Remote Asset Monitoring for Utility Companies – Challenges and Solutions
The utility industry is going through massive transformation on multiple fronts. The rapidly evolving customer expectations, changing regulatory norms, increasing complexity in operations, constantly shifting demand and supply, and proliferation of newer technologies are forcing utility companies to take digital transformation seriously.
Utility companies rely on their assets for operations and hence effective management of assets is critical and requires specific attention. Some of these assets include pipelines and huge machinery in large volumes. Regular monitoring of these assets is a must in ensuring uninterrupted service to their customers and safety of their employees.
What is remote asset monitoring?
Remote asset management is a digital framework that journeys through several stages keeping data governance and data security at its core. It is an analytical solution that establishes two-way communication between the organization’s assets and a central monitoring application, helping establish better control over asset management. Industries investing in their assets need continual monitoring and analysis of asset health keeping a close track of various challenges faced and expenses incurred.
A real-time asset monitoring solutions use the Internet of Things (IoT) and operate using sensors and monitors. They fetch data and check with set values to evaluate optimal performance levels. They allow operators to take action against adversaries of the system preventing major breakdowns and or damages.
A remote asset management solution should come with anytime, anyplace accessibility, coupled with operability from any device, with options of scalability. It leverages web, analytics, and wireless technologies, integrating them with traditional assets, procedures, and workflows. It is a seamless solution that delivers a centralized tracking, monitoring, and analytics system. By integrating technologies such as IoT and cloud imaging, remote asset management solutions allow organizations to save on maintenance costs and improve uptime. It enables cost-effective and efficient continuous surveillance of operations and assets.
Challenges of Utilities
Utility companies are continually faced with challenges to ensure reliable and resilient services all the time. Some of the key concerns of utilities related asset management include:
Increasing severity of climatic and environmental distress
Frequent natural calamities and disaster events, coupled with aging assets, cause costly outages. For instance, from 2015 to 2019, the United States alone experienced twice as many billion-dollar disasters, causing great challenges for utilities regarding maintenance and repairs.
Growing public health and demands
In recent times, companies have realized the need for agile decision-making strategies with fewer asset management personnel manning installations physically. It helps them save time and costs.
Increasing asset complexity
Utility assets and their life cycles are getting increasingly complex with infrastructure, renewable additions, and modern integrations. Companies need to leverage information and operational technologies to improve the management of such a plethora of assets.
Rising cyber and physical threats:
All utilities, including power, water, and gas are at ever-increasing risks of disrupted supply due to cyber threats, and physical perils.
Mounting pressures of regulatory and scrutiny mandates
Performance-based regulations are on the rise causing utility providers to track their investment benefits with more sophisticated analysis, and monitoring. Evolving cyber security mandates and their complex rules often call for capital asset management.
So, what are the solutions?
Utility companies can improve their operational processes and final output by leveraging disruptive technologies such as IoT, Big Data, and mobile accessibility.
Enhanced intelligence with real-time data analysis, alerts, visibility, and dynamic control of assets, coupled with automation will enable uninterrupted operations with increased throughputs.
Here are some of the IoT-based asset management solutions utilities can leverage -
- Remote asset tracking using IoT technology provides connected logistics by integrating real-time information transfer within the entire ecosystem. It helps employees stay updated on vital information of multiple assets all the time.
- Asset health condition monitoring provides powerful means to assess current health indicators and predict potential risks. Allowing Utilities to frame policies, events, and execution methods towards improving asset health.
- Asset lifecycle management puts on record the complete asset portfolio keeping business leaders up-to-date on the utilization of each critical asset.
- Automated asset workflows take care of repetitive and monotonous cycles, ensuring improved productivity and efficient operations with fewer errors.
- Predictive asset maintenance allows companies to remain on top with timely alerts helping avoid unplanned downtime.
Growing need for remote asset management
Remote asset management solutions have become an integral part of asset-heavy operations. By automating supply management, alarm systems, and maintenance alerts, companies can lower costs, up productivity, and give the business a competitive edge.
Real-time data and visibility of operational statuses establish a seamless connection between human capital and assets allowing companies to increase the overall work productivity, mitigate threats, maintain regulatory compliances.
IoT-based remote asset management solutions, with a centralized cloud-based environment, maintain crucial data on a single platform. Implementing such a solution streamlines the entire asset management process and allows companies to:
- Boost productivity with real-time asset visibility for maximum utilization. With deep insights on load distribution and operation cycle time, companies can improve their production capabilities.
- Adopt proactive measures using predictive maintenance suggestions instead of waiting to counter sudden breakdowns, maneuver resulting chaos, and absorb revenues losses.
- Optimize overall equipment effectiveness
The utility industry is heavily dependent on its assets for providing uninterrupted services. Any asset/machine downtime inevitably results in customer dissatisfaction and costly repairs that lowers profitability, and gives potential advantage to competitors. IoT-based remote asset management solutions can help companies overcome these challenges of unpredicted breakdowns and impaired productivity. Big data analytics on the collected operational data further augment the process of smooth management of assets. With real-time visibility on the asset conditions, utilities remain proactive and agile.
Delpheon is an IoT solution enablement platform that allows companies to easily implement and deploy remote asset management solutions across their installations and operational centers resulting in improved uptime, availability, and performance of services. Connect with us to know more.