Mobility is important for EAM companies. The ability to access and enter data outside of an office is key, as many workers are in the field or on the factory floor. However, there has been a consistency between business pressures and IT challenges involved with mobile EAM solutions. As technology has evolved to be better, those issues still exist. We discussed these challenges in the recent Vesta webinar, “SAP EAM Usability: Back to Basics.”
On the business side, there is pressure to move off manual, paper-based processes. Even now, many companies that have sophisticated EAM systems still have a process or two that isn’t electronic, and still has employees filling out forms and jotting down notes and paper and throwing them in filing cabinets.
Limited or no connectivity is also a major issue for EAM companies. Field workers will often be in locations where wireless service is unavailable, or there can even be dead spots within a warehouse. That makes it challenging to access data, and mobile apps require offline capabilities to be useful.
Training employees to use mobile apps also requires time, something that many often don’t have. That can also be an even greater challenge when user interfaces are different from desktop to laptop to handheld devices.
Finally, a mobile application may provide too much information for an employee. They may have to sift through things that have nothing to do with their job. A good tool will ensure that only the important data is presented.
IT Challenges for Mobile EAM
When it comes to building, installing, and maintaining mobile EAM solutions, IT can also have its hands full. Customizations bring extra work, extra maintenance, and require alignment with the business.
Employees will also access applications on multiple devices, so IT staff is required to support applications potentially for iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux. Similarly, mobile apps add complexity to an IT landscape—new servers, new applications to maintain.
Then there is the overarching challenge of security, that ties in with many of the other challenges. Giving employees mobile access to company data opens up many more vulnerable points, and that requires greater education for employees and greater security from a development perspective.
Finding a Solution for EAM Mobility
In order to meet the mobility challenges listed above, Vesta has developed Hydrogen—a role-based SAP EAM user interface that is usable across multiple devices and offers fully functional offline support.
Hydrogen is an SAP Fiori application that works with both SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA. It connects to those ERP solutions through Vesta’s own custom JSON adapter or SAP Gateway, so there is no need for additional middleware.
The offline operation allows employees to access data and capture new events while in the field without connectivity, and the role-based feature automatically creates a screen layout and actions based on a user’s configured role. That means no information overload for the employee, and no programming burden for IT.
For customization, plugins allow extensibility without changes to the core applications. Extensible features include Quality Management, GIS Mapping, Stock Overview and After Event Recording.
Hydrogen can be deployed into an existing SAP EAM landscape and supports iOS, Android on mobile, and Mac, Linux, and Windows on desktop or laptop. It also adheres to SAP Role Based Security, provides support for single sign-on, and provides encrypted data transit and rest.
OutsideIn and the OODA Loop – Transforming Construction
OutsideIn and the OODA Loop – Transforming Construction
In construction, who or what is the competition? You, of course, are always trying to win projects over other construction companies. However, in industries like construction, there is another enemy that must be considered.
One of my favorite episodes of the iconic TV Series Mash, was when Colonel Potter ordered a Bug Out because the enemy was coming and Radar said “you mean Supply sir?”. Pogo also reminds us, that we don’t always know who our real enemy is.
Colonel Boyd, a fascinating military strategist and the father of modern dog fighting and one of the founders of the Top Gun school for the Air Force, developed a set of theories based upon time being the real enemy. He developed the proper decision cycle process for jet pilots to use for the then new F-16 fighters. Boyd named this decision cycle an OODA loop, for Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.
Boyd’s concept for this decision cycle, or OODA loop, is the process by which an entity (can be either an individual or an organization) reacts to an event. According to this idea, the key to victory is to be able to create situations where one can make appropriate decisions more quickly than one’s opponent.
