Flexible Asset Management Operations Platforms

4th April 2016

Community Energy

Community Energy Schemes have sprung up all over the country and organisations embarking on Community Energy are typically continually buying or building numerous sites. It condenses a typical asset management journey into just a few years and highlights the significant changes in focus that occur as a portfolio grows and matures.

ICONICS passionately believes that access to real-time data and information at your fingertips is key to realising the maximum value of your assets. The asset management industry understands the value of information, whether for trying to achieve the maximum immediate benefit or for extending the life of aging infrastructure – information is what drives these decisions as it gives us the understanding of where our asset is in its lifecycle. Across the various industries this information was previously typically collected very slowly if at all. Organisations are slowing moving towards more telemetry on asset operation and it is making most use of this operational data that ICONICS provides its value.

Our Offering, Your Journey

What we provide is an intelligent software platform that can capture asset data using proven industry standard formats. We can transform and integrate that data across your enterprise, linking seamlessly to other elements of your asset management stack such as Infor, Oracle, Maximo and SAP. The platform provides analysis capability allowing you to combine real-time and historic asset operations data and data from various other business sources to provide additional insights, such as a decision support system for condition based maintenance. Some examples would be comparing asset run hours for the last month to determine which asset should be serviced first. Or for example in situations where you’ve only got a single signal being returned from your asset, such as pump running because of its age or remote location. The analysis tools would enable you to extract information such as run hours, number of starts, total energy consumption and much more, all from that single data point. Finally, the platform provides a configurable visualisation that surfaces data points and unlocks hidden insights. Information and data collection is great, but if you can’t distribute this information in a clear and simple way to the users who need it, when they need it, the value of the information is greatly reduced.

The initial focus for most CE organisations as sites were starting to come online was purely on uptime and ensuring service supply to its customers. As they transition to the next stage in their journey - trying to run their portfolio of sites as efficiently as possible, timely access to the right information becomes much more important. ICONICS can help across multiple disciplines in the business. By incorporating requirements across various teams - Finance, Design and Build, Management and the Operations teams, we are able to provide a more holistic and integrated real-time view of the operational state of the assets.
The first stage of this is addressing the growth of the system. To deploy each site as a unique entity with bespoke visualisation and control would soon require a very large control room team to manage. This would be labour intensive and not very efficient. By switching the view of the sites to a decision support system with an exception based surveillance approach and only highlighting important information as required, many more sites can be incorporated without requiring additional manpower.

Updating the methodology by which the teams access this data also helps to drive efficiencies. Taking on-board modern user experience guidelines the ICONICS tools can create a hierarchical view of sites to provide a faster way to access relevant information and provides a more logical asset based view. Simplifying colours and the way that information is presented also helps to direct the user much more quickly.
Switching from a physical site layout, which is unique to each site to a standard templated view of important information brings consistency and again much faster identification of potential issues. By presenting this information in a consistent way, a user can process much more information than by trying to review pipework layouts for each site. Similarly, presenting key information in a clear and concise way again helps to improve performance and reduces operations risk.

For the management and maintenance teams, being able to review the performance of the assets in any easy to understand way is a key driver. The ICONICS platform enables a set of dashboard views for these teams to deeply analyse their asset performance and to better drive maintenance operations.

Scaling for the Future

Moving further ahead, the next logical step will be to empowering the on-site workforce with the same information that is accessible in the control room. The ICONICS mobility tools will allow this information to be securely and easy accessible to any of the on-site engineers. The flexibility of the ICONICS platform will also allow deeper and more seamless integration with the other elements of an organisation’s asset management infrastructure. Examples of this include direct integration with the customer information system so that at a click of a button in the control room, customers can be notified of upcoming service disruption. Maintenance activities can also be directly instigated from within the platform allowing smoother workflow. Another example would be integrating in real-time electricity prices which can be factored into the decision to generate or not. Finally, predictive models can be incorporated using machine learning and fed back into the platform to provide yet more information to aid in control decisions.

By selecting an operational asset management platform such as ICONICS that is flexible and can grow as your needs change provides your organisation with an invaluable tool.

Written by
Milesh Patel