How to Implement ISO 55000: Developing a Strategic Asset Management Plan

David Appleyard

Learning how to implement ISO 55000 helps asset managers develop a holistic view of power plant performance.

Learning how to implement ISO 55000 for successful asset management can yield tangible performance benefits. Based on key performance indicators, and covering elements such as risk, cost, plant reliability, safety, and regulatory compliance, ISO 55000 can ease critical decision-making. By requiring companies and organizations to map the key variables that are central to their particular management philosophy, the standard helps managers build an appropriate asset management methodology. Certification under the standard is, therefore, a valuable way of realizing a consolidated strategy at both the plant level and across a portfolio of assets.

Balancing Consistency with Specificity

An electricity-generation company may own a 35-year-old coal plant with five years of life remaining. The same company may also own a brand-new gas-fired combined cycle plant with a 25-year life. Each asset will require radically different management approaches at the plant level, but both must comply with the overarching corporate policy that includes priorities such as enhancing safety, reliability, and power production.

Working under such an umbrella policy, each site has to develop its own site-specific ISO 55000 policy that's commensurate with the risk appetite of the asset manager. The strategy covers various classes of assets, such as power-generation units, but implementation is then tailored to specific plants or even elements within those units. ISO 55000 enables benchmarking of specific assets and how they are managed and therefore provides the framework for a standardized approach to the maintenance across the entire organization.

Learning how to implement ISO 55000 thus gives asset managers the tools necessary to articulate a risk management or investment strategy and apply it to a specific asset.

Maintenance Strategy and Execution

The ISO 55000 standard can help to establish the maintenance regime of specific critical assets and provide a view of the entire plant. While there are different policies for defining assets that can cover the whole power plant or consider individual elements like transformers or turbines, as a general rule, asset managers are looking holistically at total plant performance. Investors want to increase their profits and push the performance envelope, but there are risks and trade-offs associated with such decisions—in maintenance activities, for example.

Having a formal program for asset management helps promote appropriate internal discussions and enables consistent decision making. For instance, owners may determine that, for an aging plant with a limited lifespan, capital investment should be kept to a minimum, given that a return on such an investment is unlikely in the limited operational life remaining. At the same time, reliability and safety are still critical. Learning how to apply ISO 55000 enables asset managers to map and execute a strategy that factors in both of these concerns.

New Technology, New Data, New Tools

Today, new and diverse tools are emerging in the technology space that can make asset management more effective. The advent of digital solutions and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) means that there is far more information available across a range of parameters that help asset managers to make more informed decisions. New tools are needed to establish an executable strategy for assets from a risk, technology, data analytics perspective.

For example, as sensing devices or other capabilities become cheaper, real-time data on the health of equipment is available to help predict the component lifespan and forecast various failure modes. The industry is getting flooded with new kinds of asset management tools that can exploit this wealth of information by, for example, enhancing predictive maintenance activities. The key is to determine how these tools fit into an individual plant's strategy and the overall corporate asset management policy. These two elements are complimentary, and it makes sense to have a guide like ISO 55000 to formalize how to use these tools to manage risk, cost, and regulatory considerations.

Where to Start

The key to learning how to implement ISO 55000 is to consider what technologies are currently available to help better manage your organization's assets and how to use this technology most effectively. ISO 55000 is a tool that facilitates the advantages of these new breeds of data, such as the fleet-wide analysis that is made possible by the huge volumes of data collected by internet-connected sensors. Furthermore, ISO 55000 allows asset managers to determine the value of applying these new tools by potentially lowering O&M costs, as well as ensuring that staff training includes the use of such tools. It can also ensure that the role of third-party companies provides the most value.

As an asset manager, the first thing to consider during implementation is which assets should be included under the certification regime. After making that decision, the asset manager can use ISO 55000 to establish a framework that formally maps elements such as mandated requirements, overall policy goals, and key objectives to the management strategy. In addition, with the advent of so many new digital asset management solutions, implementing an ISO 55000 program helps ensure that these solutions are consistent with the company's overall objectives and ROI concerns.


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