Reliability & Maintenance

Embrace ISO 55000

The new asset management standard will be easier to adopt and more beneficial than you might think

By Ken Bannister, ENGTECH Industries Inc. for Fluke Corp.

Best-practice maintenance organizations realize that effective, measured and documented asset management methods and work practices lead to increased safety, availability, reliability, throughput and due diligence as well as reduced insurance costs, energy consumption and carbon footprint.

The ISO 55000 Asset Management standard published last year by the International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switz., sets realistic expectations for asset management and defines structure and accountability for asset management best practices. Companies in the process industries, given their current level of asset management and vulnerability to high-consequence failures, are ideal candidates for ISO 55000 certification.

Why ISO 55000 Matters

Certification to the standard signals to investors and customers (internal and external) that a company not only understands its assets and how to manage them on a short- and long-term basis but also can reliably deliver quality products in a sustainable manner.

>>>>> Chemical Processing Webinar: How to make the most of production assets  --  register now

Adhering to the standard helps a company’s maintenance organization differentiate between and report on what it controls (direct maintenance-related issues) versus what it manages (non-maintenance-related issues) on a day-to-day basis. With that understanding, the maintenance organization can better measure and recognize its impact and value to the corporation.

ISO 55000 demands the maintenance organization critically review its asset management approach, asking “Does what we do add value?,” and address many of the shortcomings often found in an initial maintenance-operation effectiveness review (audit). Typical audit findings include:
• Lack of understanding of the major asset management stakeholders and their objectives;
• No “asset” definition, i.e., what entities are “assets” requiring maintenance;
• Incomplete, incorrect or out-of-date asset portfolio master data/attribute list;
• Ineffective or nonexistent planning and scheduling methodology;
• No spare parts management strategy;
• Inadequate work request information, forcing someone to go out to clarify the problem;
• Error in the type of skilled tradesperson sent to do a job;
• Ineffective or out-of-date workflows and procedures;
• Misuse of experienced tradespeople, e.g., having them perform rudimentary maintenance checks that operators or lower-skilled individuals could handle;
• Inconsistent work results because of subjective language in preventive maintenance (PM) job plans, e.g., replace as necessary, lubricate as necessary, or check for noises;
• Irrelevant global PM job plan assignment for some assets;
• No predictive or condition-based program and little or no validated use of diagnostic instruments and tools;
• Ineffective use, if any at all, of data collection and monitoring tools;
• No trending or decision points identified for some measurement data, making collection pointless;
• No tracking of failure causes and effects on service or uptime;
• Lack of maintenance service level agreements with partners or clients;
• Poor use of the management system, i.e., employing it primarily for work orders and not for reporting;
• No key performance indicators (KPIs) in use — code system not set up to capture and filter the correct data to produce value-based performance reporting;
• Long delays in getting request reports; and
• Lack of succession planning.

Most maintenance organizations encounter many of these stumbling blocks, all of which an ISO 55000 approach to asset management can resolve.

The ISO 55000 Asset Management standard outlines what an organization must have in place to manage its assets in a responsible manner to benefit the corporation as a whole. The standard does this through a networked system of key elements for implementing an effective ongoing strategic asset management plan (SAMP), as shown in Figure 1.

ISO 55000 consists of three standalone documents: ISO 55000, an overview that spells out the principles and terminology used in 55001 and 55002; ISO 55001, the actual management systems requirement document that details the elements against which a company will be audited and certified; and ISO 55002, a guideline for the application of ISO 55001.

Crucial Aspects

Establishing an asset management system (AMS) requires understanding seven basic elements of ISO 55001.

1. Context of the organization (Clause 4). When setting up or reviewing the AMS, it is essential to assess how asset management “fits in” and matters to the corporation as a whole. The standard calls for evaluating the cultural impact, economic and physical environments, the mission, vision and organizational values, and the regulatory, financial and other external constraints; establishing and aligning AMS objectives with those of its stakeholders and the corporation as a whole; and outlining objectives as part of the SAMP in the planning stage.