Why Time is the Real Competition
Time is the dominant parameter and therefore time is the real enemy. Not the owner, the sub-contractor, the unions, the lawyers, nor the weather.The pilot who goes through the OODA Loop cycle in the shortest amount of time prevails, because his opponent is caught responding to situations that have already changed. Again, do not be confused, it is not your opponent of a competitive construction company that is the enemy, but again it is time,
Boyd hypothesized that all intelligent organisms and organizations undergo a continuous cycle of interaction with their environment. Hebreaks this cycle down to four interrelated and overlapping processes through which one cycles continuously:
Observation: the collection of data by means of the senses
Orientation: the analysis and synthesis of data to form one’s current mental perspective
Decision: the determination of a course of action based on one’s current mental perspective
Action: the physical playing-out of decisions
He laid out his theory in this OODA Loop Diagram.
Boyd theorized that large organizations such as corporations, governments, or militaries possessed a hierarchy of OODA loops at tactical, grand-tactical (operational art), and strategic levels. In addition, he stated that most effective organizations have a highly decentralized chain of command that utilizes objective-driven orders, or directive control, rather than method-driven orders in order to harness the mental capacity and creative abilities of individual commanders at each level.
OODA for Construction
I would like to view two construction processes through Boyd’s OODA loop, one existing inside the other. The first is the process required to do Design Build effectively. That is an integrated process of design, estimate, build and measure. One seamless process, using the same data elements integrated to one another.
The second is a means of progression in the terms of construction, but resets the OODA Loop as we put actual data back through the model. On a daily basis we use mobile devices to track the actual labor hours, actual materials installed, and equipment hours used. This now can get compared to planned hours, the planned productivity of materials installed and the planned equipment hours used in estimating.
So now, we have exposed two of the most important aspects of Boyd’s OODA Loop to construction industry. The first Design-Estimate-Build-Re-Estimate and secondarily, daily progression to that parent process.
Vesta’s OutsideIn Vision
Vesta has developed tools to not only integrate Design-Estimate-Build-Re-Estimate, but also mobile devices for the field to measure on a daily basis how we are performing to the plan.
Our vision ofOutsideIn, where field activities are fed into an OODA Loop of decision making based upon a foundation of Design-Estimate-Build-Re-Estimate is a transformational way to structure processes and technology for construction.
We believe that when the construction industry sees who the real enemy is – Time.We utilize technology in an OutsideIn approach and also utilize the OODA Loop decision making they can then get inside their competition’s competitive loop and win.
Interoperability is kind of strange word. It definitely does not roll off one’s tongue and is not very intuitive in communicating its value to the Construction Industry. Pinning down that value is importation, because construction firms are at a tipping point with interoperability and those that get there first will be disrupters in the marketplace.
First, let’s take a broad look at interoperability. Wikipedia’s definition is simply; “the ability of making systems, processes and organizations work together”.
It is easy to see interoperability in the transportation industry. Major modern railroads have greater interoperability out of necessity—they had to conform to standards of gauge, couplings, brakes, signaling, communications, loading gauge, structure gauge, and operating rules, to mention a few parameters. We have also seen our armed forces achieve historic levels on interoperability between the branches of the military and integrated command and control of land, sea, and air operations.
Additionally, in the United States we are hopeful as a nation for the medical industry that is trying to achieve interoperability between emergency response, providers, hospital operations, medical doctor care, drug companies, and insurance providers.
Rising to Meet New Challenges
The construction industry, however, is standing on the brink of achieving interoperability as it responds to the market forces of design build (DB), design build operate (DBO), and design build operate maintain (DBOM). In these new delivery models holistic design is required to survive. As construction companies rise to meet the challenge that the risk of DB, DBO and DBOM presents, interoperability and enabling technologies they required will be part of the future conversation.
The diagram above illustrates concepts of how an integrated framework enables the interoperability the construction industry will require.
It begins with an As-Is model using Lidar in the ultimate design. When complete, that design can be moved to the Visual Enterprise to transact within downstream processes. We call this capability Ab Initio integration.
The system should be application agnostic, so that the we can have multiple design tools fed by materials from the ERP system where transactions will eventually take place. Federating these models in SAP’s Visual Enterprise product is suggested here. This final federated model will allow for bilateral integration of materials and quantities for estimating applications, scheduling applications, project control applications and can become the UX for eventual progression data.
