Category: Press

Asset Performance Technologies Announces Release 22.2 of the Asset Strategy Library


Asset Performance Technologies Announces Release 22.2 of the Asset Strategy Library

The APT Asset Strategy Library™ (ASL™) is the world’s largest library of failure modes and
preventive maintenance (PM) recommendations for equipment in heavy industries

3/29/2018 Albuquerque, NM – Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) announces release 22.2 of the Asset Strategy Library. The ASL is the most comprehensive library of how equipment fails (FMEA tables) and how to prevent such failures (PM Templates), now with 794 Equipment Types commonly found in asset-intensive industries, including:

  • 5,045 PM Tasks and Intervals (PM Templates) (6 per type)
  • 57,918 Degradation Mechanisms (FMEA rows) (73 per type)
  • 178,125 As-Found Reportable Condition Statements (219 per type)

Users unleash the power of Preventance APM™, APT’s cloud-based software platform, that delivers dynamic strategy optimization and analytics when combined with the Asset Strategy Library content, enabling rapid optimization of any preventive maintenance (PM) program. APT’s Preventance APM software leverages the information in the ASL along with user economic inputs to determine the most cost-effective maintenance strategy for any given component. The outcome is a simple and easily implemented strategy for improving operational uptime and reliability performance.

About Asset Performance Technologies

Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. is the company that Plant Managers, CFOs, and maintenance professionals count on to achieve world class asset performance and make the most of their PM dollars. Our revolutionary cloud based Preventance APM software platform combines unique optimization and analytics capability with the APT Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any PM program. Preventance APM sets the standard for PM optimization by dynamically adjusting to changing operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics.

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Asset Performance Technologies Announces new Rapid Results services offering and the release of Preventance APM Version 2.6 with new Asset Strategy Library content

For Immediate Release

Asset Performance Technologies Announces new Rapid Results services offering and the release of Preventance APM Version 2.6 with new Asset Strategy Library content

Release adds user requested functionality to accelerate analysis in Preventance APM as well as adding new equipment classes and failure data to the Asset Strategy Library

2/20/2018 Albuquerque, NM – Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) announces Rapid Results- a new services offering designed to accelerate preventative maintenance optimization and resulting cost savings. APT is also announcing the release Version 2.6 of the Preventance APM™ cloud-based software platform that combines dynamic strategy optimization and analytics with the Asset Strategy Library™ (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any preventive maintenance (PM) program. APT’s Preventance APM software leverages the information in the ASL along with user economic inputs to determine the most cost-effective maintenance strategy for any given component. The outcome is a simple and easily implemented strategy for improving operational uptime and reliability performance.

APT’s Rapid Results program is a one-week onsite engagement designed to assist clients in evaluating the potential benefits of our Preventance APM software platform and consulting services. We spend up to 5 days working side by side with a small number of your team utilizing Preventance APM and with your basic maintenance and cost data, jointly perform an optimization on a subset of your assets. The optimized preventative maintenance (PM) strategies are ready to deploy by the end of the week.

“Our Winter 2018 release delivers new functionality and an improved user experience as requested by the APT User Community. We also continue to expand the Asset Strategy Library with significant additions of commonly found plant components with the associated data on how this equipment fails and how to prevent it” said Asset Performance Technologies CEO, Mark Benak.

Enhancements contained in Version 2.6 of Preventance APM include:

  • the ability to attach related documents to any analysis performed in Preventance APM
  • Quick View pop up of a Task Objective and Scope can now be viewed by clicking anywhere on the Task pane

Asset Strategy Library Release 22.1 increases the Asset Strategy Library equipment count to 783 components, with:

  • 4,941 PM Tasks and Intervals (PM Templates) (6 per type)
  • 56,686 Degradation Mechanisms (FMEA rows) (73 per type)
  • 172,878 As-Found Reportable Condition Statements (219 per type)

The APT Asset Strategy Library is the world’s largest library of failure modes and preventive maintenance (PM) recommendations for equipment in heavy industries. The ASL delivers the most comprehensive database of how equipment fails (FMEA tables) and how to prevent such failures (PM Templates).

About Asset Performance Technologies

Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. is the company that Plant Managers, CFOs, and maintenance professionals count on to achieve world class asset performance and make the most of their PM dollars. Our revolutionary cloud based Preventance APM software platform combines unique optimization and analytics capability with the APT Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any PM program. Preventance APM sets the standard for PM optimization by dynamically adjusting to changing operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics.