2. Leadership (Clause 5). The standard recognizes that top management support for the AMS is crucial for success. Many maintenance departments feel uncertainty about authentic management support. To address this, ISO 55001 requires that senior management take responsibility for the AMS function by establishing clear and communicable policies, objectives, roles and responsibilities; ensuring adequate resources are available to perform effective asset management; and demonstrating commitment in how they advocate the validity of asset management and the AMS to the rest of the corporation.

3. Planning (Clause 6). Performing an asset management effectiveness review early in the ISO 55001-certification journey to assess current and future state is essential for identifying and addressing risks and opportunities in the organization. Findings are used to perform a gap analysis and develop an action plan that, in conjunction with measurable stakeholder and asset management objectives, serves as a building block for the SAMP.

The SAMP is the blueprint for developing more-detailed plans that include the method and criteria for decision-making, prioritizing activity, process and workflow for managing and maintaining assets over their lifecycle. These include alignment of preventive and predictive strategies and methods into a condition-based approach that employs the latest diagnostic measurement tools and technology to evaluate an asset’s current condition and to trend deterioration patterns.

4. Support (Clause 7). Meeting the organization’s requirements to establish, implement, maintain, improve and deliver on the AMS plans and objectives requires human resources and data management. Staff must be trained, meet the AMS competence requirements and understand how the asset management policies contribute to the AMS.

The AMS draws upon information gathered and managed through various sources and databases. These include: the enterprise asset management, enterprise resource planning or computerized maintenance management systems; building management and supervisory control and data acquisition systems; and other equipment data sources such as trending systems employed by predictive and condition-based tools such as those for vibration, thermal imaging, alignment and electrical system metering.

Correct setup and careful use of these systems and tools are crucial to collecting “value based” data that can be turned into management information reports and KPIs designed to validate all elements of the AMS and performance levels for all stakeholders.

All these systems and tools utilize documentation that in itself is viewed as an asset that must be managed according to the standard. Such documentation can include templates, plans, workflows, job plans, procedures, methods, drawings, photographs, measurement recordings and graphs, etc. All documents also must adhere to a corporate-defined classification and record retention schedule, requiring a formal approach to document management similar to that in an ISO 9000 environment.

5. Operation (Clause 8). Management must provide effective change management within the organization for the planning, implementing and controlling of processes required for the AMS. Change management presents risks that must be identified, managed and mitigated as required; hazards presented when using outsourced (contracted) resources also must be managed according to AMS requirements.

6. Performance evaluation (Clause 9). Adapting to and continually improving the existing situation demand ongoing assessment. Benchmarking the current state and setting objectives enable evaluating performance (success or lack of it) and, if required, adjusting plans accordingly to meet those objectives. To do so, the organization must focus on its assets, asset management performance and effectiveness of the AMS to determine what must be monitored, measured, analyzed and evaluated, as well as how and when this should take place. The capture of comprehensive, consistent, accurate and reliable measurement data, per Clause 7, regarding an asset’s current, past and predicted future condition (trend analysis) is essential.

7. Improvement (Clause 10). This is about what to do when faced with a nonconformity or no-go situation typical of those found in a condition-based-maintenance or condition-check approach. Nonconformities or incidents occur in assets, asset management and the AMS; improvement is about how the organization reacts, takes control, manages, documents and prevents those nonconformities from recurring.

Real-World Application

ISO 55001 is not a detailed step-by-step procedure for implementing best-practice maintenance but rather a blueprint for maintenance excellence that an organization must interpret and “flesh out” according to its particular requirements.

Companies in the process industries are prime candidates for certification to ISO 55000 because they currently strive to satisfy many stringent corporate and legislative requirements that must be managed and reported on. This demands a highly developed and documented condition-based asset management approach that already may meet many of the ISO 55001 requirements, making adoption of the standard easier than in most other industries. Many processors already will be certified to ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 and working with an ISO auditor who understands their culture and business.

