Asset management vs. Maintenance management: what’s the difference?

diferença gestão ativos manutenção

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between asset management and maintenance management? These concepts can be confusing. Both cover strategies for increasing the efficiency of an industrial plant’s assets. The aim behind these activities is to improve equipment reliability rates.

However, they have their own differences and pecularities. Do you want to understand the difference between asset management and maintenance management once and for all? In this post we’ll explain these two activities and point out their differences. Happy reading!

What is Asset Management?

In order to talk about the difference between asset management and maintenance management, we first need to define the two activities.

According to ISO 55000, asset management translates an organization’s objectives into decisions, plans and activities related to its assets. To do this, a risk-based approach is used. 

Asset Management encompasses all the activities carried out while monitoring the asset’s life cycle. Including, of course, industrial assets. From the moment a company decides to acquire new equipment or even discard obsolete equipment, the management of these choices must be mapped out for Asset Management.

As a result, the company can assess the need and performance of assets at different levels. In addition, asset management provides the application of analytical approaches to the management of assets during the different phases of their life cycle.

The aim of asset management is to guarantee that the equipment will generate the expected productive return, given the business investment. But in addition to productive efficiency throughout the operating period, asset management also refers to disposal procedures after the end of a machine’s life cycle.

A good asset management strategy guarantees cost optimization and reduction, accurate budgeting, increased productivity and a longer life cycle. It also improves the company’s perception of its assets and productive capacity. 

Benefits of asset management

According to ISO 55000, asset management helps an organization to obtain value from assets in order to achieve its organizational objectives. This means that the value generated depends on these objectives, the nature of the business and purpose of the company and its needs and expectations. Therefore, asset management supports the achievement of value while balancing financial, environmental, social costs, risk, service quality and asset-related performance.

Based on the information above, we can conclude that asset management is not just about maintenance. 

A maintenance strategy and an asset management strategy differ greatly from one another. The former records the maintenance routines of an asset plant. Asset management, on the other hand, is not limited to assessing the condition of machinery and encompasses various other activities.

What makes up asset management?

Asset identification

It is important to know exactly what are the assets that you are responsible for managing. Although this sounds like common sense, in practice it can be more difficult than you might think. In addition, large companies can operate with hundreds or even thousands of individual assets. A production line works as a single integrated system and is made up of several assets working together. Each of these assets is made up of several subsets, which can be broken down into individual components.

Asset location

It’s not enough to know what assets you own – you must also know where your assets are located. Industries that use mobile assets, such as vehicles, rolling stock, on-site assets or assets spread across different geographical regions, must always know their exact location, after all, they are assets. 

Asset condition

Knowing the condition of an asset is essential for maintenance planning. Condition information is obtained through inspection routines or continuous monitoring. Nowadays, with the emergence of Industry 4.0, innovative solutions aim to optimize asset monitoring and maintenance processes, such as the use of wireless monitoring sensors and control dashboards, among others. 

Asset specification

An important component of asset management is understanding the design and specifications of an asset. This information provides the boundaries for operating assets at maximum efficiency. It also guides maintenance procedures and ensures that parts are properly replaced and repaired. After all, when unexpected breakdowns occur, knowing how the assets are supposed to work helps the maintenance team to better identify the cause of the failures.

Asset maintenance

Once the assets and their location, condition and specifications have been identified, a maintenance plan must be created. Depending on the current condition, importance and risk of failure of an asset, different maintenance strategies can be employed.

For example, corrective maintenance can be used on manufacturing assets that operate sporadically and whose repair will be relatively inexpensive in the event of a failure. On the other hand, highly critical assets – such as those that are constantly in operation and whose failure would result in production loss – can benefit from a more robust maintenance plan based on the criticality of the asset. Predictive maintenance strategies should be employed in order to avoid a functional failure. 

Therefore, given the complexity of managing maintenance plans for hundreds or thousands of assets, organizations must invest in a digitalized maintenance management system. CMMS are efficient so that we have all the intervention histories of industrial assets. And the use of APM ensures that we can analyze asset performance. When combined, these tools help us make decisions. 