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APT Offers Value Based Maintenance

DECEMBER 15, 2017





The recognized leader of failure mode and preventive maintenance (PM) recommendation libraries for equipment common to the heavy process industries, Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT), recently briefed ARC Advisory Group on its new cloud-based asset performance management platform, Preventance APM. The platform combines optimization and analytics capability with the APT Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to enable users in all industries to optimize PM programs in accordance with industry best practices.

Key findings include:

  • Reliability centered maintenance (RCM) analysis is an arduous process that many users avoid due to the complexity of the process and the amount of resources it can consume. ASL can alleviate the pain of RCM analysis by leveraging the failure mode and preventative maintenance activity content within the library to define an optimized maintenance strategy.

  • The cost/benefit analysis available in Preventance APM enables users to determine a cost-effective maintenance strategy at the component level.

  • Preventance APM not only provides recommended PM task actions, but can also safely delete tasks if the analysis indicates it is unnecessary and therefore not economical.

Long History Behind the Scenes

Outside of the power industry, most users in the heavy process industries are probably unfamiliar with APT by name. However, as an OEM to other suppliers of asset performance management software, many are familiar with the company’s Asset Strategy Library (ASL) of failure modes effects analysis (FMEA) and preventive maintenance (PM) templates and recommendations. ASL was initially developed with the support of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) in response to the scarcity of condition and preventive maintenance information available for industrial equipment. The origin of ASL is EPRI’s Preventive Maintenance Basis Database (PMDB) which APT still manages. ASL is currently in use at 84 percent of North American nuclear power plants as well as successfully validated in other heavy process industries, including oil and gas, refining, and steel production.

The original objectives of the partnership were to bring a more efficient and cost-effective approach to RCM and flexible data usage to the nuclear industry. Working with users, APT developed templates and a technical basis for recommended preventive tasks and task intervals. What makes ASL unique is that the data is sourced from multiple plants, must pass an SME review, and is applicable across industries.

APT was an early adopter of mathematical modeling for asset management purposes to provide flexibility and depth to the information. ASL expedites the RCM process, thus alleviating the burden of a full internal RCM analysis. Commercially available since 2004, the company continues to add to the library. The currently available version contains nearly 800 equipment types common to the process industries, over 6100 RCM analyses, and provides approximately 5,000 PM templates.

Value Based Maintenance Methodology

Value Based Maintenance phpm2.JPGAPT applies its Value Based Maintenance (VBM) methodology for optimizing the value derived from maintenance based on a cost/benefit analysis. VBM is a methodology to enable the correct work to be performed at the most economically beneficial time. According to APT, it also provides a flexible approach to risk prioritization using a simple yet robust process that accounts for operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics.

The Preventance APM Platform

APT has productized its experience and expertise in the form of its Preventance APM software platform. By combining dynamic strategy optimization and analytics with its ASL content, the company believes it can rapidly optimize any PM program.

APT Solution Stack hpm3.JPGCloud-based Preventance APM for asset-intensive industries layers APT expertise and knowledge to eliminate arduous RCM analyses. According to APT, the software’s dozen embedded algorithms enables users to model and refine equipment criticality level, operating context, business model, budget, and objectives to develop a maintenance strategy to improve equipment uptime and reliability.

Preventance APM is available in three versions to suit an organization’s maintenance maturity. For beginners, Preventance Primer provides PM templates, equipment groupings, and custom criticality checklist. Preventance Planned adds generic optimization to the Primer package. Preventance Precision adds customer optimization, reliability and cause evaluation capability, and cost/benefit analysis to assess the business benefits of asset management activities.

Preventance Business Intelligence (BI) provides data visualization and analytics to gain insight into performance, better understand risk, and control costs. APT Consulting Services run the gamut from training to customized Reliability as a Service (RaaS) for greater flexibility in budgeting and service consumption. Basic RaaS level of services are deployed on an as needed basis. Advanced level RaaS adds proactive data monitoring and recommendation alerts from APT’s SMEs.


APT is world renowned for its subject matter expertise in the asset management community. Formalizing its expertise in a software application is a logical next step in its growth. Its long-standing relationship with EPRI will help the company deepen its position in the power industry. The company’s focus is on penetrating other heavy process industries where it has reported experiencing strong growth. Direct integrations with other enterprise systems is on the company’s development roadmap. Currently, users must rely on APT’s flat file approach for computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) data exchange. However, the Preventance APM platform appears to offer new industrial users a straightforward path to begin their reliability journey.