Utilizing SAP Data Services
As mentioned above, we have bilateral interfaces bringing materials and quantities to estimating applications, again agnostic. The data elements are the most important factor here, and it would be most beneficial to the customer to use SAP’s ETL tool Data Services to provide that integration to any estimating package.
Then there are the bilateral interfaces, from estimating to creating a project control budget. First using management consulting, not technology, we harmonize the CBS structures with the WBS structures. This gives each group the detail and levels they need to do their job, but having a structure that maintains the relationship to enable roll up and comparison of estimated cost to actual cost. The impact on the integrity of past cost is amazing. We can now seamlessly create a fully loaded control budget with materials, labor and equipment usage from our estimate. Again, application agnostic, utilizing SAP’s Data Services application is most suitable for this purpose.
Lastly we have created an ETL layer of the most critical data elements that progression tools need to deliver to the control budget. Mostly these are mobile applications, but can also be specially designed HTML5 applications on any device capturing time, installed quantities and equipment hours.
The Data Services layer of these critical data elements become the most efficient integration point for the SAP Cloud Platform to model the data and connect to SAP Analytics Cloud to monitor your most important KPI’s.
An integrated framework with bilateral integration is an enablement to interoperability in construction where all the applications within the framework work together and are more efficient as a whole than the sum of their parts.
By performing the above, two levels of interoperability can be achieved. The first is the Organizational interoperability. Organizational interoperability can only be built upon Process Interoperability as depicted below. Traditionally the construction industry was silo’d by process, applications and of course thinking.
The other level of interoperability is Ab Initio interoperability. This is interoperability from the beginning, or from the “first principles”. It is this level of interoperability that gives some level of management of the “butterfly effect” of a bad design or a bad estimate. And as we all know, it is impossible to recover from a bad design or estimate in the building of anything.
Achieving interoperability in the Construction Industry is no small task for companies today as they continuously strive to compete in the market place. That is why a holistic system architecture and structure becomes crucial to their future success. In my future blogs I will continue to provide my perspective on the state of the industry, providing tips and advice on strategies and system architecture.
Continue to follow us on LinkedIn and on the Vesta blog for more on interoperability in the construction industry.
SAP Intelligent Asset Management: AIN Promotes a Single Source of Truth
There are multiple products that make up and enable SAP Intelligent Asset Management (IAM). They cover a wide range of capabilities, from collaboration to predictive maintenance and machine learning. One of the products that is key to IAM is the SAP Asset Intelligence Network (AIN), which integrates into the SAP S/4HANA and SAP ECC digital core via SAP Asset Central.
SAP AIN is a cloud-based collaborative tool. It enables key stakeholders such as the asset operator, the original equipment manufacturer, procurement vendors, and service providers to electronically exchange technical asset and maintenance in a secure space.
The goal for AIN is to improve data reliability and reduce master data maintenance by having that single space for asset information exchange. In turn, this should lead to higher asset availability, as maintenance information is easier to locate and more accurate. This data is also meant to be easily accessed through an SAP Fiori-based user interface.
Creating a Common Asset Language with AIN
Traditionally, asset information is inconsistent among key players. The manufacturer may have a different asset taxonomy than the engineers or service providers. That causes confusion in systems which may restrict the ability for stakeholders to work together, harm data integrity, and ultimately be detrimental to the asset.
With AIN, there becomes a single version of the asset truth—one taxonomy for assets no matter the collaborator. That means less time on data maintenance, and less guesswork on asset maintenance. Having all those stakeholders in a single place also gives you the change to assess your preferred providers and manufacturers and form the partnerships that will be most beneficial to you through optimizing equipment availability.
Here’s an example of collaboration between manufacturer, service provider, and operator.
The manufacturer publishes the model with relevant content, such as manual, drawings, instructions of installation, instructions of repair, spare parts, attributes, counters.
