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SAP Asset Intelligence Network: Greater Efficiency, Lower Risk

April 26, 2016 by Andreas Schmitz 95

SAP Asset Intelligence Network is a novel business network that combines information from manufacturers, service providers, and equipment operators on a single cloud-based platform.

“This boosts efficiency and reduces the risks of operating equipment,” says Achim Krüger, who is responsible for the Asset Management business area at SAP.

Q: SAP launched SAP Asset Intelligence Network at the Hannover Messe 2016. What do you hope to achieve with this new platform?

A: Today, it is very complicated when every manufacturer, service provider, or equipment operator has to link up with their business partners separately to exchange data on equipment and components. A wide range of information can be involved: instruction manuals and maintenance instructions, specifications, spare parts lists, and even sensor data on the current state of the equipment. We are talking about simple structured data all the way up to comprehensive, two- and three-dimensional interactive, animated documents.

WithSAP Asset Intelligence Network, manufacturers, service providers, and equipment operators can exchange data with one another through a cloud-based platform. A manufacturer, for example, can make the master data available for a specific model. Customers who use this machine or component model can transfer the data to their systems and link it with their own master data. As a result, the data remains up to date without complex manual work or integration gaps. SAP Asset Intelligence Network is a business network that is based onSAP HANA Cloud platform.

How will SAP Asset Intelligence Network be used in practice?

We plan to support multiple use scenarios. In addition to linking master data with a customer’s ERP system, it seems logical to make data about the machine operations available to the manufacturer or service provider, in a precisely defined scope – data about the current state, usage profile, and utilization, for example. This information is extremely valuable to the service provider and manufacturer, because it helps them find the best possible time for an inspection or maintenance work. In addition, the detailed information about the use of components also helps the manufacturer to draw conclusions about the design and production. Therefore, it will ultimately help companies in the continuous improvement of their components.

What is the situation like right now?

Until now, manufacturers often had no other choice but to wait for “warranty cases” to arise or to analyze individual customer reports to find out what they need to improve. Equipment operators have to compile the information about their currently used machines, laboriously extracting it from a wide variety of sources. The handling of this data is only rarely standardized or structured, making it very error-prone. Of course, manufacturers already provide their customers with information through the Internet. But this is always done through manufacturer-specific portals. Equipment operators who have machines from many different manufacturers face the challenge of dealing with a large number of different information sources. This is not only inefficient, but in the worst case can result in critical operational situations.

SAP Asset Intelligence Network simplifies and standardizes communications, which means manufacturers no longer have to run their own complex portals.

SAP Asset Intelligence Network simplifies and standardizes communications.

Who will benefit from SAP Asset Intelligence Network?

Manufacturers, for one, who will be able to make their data accessible to a broad range of users much more efficiently and will also receive direct feedback from operations in future. On the other side, equipment operators will be able to transfer the master data for the machines they use efficiently and error-free. Moreover, they will have access to much better data about the equipment currently in operation. For the equipment operators, in addition to efficiency gains, this also reduces operational risks. Incorrect master data can result in the incorrect operation of equipment, the installation of the wrong spare parts, or incorrect maintenance activities. Such occurrences will become much rarer in future. In addition, SAP Asset Intelligence Network will also spread the word about new models and spare parts, maybe even through targeted advertising.

Which companies already use SAP Asset Intelligence Network?

In recent weeks and months, we worked with a variety of manufacturers, service providers, and equipment operators to put SAP Asset Intelligence Network through its paces, and can now make it available to a much larger group of customers. Our pilot partners included customers from a wide range of industries – including equipment supply, mining, chemicals, and oil and gas – as well as manufacturers of industrial components and energy providers.

SAP will be at Hannover Messe 2016, stand C4 in hall 7, presenting showcase projects for the open integrated factory, a connected product lifecycle, and big data analytics in manufacturing, among other highlights. Learn more.

Top image via Shutterstock

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