ARC Advisory Group clients can view the complete report at ARC Client Portal on New Client Portal or Office 365 or on this website.

If you would like to buy this report or obtain information about how to become a client, please Contact Us

Keywords: Asset Performance Management (APM), Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA), Preventive Maintenance (PM), Value Based Maintenance (VBM), ARC Advisory Group.

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Asset Performance Technologies Announces the Release of Preventance APM Version 2.5 and Additional Content to the Asset Strategy Library

Release significantly upgrades Preventance APM cloud based software as well as adding new equipment classes and failure data to the Asset Strategy Library

11/3/2017 Albuquerque, NM – Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) announced today its Fall 2017 software release, significantly upgrading the Preventance APM cloud-based software platform that combines dynamic strategy optimization and analytics with the Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any preventive maintenance (PM) program. APT’s Preventance APM software leverages the information in the ASL along with user economic inputs to aid in determining the most cost-effective maintenance strategy for any given component. The outcome is a simple and easily implemented strategy for improving operational uptime and reliability performance.

“Our Fall release brings exciting new functionality and analytical tools based largely on input from the APT User Community and comes on the heels of our successful launch of the new Preventance BI product last month,” said Asset Performance Technologies CEO, Mark Benak.

Enhancements contained in Version 2.5 of Preventance APM include:

  • improved User Interface (UI) and financial analysis tools enabling managers to assign Division Default Costs to each criticality item, alerting users during criticality analysis, with override capability if needed.
  • a new suite of reports on various aspects of analysis results and input parameters including Strategy Optimization Analytics and Dynamic Cost – Benefit calculations.
  • Ranked Task Action capability which enables users to safely delete PM task actions when Preventance APM analysis shows them to be unnecessary, and thus uneconomical.

ASL Release 21.11 increases the Asset Strategy Library equipment count to 764 components, with:

  • 4,793 PM Tasks and Intervals (PM Templates) (6 per type)
  • 55,417 Degradation Mechanisms (FMEA rows) (73 per type)
  • 167,414 As-Found Reportable Condition Statements (219 per type)

The APT Asset Strategy Library is the world’s largest library of failure modes and preventive maintenance (PM) recommendations for equipment in heavy industries. The ASL is the most comprehensive database of how equipment fails (FMEA tables) and how to prevent such failures (PM Templates).


About Asset Performance Technologies

Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. is the company that Plant Managers, CFOs, and maintenance professionals count on to achieve world class asset performance and make the most of their PM dollars. Our revolutionary cloud based Preventance APM software platform combines unique optimization and analytics capability with the APT Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any PM program. Preventance APM sets the standard for PM optimization by dynamically adjusting to changing operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics.

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ABQ Business First Fastest Growing Companies award winners include G2i and Realty One of NM – Albuquerque Business First

As New Mexico continues to recover from the recession, some local businesses have gotten on a fast track toward rapid growth.

We honored Business First’s Fastest Growing Companies Thursday during an awards event at the Albuquerque Convention Center. View the accompanying slideshow to see how each of the 29 finalists ranked and who topped the list with 2,980 percent growth.

Privately owned, for-profit companies based in New Mexico were eligible for nomination for this award, including New Mexico wholly owned subsidiaries. Each company must have had sales or revenue of at least $500,000 in 2016 and been in business throughout all 12 months of 2014. They also must have shown overall revenue growth between 2014 and 2016. Nominees were contacted by our accounting partner, Moss Adams LLP, to verify financial information and calculate each company’s overall growth. Finalists with the highest percentages of revenue growth became our honorees.

This year’s finalists come from a wide variety of industries, including security, health care, technology and construction.

Moss Adams, Bank of Albuquerque and Meals on Wheels Albuquerque were presenting sponsors for Fastest Growing Companies. Event sponsors were The Recognition Place and Heritage Audio Visual.

Asset Performance Technologies placed 9th with 88.98 percent growth.


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Asset Performance Technologies Announces the Release of Preventance BI – APT’s New Business Intelligence & Data Visualization Software Application

9/21/2017 Albuquerque, NM – Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) announced today the release of Preventance BI – APT’s new business intelligence & data visualization software application. Preventance BI is an exciting new, low cost and easy to use software application that enables APT customers with analytics and visualization capabilities to turn data into actionable information.