The supplier adds their piece by providing data on things such as spare parts.
The operator bringing all the data across to the equipment. There’s no need to enter it manually, it is pulled automatically from AIN.
The service provider accesses the same equipment and from there starts to do the service activities.
A common Asset Taxonomy is developed based on SAP AIN standards.
This sort of process isn’t possible if the stakeholders aren’t speaking the same asset language. AIN enables this dialog with information sharing, which increases efficiency and reliability throughout the asset lifecycle.
Building Digitized Assets
SAP often talks about the concept of a Digital Twin for assets. This means establishing a digital version of an asset, with all relevant asset information that includes both operational and IT business data (e.g. maintenance history). This allows you to have a view of your asset without being in its physical location.
AIN through Asset Central provides the foundation for a Digital Twin by being that single source of the asset’s data, while also being a simple way for users to access the information.
Building to Intelligent Asset Management
AIN is one piece of the pie in Intelligent Asset Management. In this series, we’ll continue to go over the key products and IAM use cases, and how they connect to SAP S/4HANA and the Digital Core.
SAP will continue to grow the IAM portfolio through quarterly innovation cycles. As for AIN, a major innovation coming at year end will be Value Packages, enabling the sale of data between partners.
SAPPHIRE NOW 2019 Day 1 Recap: Machine Learning with Apple and SAP Asset Manager Innovations
SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference 2019, the largest gathering of SAP customers and partners in the world, officially kicked off in Orlando on Tuesday. The topic of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) was front and center in the opening keynote as SAP CEO Bill McDermott interviewed Apple CEO Tim Cook about the expanding partnership between the two companies. Cook highlighted native machine learning and augmented reality capabilities that will be coming to SAP iOS mobile apps via the Apple CORE ML on-device machine learning technology. This will be included as part of the SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS in an update later this month.
SAP Asset Manager, along with SAP SuccessFactors and SAP Concur, is one of three SAP apps that have been built from the ground up on iOS. Cook demonstrated how augmented reality can enable a field maintenance worker to see a digital image that offers a view of the inner structure of an asset. That image appears based on location data and machine learning helps inform the worker about maintenance updates needed now or coming up soon.
What’s Coming to Asset Manager in 2019
Asset Manager is currently in its third iteration, and SAP discussed the upcoming fourth iteration during a roadmap session at the event. The app, which has been built to replace the SAP Work Manager application, seeks to provide not only offline functionality, but also enhanced capabilities when within wireless range. Asset Manager also provides and scripting environment for extending the app with a customer’s unique business logic.
SAP has also built a native Android version of Asset Manager, and the roadmap for 2019 includes bringing increased feature parity among the iOS and Android apps. There is also continued work to bring feature parity between Asset Manager and Work Manager where necessary. The goal of Asset Manager is to be a simpler, more user-friendly application that possesses greater technological capabilities than Work Manager.
Planned innovations specifically for 2019 Asset Manager release also include:
Hierarchy view and search control
Improved feedback during data sync
Equipment install and dismantle
Local orders/operations/notifications that can be started offline
On-demand fetch of business objects
Dynamic forms for SAP Asset Strategy and Performance Management questionnaires
Multiselect list support
Enhanced document support
Additional language support
Asset Manager Innovation Plans in 2020 and Beyond
The broader product direction of Asset Manager for 2020 and beyond is to add industry-specific modules, such as Linear asset management and a Supervisor module. There is also work being done to support for SAP Geographical Enablement Framework and provide more visualization capabilities. The slide below demonstrates SAP’s vision for Asset Manager and all recent and planned updates.
SAP’s partnership with Apple enables an app experience for field maintenance workers that mirrors what they see in other native Apple apps, and fully takes advantage of iOS functionality. The good news for non-iOS mobile users is that new capabilities for the iOS version of Asset Manager will also come to Android. So, no matter what device your employees are using, they will be getting the latest innovations from SAP.
