Chris McLaughlin September 5, 2019

Essential MES Tool # 4: Asset Management

Asset management systems are used to track a variety of information on your assets (machines), including their manuals, maintenance records, spare parts inventory levels, maintenance schedules, and more. This data is typically stored using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). In the manufacturing environment, there is the added benefit of collecting real-time information about these assets using the numerous sensors and controllers on the plant floor. Bringing these systems together creates a truly powerful tool for maximizing asset productivity.

Ultimately, the goal of asset management is to help manage the risk of equipment failure and the resulting costs and downtime. But, if this information is kept on an island in the CMMS and not shared with other systems throughout the plant, potential efficiency gains are minimized.

Incorporating asset management into MES offers big efficiency gains by minimizing production interruptions and unnecessary maintenance. Additionally, as part of asset management, MES can be used to combine numerous information islands. This increases efficiency by allowing information to flow instantaneously and accurately in formats that are properly contextualized for each role within the company.

The chart below highlights some of the main advantages of integrating MES with your CMMS.




Time-based frequency of preventive maintenance (PM) tasks

Runtime hour tracking and triggering of PM tasks

Using runtime hours to trigger PM tasks helps you perform maintenance at the right time. You can catch issues before they cause a break down and, on the flip side, avoid spending time and money replacing parts before they need it.

Manual escalation of maintenance tasks by operators

Automatic escalation of PM tasks based on runtime hours or alarms

Helps you automatically prioritize tasks from low-priority maintenance that can wait to high-priority items that need to be addressed immediately.

Manual, static maintenance lists that do not offer analysis or teaching/training opportunities

Uses barcode scanning for tracking and maintenance workflows

This provides more details on the workflow and methodology for performing the maintenance. Additionally, with time-based tracking, you can see how long it took someone to do each step to help plan better for downtime.

Non-integrated islands of maintenance data

Integration of maintenance data so that plant managers can compare maintenance costs and frequency/availability scores

Having maintenance data integrated with other systems offers a clear-cut way to determine the ROI of your PM operations to ensure you are operating efficiently.

Manually generated maintenance tickets not logged in a single system

Planned and unplanned maintenance is tracked on each asset and associated with a downtime reason code and a maintenance tech and permanently logged



There are numerous reports and analytics tools available for viewing the maintenance performed on each asset over a selected time period. Downtime reason codes offer better data on system history as well as complete information on downtime occurrences versus actual maintenance tickets. This can help plant managers make better decisions and eliminates the risk of losing tribal knowledge of equipment when a person leaves a company.


To sum it up, by placing the information gathered by incorporating MES into your asset management system into the hands of plant managers, maintenance can be scheduled during times that will least impact production. Additionally, maintenance personnel can focus their time more efficiently by working on the items that require the most immediate attention and will make the greatest impact.

Download our 9 MES Tools Every Plant Manager Needs to Improve Business Performance white paper to examine all the best MES tools for increasing business performance

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