“Business intelligence is all about leveraging your data to gain insights and continuously maximize asset performance, understand risk, and control cost. Our team has been working with customers to assure Preventance BI achieves just that” said Asset Performance Technologies CEO Mark Benak.

Preventance BI enables customers to:

  • Monitor and report on equipment performance and maintenance strategy costs at a level of detail that empowers effective cost and risk management decisions
  • Use cost data in conjunction with equipment performance data when determining the acceptability of maintenance strategy effectiveness and risk profiles
  • Monitor the effectiveness of maintenance strategy changes
  • When used in conjunction with APT’s Preventance APM platform, clients can seamlessly access actual cost and performance data to develop or modify existing maintenance strategies to achieve required levels of equipment reliability at the lowest cost
  • Create dashboards for effective monitoring and management reporting

Preventance BI is a simple but effective way to visualize and trend data over time, enabling users to monitor and identify improvement opportunities within their asset strategies. With its powerful yet simple user interface, users can quickly configure reports and dashboards of top KPIs to meet executive and compliance reporting requirements.


About Asset Performance Technologies

Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. (APT) Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. is the company that Plant Managers, CFOs, and maintenance professionals count on to achieve world class asset performance and make the most of their PM dollars. Our revolutionary cloud based Preventance APM software platform combines unique optimization and analytics capability with the APT Asset Strategy Library (ASL) content to rapidly optimize any PM program. Preventance APM sets the standard for PM optimization by dynamically adjusting to changing operating conditions, plant requirements, and market economics.

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Asset Performance Technologies, a cloud-based company, is on a mission to “transform maintenance from a cost to profit center in asset-intensive industries.”

The world is busy; busy as a bee in producing what once upon a time was unattainable. And it seems humanity never fails to reward the world with better, faster, and bigger innovation. Innovation is bringing in great ideas, concepts, and designs to help the world be a better place. As Denis Waitley said, “You have all the reason in the world to achieve your grandest dreams. Imagination plus innovation equals realization” – a valid statement to be admired always.

The wise words of Mr. Waitley inspired a fledgling company to produce the finest innovative product in the market. They wanted to ensure customer, as well as company, success.

Christened Asset Performance Technologies, Inc. in 2004, they set out to be the company that specializes in creating balanced equipment reliability with plant availability for their customers. Asset Performance Technologies (APT) is founded on Reliability Centered Maintenance principles and works relentlessly in producing high quality Preventive Maintenance (PM) solutions at a very reasonable cost.

APT’s Founders were asked by EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) to commercialize the PM Basis Database (PMBD) upon which they had been working for over a decade. APT re-branded it as the Asset Strategy Library (ASL) and has been growing this collection of expert content on how equipment fails and what to do about it since that time. More importantly, APT’s founders created software analytics and algorithms to optimize the recommend maintenance strategies for any business’ economic constraints (e.g. cost of a lost hour of production, cost of a maintenance man hour, etc.). EPRI’s PMBD arose in the US nuclear industry in response to the difficulties in applying the RCM analysis techniques to land-based facilities. And as a key part of the Nuclear Promise Initiative (to reduce O&M costs by 30% by 2018), the industry is now benefitting cloud software platform to increase equipment reliability while reducing maintenance cost. APT calls this Value Based Maintenance (which the industry has also adopted and published in an efficiency bulletin from the Nuclear Energy Institute or NEI). 20% of the electricity in the US is produced by 99 nuclear reactors at this time. Nuclear energy is a key part of US infrastructure and our national security – it is safe, reliable, and carbon neutral. APT is helping these plants compete more effectively with natural gas fired plants (which have much lower costs these days), according to Mark Benak, CEO of APT.

“A truly optimal maintenance plan financially balances the cost of equipment maintenance with the cost of equipment failure – APT is the only company to offer such unique capabilities.”Dr. David H. WorledgeChief Scientist & FounderGlenn R. HinchcliffePE, CMRP, Chief Engineer & FounderAsset Performance Technologies, a cloud-based company, is on a mission to “transform maintenance from a cost to profit center in asset-intensive industries.”

“Manage your equipment strategies anywhere – on our cloud-based planning platform,” says CEO APT’s first software product (called PRO-M) was a desktop application. It was retired in 2015 and replaced with to provide global scalability of the application as a “software as a service”, more aggressive named-user licensing plans, and predictable, recurring revenue for APT.

