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The transition to the digital economy and the increased adoption of cloud and learning technologies provides an unprecedented opportunity to automate asset-related data exchange – and you can be part of this transformation. SAP is currently developing the SAP Asset Intelligence Network and is inviting manufacturers and operators of high-value assets across industries to contribute to its development.

If you’re not familiar with the network, you will be. Just as the Ariba Network transformed the world of procurement by bringing together business parties into buyer and seller relationships, the SAP Asset Intelligence Network is poised to have the same impact on the world of asset management.

Collaborating on the transformation of asset management[CL1] [CL2]

Over the past year, SAP has conducted a series of design thinking workshops where it invited representatives from across the oil and gas (O&G), utility, chemical, and other asset-intensive industries to participate. The purpose was to explore how a cloud-based asset information network could improve collaboration along the value chain and increase efficiency at an enterprise level. The result is the SAP Asset Intelligence Network.

Currently in development, the purpose of the SAP Asset Intelligence Network is to bring together the manufacturers, owners, operators, regulators, and service providers of the world’s assets in a cloud-based network. The idea is for each physical piece of equipment to have a digital twin that resides within this network. By creating a global registry of model and equipment information, the network will exponentially simplify collaboration among stakeholders. Content related to assets can be shared and stored on the network, and maintenance and service applications can be delivered through the network.

Facilitating the exchange of information

The network will work like this. Manufacturers will be able to upload design documents to a digital hub. They can contribute maintenance strategies, manuals, specifications, recommendations, and other information to the network. So instead of an inefficient one-to-one information exchange, manufacturers will be able to share up-to-date information instantly with all asset owners.

Asset operators will be able to share with their business partners engineering data from enterprise software such as the SAP ERP application and SAP Enterprise Asset Management solution with the network. They can update asset configuration modifications and constantly transmit usage and failure data along with product improvement recommendations. Engineering data can then be automatically driven back through the network to update the install base information at the manufacturer. That means higher productivity and efficiency for all parties’ personnel who have secure and immediate access to this information. They won’t have to look through file cabinets for asset-related information, reducing “paper time” and increasing “wrench time” so they can be more productive.

Providing a foundation for Industry 4.0

To achieve the automation, data exchange, and efficiencies envisioned for the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), manufacturers need a common definition of machines and a common set of processes among manufacturers and operators. That’s what the SAP Asset Intelligence Network will enable.

Imagine what will be possible when this network is complete. By digitizing asset management, SAP Asset Intelligence Network will provide a means for manufacturers to enhance customer service by connecting with asset owners and operators in a way that opens new business models for the procurement of products and services.

The network will support asset owners by enabling higher levels of production at the lowest cost. It will allow the history of each piece of equipment to be maintained throughout the lifecycle of the asset. Then by leveraging the analytics related to the performance of the asset, owners can gain better insight into asset performance, unit and system performance, and overall facility performance. Advances in big data and in-memory computing will provide real-time insight to enable an immediate impact on asset utilization.

Be among the innovators

The strength of the network grows through participation and SAP is inviting companies to join in its development. If you’d like to learn more about the SAP Asset Intelligence Network, please visit this Web page or contact your SAP Account Executive[CL3] [CL4]

Feel free to share your views with me about this topic in the comments below.

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