Asset Management Systems

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Modern asset management systems grew out of large studies conducted in the early 1970s. Since then, the techniques and thought processes that originated in those studies have been translated into many industries and revised countless times. New technology and asset management systems are being introduced almost every day, necessitating a revision in maintenance thinking as well.

Since the middle of the 20th century, maintenance ideas have seen two clear stages of evolution. The first paradigm shift happened in the early 1950s. Asset management teams noticed a high conditional probability of failure during the introduction of an asset into production, an effect dubbed "infant mortality."

The only real model for possible failures from the 1950s to the 1970s was one that consisted of an "infant mortality" period followed by a long period of relatively stable reliability, then a period of high failure towards the end of an asset's operational life. It may seem obvious to us now that asset management systems build around a single model for all assets are technically very limiting, but the shift in thinking towards our current attitude didn't occur until 1970.

The Shift to Modern Asset Management Systems

In the 70s, an interdisciplinary study group consisting of aviation industry professionals convened to produce a report that would form the basis of RCM, or Reliability Centered Maintenance. RCM-style asset management systems have six basic models for conditional probability of asset failure, all verified by the original studies in 1970. Using RCM techniques, physical asset management can provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for eliminating the negative effects of asset failure.

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