As Table 1 illustrates, numerous practical reasons exist for adopting the standard as a framework for continuous improvement, arguably none more important than making sense of data. Many current management systems and data repositories are full of meaningless unrelated data, which hamper the ability to mine and transform relevant data into meaningful information required to make confident and effective decisions regarding the management of people and assets. ISO 55000 demands data confidence, which means:

• Addressing how to collect, compile and use data;
• Assessing and confronting the validity and value of current asset management and maintenance activities, including the use of resources, materials, tools, instruments, data, processes, procedures, plans, methods and activities; and
• Formulating an asset management approach that mitigates risk and meets corporate objectives.
In addition, adoption of ISO 55001 will enable an organization to:
• Accept, evaluate and manage the risks associated with the loss of experienced maintenance staff (which will get even worse as more baby boomers retire) as well as aging assets;
• Provide a balanced framework and approach that epitomizes “best practice” in maintenance and asset management; and
• Allow the maintenance organization to organize and capitalize on its many strengths and excellence already in place.

Fortunately, technology is quickly evolving to help bridge the knowledge gap. Resolving the skills’ loss and embracing ISO 55001 will involve both old and new tools, methods and technologies.

“Leadership” (Clause 5) ensures that top management is behind the change and committed to making it work, not just the pushing the “flavor of the month.”

“Planning” (Clause 6) makes certain that maintainers also are stakeholders and have a voice in the assessment of current state.

“Support” (Clause 7) allows use of value-added condition-based maintenance checklists to monitor for asset nonconformities (no-go exceptions).

These guidelines are particularly powerful when set up using visual indicators to alert an operator or lower-skilled person to address an exception or nonconformity. This frees up time of skilled tradespeople, because they only are called when really needed, thereby focusing and better leveraging the available skilled resources. To initiate an inquiry, a smartphone camera (still or movie) can record an asset’s physical condition and send the information in real-time to management for assessment and further instruction, jumpstarting the planning process.

Recently, vendors of handheld condition-monitoring tools have made great strides, as exemplified by the Fluke Connect system. Many traditional measurement tools (Figure 2) now are linked to a smartphone-accessed cloud database that easily is set up to record and trend readings and send an alarm to a user when a no-go exception is found or impending. Many of these tools also can be used in conjunction with one another. For example, an infrared camera, vibration monitoring pen and electrical meter all could be employed to check out a problem with a motor-driven pump. Once the tools are in place, a wireless data management app collects and manages all three sets of data on the same asset simultaneously, helping the inspection team get to the root cause more quickly and supporting the ISO 55001 documentation requirement.

User interfaces on the tools have been simplified enough that lower-skilled individuals with minimum training and experience can achieve reliable results. Any member of the maintenance team who shows the appropriate aptitude and diligence can take infrared training, become independently certified as a level-one thermographer, and be placed with confidence in a condition-based check program on power transmission systems, heating and cooling systems, steam traps, insulated systems, etc. This type of approach also is relevant to “Performance Evaluation” (Clause 9) and “Improvement” (Clause 10).

Seize The Opportunity

Assets are everyone’s responsibility. ISO 55000 recognizes this by specifying transparency and accountability throughout the organization based on an infrastructure designed to codify best practice, break down silos and just “do the right thing at the right time.” Implementing and certifying to ISO 55001 promises to be a perfect catalyst to add structure, transparency, accountability and effectiveness to maintenance organizations.

ISO 55000 Broadens The Definition of “Asset”

Traditionally, the maintenance world has viewed a physical asset as a tangible item requiring maintenance — for example, a compressor, valve or storage tank. The ISO standard goes further, detailing an asset as any “item, thing, or entity that has potential or actual value to an organization.” So, it encompasses nontangible assets such as processes, preventive and predictive job plans, and measurement and data history — all of which add significant value to a maintenance organization’s management strategy.


KEN BANNISTER, CMRP, MLE, is an ISA 55000 implementation specialist and principal asset management consultant for ENGTECH Industries Inc., Innerkip, Ontario. E-mail him at kbannister@engtechindustries.com.