Follow us all week for more coverage of SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference.
Mobilizing Maintenance Work with SAP: Which Application Best Fits Your Needs?
Many maintenance organizations are still leveraging paper-based processes to manage field work and are seeking mobile solutions to put data electronically in the hands of field workers. Goals are better transparency, faster processes and higher maintenance efficiency. Same time, organizations that have software systems in place today often struggle with user adoption due to complex, difficult to understand user interfaces based on complicated and not harmonized technology.
SAP currently offers two mobile applications for maintenance technicians and field workers: SAP Work Manager and the newer SAP Asset Manager. Both are intended to provide workers in the field with easy access to necessary information they would otherwise need to print on paper or access in the office. However, the two apps differ in terms of functionality, deployment options, and prerequisites.
While SAP Work Manager is the mature legacy mobile application, SAP Asset Manager is a newer native iOS application that follows the SAP UI design principles and is built using the SAP Fiori for iOS Design Language. Today, it comes close to providing feature parity with SAP Work Manager and can be extended easily. While the initial version could only integrate with SAP S/4HANA, the latest version can also connect to an SAP ERP backend system. Additionally, an Android version is available with features being continuously enhanced. The middleware is situated on SAP Cloud Platform. The app can be used in both an online and an offline fashion.
While SAP’s mobile apps offer many useful features, SAP has not migrated all of the EAM UI to SAP Fiori. There are Fiori apps available in the meantime as part of the Digital Core (SAP S/4HANA, not SAP ERP), but realizing on a web-based interface, there is still a harmonized mix of WebDynpro and Fiori.
This is even more true for SAP ERP while for new applications from SAP’s Intelligent Asset Management portfolio (namely AIN, ASPM, PdMS) the UI has been completely built on Fiori. Consequently, there is no consistent UI technology in use from desktop via tablet to phone on all operating systems. Companies might move from SAPGUI to WebDynpro/Fiori and its launchpad for desktop use, but on mobile devices utilizing some apps for online use with Fiori while relying on native applications for heavy offline use.
An Asset Management Solution for Multiple SAP UI Platforms
Then, there might be companies who would like to mobilize asset management related processes, but may struggle with cloud-only deployments, want to avoid a relatively big footprint and license cost implications as well as a non-uniform UI between desktop and mobile who may consider going with a more lightweight application that follows the Fiori design principles, is available for online and offline use, and can be used on desktop, tablet, and phone. These are the characteristics that are delivered through Vesta Hydrogen.
Hydrogen is a modern, simple and flexible Fiori-based application which provides the same ease of use and role-based SAP EAM user interface across desktop, tablet, and phone on Windows, iOS and Android. It supports maintenance activities and data collection including work orders, notifications, measurement documents, operator rounds and more. The solution is lightweight, very configurable and can generally be implemented in weeks.
Hydrogen is built using OpenUI5 technology, currently moving to SAPUI5. Offline storage is being allocated by means of local SQLite databases on all platforms. Hence the application can work in an online and offline fashion while connecting to the backend (SAP S/4HANA or SAP ERP) via SAP Gateway or the Vesta JSON Adaptor without the need for additional middleware.
Leveraging Vesta Hydrogen users can capture issues when they see them, update order status immediately, streamlining work processes, ensuring accurate data capture and reducing paperwork. The solution allows for quick data inputs for efficient notification creation on the go.
Further enhancements are being planned, like integration with OpenText Extended Enterprise Content Management (xECM) and the SAP Geographical Enablement Framework (GEF) for connecting to GIS.
One Unified Experience Means Happy Workers
With Hydrogen, there is no need to switch to another mobile solution, making life easier for workers in the field. That leads to better user adoption and overall happier employees.
Enabling EAM Digital Transformation with SAP’s Evolving Solution Set
Companies have the power to capture and store more data about their major assets than ever before. However, that data isn’t useful without the technology to analyze and capitalize on it. Digging into the data can offer a path to transformation for enterprise asset management (EAM) and help you get the best out of your assets.
