it.
3 Benefits for Equipment Intensive Companies with FIT Global Solutions
- SAP Development Partner
FIT-Rent, FIT-Service, FIT-Parts, and FIT-Prime modules, together with FIT-Lease currently under construction, provide Dynamic Equipment Management solutions to companies on the SAP platform.
- Providing Best of Class Rental Management Solutions
With FIT-Rent, which is a user-friendly application encompassing the latest rental business models, it is possible to manage all aspects of rental processes such as providing rental quotations, issue the equipment to delivery, using, billing, and return of the equipment.
- Efficiency in Equipment Management
In addition, equipment management companies contribute to ensuring the monitoring of business processes, using FIT products in processes such as equipment service operations meeting spare parts requirements and second-hand sales with other modules. As a result, human error is minimized ensuring efficient equipment management.
In conclusion, it is highly recommended that equipment management is supported by state-of-the-art IT solutions that are suitable for your company and developed with the latest technologies.