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Digital Supply Chain Green Thursday – SAP Asset Intelligence Network

Thank you very much for sharing the interest for the topic of this article of the Digital Supply Chain Green Thursday blog series. Every Thursday we will together take a closer look at one of the SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions and how they contribute to sustainability in supply chains all over the world. Have fun in following the blog, we invite you to get in touch with us and feel free to share the blog posts among your peers. Here you can find last week’s article about mastering the complexity in supply chain planning.

In times of Industry 4.0 and Smart Factories, assets become intelligent

Across industries, companies heavily rely on assets to successfully operate their daily operations. Therefore, companies invest in high quality and high value assets which are planned to run reliably with preferably no unplanned downtime for many years. The ongoing digitization journey towards Industry 4.0 and the Smart Factory leads to an increasing number of those assets to be equipped with sensors and connected to the Internet of Things. Intelligent assets are able to communicate information about their current state, allowing the company operating the asset can analyze this data and use it to prolong the machine lifetime with predictive maintenance strategies.

Digital Twin serves as basis – but it’s difficult to create it all by yourself

The basis is the digital twin, being the full digital representation of the intelligent and connected asset. It is usually based on the specifications of the asset, enriched with related information such as failure modes and spare parts information. Additionally, captured sensor data can depict the current asset performance, showing when the asset is not living up to its designed potential, even giving information about the root cause of the problem if possible. Unfortunately, it can take significant effort for an asset operator to set up a digital twin because the asset information is often siloed throughout the asset lifecycle. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) designs and manufactures the asset producing data like specifications, drawings, models and failure mode documentation in the process. When this data is then handed over with the asset to the company operating the equipment, all the information of the OEM has to be “translated” into meaningful information for the asset operator because of a missing common taxonomy.

Collaboration turns challenges into possibilities for efficiency and sustainability

The SAP Asset Intelligence Network provides a platform for collaboration by building a network of digital twins enabling OEMs, asset operators and service providers to overcome challenges and provide a better service to their respective customers. By building upon a common data layer, the Asset Central Foundation, the connected master transactional and operational data for the asset can be easily connected to the ERP system, as for example S/4HANA.

Break up silos and enable connections to insightful information at every stage in asset management; Source: SAP

Asset operators easily can run assets as efficient as possible

Instead of having to build a digital twin by themselves, asset operating companies can access digital twins provided by the OEM. Of course, the development of an asset by the OEM doesn’t stop when an asset is sold, but continues to improve failure modes, recommended maintenance strategies and trainings. Through the connection via the SAP Asset Intelligence Network, the asset operator can profit from these updated insights as soon as the OEM publishes them into the network.

Additionally, the asset operators can safely share their sensor data, installation information and maintenance history inside the network for maintenance support to immediately determine the root-cause of the problem. With the maintenance engineers knowing what to do right away, they can arrive at the asset with the right know-how and spare parts to get the asset back up quickly. Access to such a process can dramatically reduce unplanned downtime for the operator.

Enable Sustainable Business Models for Manufacturers and Suppliers

With the simplified connection between OEM and asset operator over the SAP Asset Intelligence Network, new sustainable business models focusing on machine availability become more feasible. By offering Equipment-as-a-Service OEMs have an even higher interest in constructing assets with a long lifetime, easy maintenance and high efficiency. This helps in conserving resources because fewer new machines must be built as the existing equipment operates over a longer lifetime. Economically, this leads to an advantage for the OEM! With service contracts, OEMs can benefit from their exceptional insight into the asset and provide best-in-class service leading to higher customer satisfaction. Additionally, the OEM can offer their equipment to a wider range of customers as modern, efficient assets become more affordable to the wider operator market, allowing the operator to move from a significant one-time investment to an equipment-as-a-service subscription fee model.

OEMs do not only profit from new business models but also from new data available from installed and operating equipment. The SAP Asset Intelligence Network contains sensor data, failure data, maintenance history and recommendations that can be accessed by connected OEMs to be included in the design or redesign process. This leads to better assets, perfectly fitted to the requirements of the customer.

Service Providers leverage the capabilities with fitted service offers

Service Providers can develop new services leveraging the information available in the SAP Asset Intelligence Network. By connecting with OEMs or asset operators, specific value added like maintenance services or additional analytics, can be created and provide additional insights to the respective customer.

SAP Asset Intelligence Network serves as a native collaboration platform

The SAP Asset Intelligence Network enables a collaboration of OEM, suppliers, asset operators and service providers based on a common single version of truth. By offering a common asset taxonomy, SAP Asset Intelligence Network delivers increased asset data integrity and supports consistent documentation and processes to all involved stakeholders. Additionally, such a common asset data repository can then easily be integrated with an operator’s ERP maintenance system. In doing so, SAP Asset Intelligence Network does not only equip the participants with capabilities to enhance business opportunities and performance for everyone involved, but also enables business models and collaborations that actively aim for more sustainability as an overall business goal.

The native collaboration platform connects all stakeholder to a common single version of truth; Source: SAP

If you want to know how SAP Asset Intelligence Network can support your business and partners, reach out to your SAP contact or have a look at the solution website. Additionally, you can have a insightful short introduction into the solution and how the collaboration within the SAP Asset Intelligence Network works. Finally, you can read here about the importance of networks for the future

Collaborate for more sustainability in Asset Management – with SAP Asset Intelligence Network everyone can profit!

I hope you found this blog post helpful and interesting. Please make sure you follow me to not miss any future blog posts in this series and stay informed about how a Sustainable Supply Chain is supported by SAP Digital Supply Chain solutions! Please have a look at my earlier posts as well:

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