SAP has long been a player in the EAM space. It began with Work Management. That focused more on the job of maintaining an asset based on industry best practices, rather than looking at individual asset performance. Over time, we realized the value of tracking assets themselves digitally with a central repository like Asset Central.
Now, SAP has evolved to offering products that can utilize that asset information with Intelligent Asset Management (IAM) portfolio.
Coordinated Activity at the Core
Asset Management is defined by coordinated activities across disciplines to realize the value of assets. Coordinated activity can include the approach, planning, policies, plans, and implementation of Asset Management. With digital enablement through IAM and the core ERP system, that coordinated activity can be captured with new insights triggering action to outcome.
IAM takes EAM from managing the work on an asset to building a strategy for optimizing the asset’s lifecycle. Sensor and condition-based maintenance (CBM) data can be consumed through SAP Cloud Platform where intelligent technologies like machine learning and predictive analytics can be used to provide new insights into how an asset is performing.
Data-Based Approach to Improve Revenue and Safety
Taking this data-based approach to EAM helps manage risk and cost associated with assets. It optimizes their return by improve maintenance activities that are more targeted to an individual asset’s needs and less general. This can increase revenue through increasing asset utilization, and also help build a better replacement and investment strategy. Overall, there is less excess and more efficiency in maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO).
Incorporating in reliability data helps improve decision making on assets, and creates a safer environment where assets are working properly at all times, and incidents can be predicted. That also has the benefit of helping companies adhere to statutory regulations.
These benefits are realized by building state-of-the-art business processes that leverage new technologies. Those processes and technologies help provide real-time insight into assets, and visibility into data on a strategic, tactical, and operational level
Connected assets help provide critical data for predicting, optimizing, and simulating asset maintenance. This information can then be shared through cloud-based software and user-friendly reporting.
This is all a more intelligent way of approaching EAM, that’s why it has been dubbed Intelligent Asset Management. Moving from managing work to managing assets should the goal of any business, and new technologies enable that shift.
Analyzing SAP’s FKOM and the Idea of “Intelligent Enterprise”
Returning from SAP Field Kick-off Meeting (FKOM) Barcelona I would like to share some insights:
Between January 15 and 17, SAP kicked off 2019 at their regional EMEA/MEE FKOM event. Similar events were performed in other regions.
While there were no major strategy changes announced, a couple of things got re-emphasized:
Growth area for SAP will be Cloud, while On-Premise is being expected as stable.
SAP sees major opportunities for their new CRM which is C/4HANA.
Also, SAP is further promoting the transition from ERP to S/4HANA.
SAP introduced a new slogan “Experience Matters” which must be seen in conjunction with their acquisition of Qualtrics (see https://www.qualtrics.com/). The idea is to bring together business data from SAP with experience data from Qualtrics in the categories of Customer, Employee, Brand, and Product. This refers to the business’ ability adapting to change in the market, for example measured by the AQ (Adaptability Quotient).
All this enhances the paradigm of the “Intelligent Enterprise“, using data for driving outcomes in end-to-end mega-processes. This must necessary lead to an even better integration of the SAP products in the areas of Customer Experience (C/4HANA), Manufacturing & Supply Chain (IBP, ME, MII, PPM, AIN, ASPM,…), Digital Core (S/4HANA), People Engagement (SuccessFactors), and Network & Spend Management (Ariba, Concur). For more details on the solutions you may have a look into the SAP Solution Explorer (https://solutionexplorer.sap.com/solexp/ui/) or the published SAP Roadmaps (https://www.sap.com/roadmaps). Shaping your own journey into the new portfolio might start with the Transformation Navigator (https://support.sap.com/en/tools/upgrade-transformation-tools/transformation-navigator.html), a tool you can use to map out your existing landscape and see SAP’s recommendations for go-to solutions.