Asset costs

As mentioned, asset management maximizes the useful life of an asset and reduces its maintenance cost. As they age, assets become more expensive to operate and maintain. Therefore, organizations must be able to monitor the actual performance of assets and identify cost-saving areas.

Asset performance evaluation 

It is very important for industries to evaluate the performance of assets, their asset management and their asset management system. Performance measures can be direct or indirect, and can also be related to financial goals or not. For this reason, ISO 55000 states that it is necessary to evaluate asset performance and, for this, it is essential to have a well-established maintenance management process. 

What is maintenance management? 

“Ensuring the reliability and availability of assets in order to meet a production or service provision program safely, preserving the environment and at an appropriate cost.”

Júlio Nascif & Luiz Carlos Dorigo – Results-oriented maintenance

Nowadays, maintenance management occupies a central and strategic place within industries. Many companies have a Reliability Engineering department which carries out reliability studies and helps to draw up the best maintenance strategies. In addition, Maintenance Engineering is responsible for carrying out Maintenance Management to ensure that maintenance strategies and techniques are implemented.

How to manage maintenance?

When well defined, maintenance management is a process that guarantees machinery efficiency, anticipating possible unforeseen events by identifying a potential failure. This makes it possible to take preventive action before a failure occurs, which will certainly compromise the production flow. 

ISO 55000 talks about monitoring asset performance, while maintenance management, through the use of predictive maintenance techniques, provides for continuous monitoring of the health of assets, with a view to planning downtime and corrective actions before their performance is compromised. 

Summing up, maintenance management is the management of all actions aimed at preventing or correcting failures resulting from the use or wear of industrial assets. Maintenance management has the following fundamental pillars: ensuring the availability and reliability of the asset; extending the useful life of the equipment as much as possible without compromising quality; and reducing costs. 

Benefits of maintenance management to increase asset availability

Increasing the availability of assets means ensuring that they are available in the industrial plant and kept in excellent condition for production, reducing abrupt shutdowns, defects or machine breakdowns. 

Benefits of maintenance management to increase asset reliability

On the other hand, in asset reliability, the aim is to ensure that the equipment preserves its functionalities and complies with its intended production program. That is, if the availability indicator has been achieved, this is a sign that reliability has been maintained.

Benefits of maintenance management to reduce costs

Maintenance costs include Opex (costs to keep the asset in operation) and Capex (costs of investing in new assets, retrofitting, adjustments). In this sense, all the maintenance costs that will be incurred during the asset’s useful life are taken into account. In other words, the costs involved in the strategies and resources used (labor and parts). 

However, all assets will inevitably reach a point where they become more expensive to maintain than to replace completely.

The difference between asset management and maintenance management

Clearly, we can see that the maintenance management process plays an important role within asset management. It is the maintenance management actions and the strategies that will be used that will allow the performance of the asset to be monitored so that it generates value.

In terms of extending the useful life and reducing costs, maintenance management aims to carry out actions that prevent or reduce wear and tear on equipment and assets in general, increasing their useful life and generating a greater return on investment.

Solutions for asset management and maintenance management

So, now that you know the difference between asset management and maintenance management, it’s time to learn about solutions that can improve these activities in your company.

Wireless asset monitoring sensors

With the data collected via these sensors, it is possible to monitor the operation of the equipment and anticipate possible failures. Dynamox offers sensors that perform triaxial collection, that are certified for explosive atmospheres and have IP66, IP68 and IP69 degrees of protection.

Data analysis platforms

They automate analysis and prognosis so that preventive or corrective actions can be taken. Count on an intuitive platform that issues alarms according to the criticality of the failures and has all the tools needed for assertive decision-making.

Digitalized routes and integrated dashboards for maintenance management

Control and management panels for maintenance activities help to synchronize and view what needs to be done, according to the priority listed by the team, or the business risk that a failure may represent.

App for performing sensitive inspection routes

Learn about all the features and applications of the Dynamox solution for monitoring asset health and performance and managing maintenance actions.

Did you like our content? Read more about the maintenance sector on our blog or ask one of our experts

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