Following the idea of an “Intelligent Enterprise”, SAP has revamped their EAM offering under the headline of “Intelligent Asset Management“. This comprises of two major parts:
S/4HANA Asset Management for the parts of EAM in the Digital Core. This mainly comes back to what most people know under the term PM (Plant Maintenance), but with a new Fiori and WebDynpro harmonized user experience, completely new analytics, and quite some enhancements and continuous improvement. Additionally, components for planning and scheduling (e.g. MRS), work clearance management (WCM), or environment, health, and safety (EHS) reside here.
SAP Cloud Platform based applications that complement the Digital Core for flexibly realizing on innovation challenges. Asset Intelligence Network (AIN) for exchanging asset master and condition data between manufacturer, service provider, and operator. Asset Strategy and Performance Management (ASPM) for determining or improving on maintenance strategies using a variety of methodologies (like Asset Criticality Analysis, RCM, FMEA, Root-Cause Analysis). Predictive Maintenance and Service (PdMS) for monitoring asset health data and initiate maintenance events when needed. Predictive Engineering Insights (PEI) for modeling physical structures and simulate stresses and strains.
Asset Central acts as the layer for common functionality of the EAM cloud applications as well as the information broker between S/4HANA and Cloud Platform. In this regard, it can also be seen as SAP’s new asset cloud registry for both master data and real-world information.
In essence, Intelligent Asset Management follows the idea on an Intelligent Enterprise by establishing data-driven asset management processes that are based on the Digital Twin, a virtual representation of the physical asset with all relevant up-to-date information, accessible in the cloud.
In its main pieces, the concept also works in combination with SAP ERP, hence there is no reason to postpone innovation, just because an S/4HANA transition is yet to come. Intelligent Asset Management allows for building the big picture, then consuming the pieces step-by-step.
How SAP Leonardo Can Help Utilities Build Smarter Grids
How SAP Leonardo Can Help Utilities Build Smarter Grids
SAP Leonardo is SAP’s digital transformation engine. It is design-thinking driven methodology coupled with the latest technologies driving new solutions built on the SAP Cloud Platform. It is designed for companies to rethink business processes, find more efficient ways of doing things, and seek undiscovered revenue streams.
With sensor-based data, there is a wealth of ways that SAP Leonardo can be applied in Enterprise Asset Management. This is a first in a series of posts where we will examine by industry the types of use cases that SAP EAM customers can find with SAP Leonardo. This time around, we will be looking at how the Utilities sector can take advantage of the set of methodologies, technology, and solutions with a Smart Distribution Grid.
Traditional Maintenance Strategies
Many of our current electric distribution grids use decades-old substations and distribution lines. These outdated assets provide limited to no data, are to expensive to retrofit, and don’t provide an accurate view of network activities.
To monitor these older assets, utilities have traditionally taken a condition-based maintenance (CBM) approach—meaning they wait for an issue to arise to apply a fix. This is certainly better than no solution, as it does provide a significant amount of data on the health of the asset. However, it can be inaccurate at times leading to false alarms. There also can be hidden costs in solution deployment. Finally, the data is largely unusable for advanced and predictive analytics, and the solutions are typically only monitoring sections of the circuit.
While utilities have managed to run with these methodologies, they also leave them more susceptible to major events like equipment failure and inclement weather. Having a better view of the overall health of assets through data is the ideal state for optimizing their lifecycle and functionality.
Enabling the Smart Distribution Grid with SAP Leonardo
With a Smart Distribution Grid, which can be built with the help of the SAP Leonardo solution, smart sensors collect asset data which is then processed through a central asset data hub builton the SAP Cloud Platform. Using predictive algorithms, the data tells us when the assets need to be worked on. Then maintenance notifications are sent, and work orders are created through SAP’s digital core—meaning SAP S/4HANA.
This is tremendously valuable. Predictive maintenance can reduce costs by 10 to 40 percent versus traditional CBM. Downtime is also reduced dramatically—50 percent, as we aren’t waiting for an asset to break down before fixing it. Overall, we expect this can reduce equipment and capital investment by 3 to 5 percent just by extending the life of current assets.
Beyond the maintenance cost reduction, the Smart Distribution Grid can limit the need for physical bank inspection. That minimizes operations and maintenance efforts. On top of that, there is less necessity to retrofit all assets as with CBM, because sensors can be installed strategically. The smart sensors themselves are relatively easy to install, as they quickly clamp onto lines. That leads to a safer process for linemen. The smart sensors are also battery free, so they do not require reoccurring maintenance.
On the IT side, there is no need for custom programming for each sensor—each can operate with the same code. The Big Data platform built on SAP Cloud Platform also enables theexploitation of existing CBM data with or separately from real-time sensor data using predictive algorithms.
SAP Leonardo as the Driver
Putting together a smart distribution grid can drive efficiency and cut down costs, but it does require new technology such as Big Data capabilities and predictive analytics. SAP Leonardo can be the driver to those new technologies, providing a methodology for implementing them as well as the technological platform to build solutions.
At Vesta, we are an SAP Leonardo IoT accelerator partner with extensive experience in Utilities. Contact us to help make your gird smarter and your maintenance more efficient.
Traveler of the high seas and volunteer firefighter…
The Vesta Employee Spotlight is dedicated to our extraordinary coworkers who exemplify the true values of Vesta.
Jack Shaw has worked with Vesta Partners as a Senior Consultant for nearly five years, focusing primarily on helping our customers with their SAP Plant Maintenance projects. Jack has a great understanding of the customer’s perspective, as he spent over 35 years as one himself with Chemtura Corporation.
“That experience gives me more empathy for the customer,” says Jack. “We always take a deep look at their side to make sure we understand how they run their business—why they do things, what they do.”
Get to know Jack Shaw:
Adventures by Sea
When Jack isn’t helping our customers implement SAP, he enjoys traveling on cruises. Usually you’ll find him in a warm place in the Caribbean, hanging out on the boat deck enjoying the sun in between day excursions to visit new places and experience new cultures. However, Jack counts a much colder place as his most interesting trip so far.
Cruises aren’t limited to just beach vacations, it’s quite common to see large cruise ships in the waters around Alaska. Jack was hesitant to head to the US’s northernmost state at first. He resides in Connecticut, so he is typically looking to escape the cold, but once in Alaska he found the scenery to be breathtaking.
“When we first got to Anchorage, we walked down to a lake and thought we saw some white clouds in the distance, then it dawned on us: those ‘clouds’ were snow-capped mountains rising from the other side of the lake,” recalls Jack. “We don’t see that in Connecticut.”
Jack hopes to see much more of the unique scenery across the United States, as his bucket list includes a national park tour.
Family Life in Connecticut
Jack and his wife Jill-yes that’s Jack and Jill—have twin boys who are grown up and out of the house. One son lives just outside Boston, which would explain Jack’s interesting combination of rooting interests—the New York Yankees and Boston Bruins. He picked up the Bruins fandom through his son but rooting for the Red Sox is certainly a bridge too far.
When not fighting figurative SAP software fires, you might find Jack fighting literal fires. He is a volunteer firefighter and has been for 35 years. The busy travel schedule of a consultant means he’s not as active with the fire department as he once was, but he still stays involved as much as he can.
With what little free time Jack has left, Jack enjoys military fiction novels such as Drone Strike: A Dreamland Thriller by Dale Brown and Ghost Fleet by P.W. Singer. If the TV is on, he prefers it be on an action show like SEAL Team, but he enjoys America’s Got Talent as well.
Finally, in his career Jack looks to continue working with our customers until that day of retirement comes, when you’ll find him escaping the harsh winters of Connecticut in Florida.
Vesta Partners, a global professional services firm specializing in Asset Management and SAP EAM technology, is proud to announce the addition of Reinier van Doorn to the Vesta Partners European team. Mr. van Doorn joins the organization in the role of Director Business Development, with a focus on Energy and Utilities...