They used a traditional software pricing model (upfront fee + ongoing maintenance & support fees) for launching the desktop platform. Adoption was slow due in part to the relatively larger, up front and site-based licensing fees. The cloud-based software allows their customers to take much less financial risk up front, start with a few users, and grow their usage of Preventance throughout the enterprise as its successful usage is proven in house, adds Benak.

APT always try to listen to its customers for ideas on new features that would benefit the entire user community. However, the most important responses from our customers were around the need for consulting services to get the most out of Preventance and implement the recommended maintenance strategy changes. Hence, APT launched its Services division in late 2016 to fulfill this customer need. Plant operating are being asked by owners to do more with less. APT can provide those expert services and is building up its virtual reliability team for the entire industry.

“Nothing sells itself no matter how great you might think your product i s .”

You must aggressively market and sell your offering, acquire early adopters, and ensure they are successful in order to attract more clients, says Benak.

A company must be ready for any kind of turmoil; accepting this and working on removing the turmoil is what a company’s attitude should be. In the words of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s, “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.”

When offering new unique tools, it is difficult to acquire the early customers since the company was relatively un-known back then. Moreover, APT has customers in a variety of industries from power generation to chem/pet-rochem/refining, steel production, etc. Each market vertical believes it may be unique – however, the equipment from the same vendors across indus-tries. It is simply operated differently. APT’s content and software consider the functional importance and oper-ating context of the equipment when optimizing maintenance strategies so that our tools truly apply to any asset-intensive industry.

Beyond the horizon

The depth and breadth of the main-tenance strategy and failure mode content in the Asset Strategy Library (ASL) is unparalleled and already proven in the power generation in-dustry (by EPRI). APT’s Preventance software not only offers a technical basis but also a financial basis for maintenance decisions. A truly optimal maintenance plan financially balances the cost of equipment maintenance with the cost of equipment failure – APT is the only company to offer such unique capabilities.

APT is the only company to offer opti-mal (i.e. balanced) maintenance plans for asset-intensive industries. APT will continue offering new functionality to, such as improved reliability and costmodels, reporting, asset registry tools, life cycle manage-ment, etc.

All set with a game-to-win, APT seems to know their way to the global plat-form as Benak confirms by stating, “APT hosts its application and data on Microsoft’s Azure platform and is help-ing asset-intensive industries realize the benefits of Software as a Service”


Roll out the Red carpet for the CEO

Mark Benak (CEO)
is a technologist, entrepreneur, and angel investor with over 25 years of experience. He also serves as Board Advisor to the Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm and served as Chairman for Incitor (now xF Technologies), a novel developer of synthetic enzymes for biofuels. Mark co-founded InLight Solutions, developing optical solutions for Life Sciences problems.
Previously, he was a staff scientist with the institute for fluid mechanics (LSTM) at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg and a research engineer with the Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart. Mark received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University
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Come visit APT (booth #316) at NEA 2017 next week in Scottsdale!

Will you also be attending the Nuclear Energy Assembly (NEA) conference next week in Scottsdale, AZ? If so, please stop by the APT booth (#316) and say hello. We’d be delighted to tell you more about why our customer, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, is being honored with a TIP (Top Industry Practice) award using our unique Preventance maintenance strategy optimization tools. We can also show how we can help you effectively implement Value Based Maintenance (VBM) to reduce your maintenance costs while maintaining equipment reliability. Along with our partner, ENERCON (booth #314), we can offer complete solutions to assist you in achieving your DNP goals.
We look forward to seeing you there!
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BREAKING NEWS- APT is now officially part of the APM Ecosystem!

Market Guide for Asset Performance Management

Published: 08 March 2017 ID: G00321429



CIOs in utilities and other asset-intensive organizations can use this research to support the development of enterprise APM strategies. APM is a key element of the foundational technology that can help their organizations achieve higher levels of operational reliability, safety and efficiency.


Key Findings

  • Asset performance management (APM) solutions are widening in scope and decreasing in deployment cost due to market acceptance, increasing competition and maturation of enabling technologies such as advanced analytics, algorithms, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • As APM solutions mature and cloud deployment increases, asset management will become a more collaborative process. Activities will be shared among asset owners, operators, service providers and OEMs.
  • Asset management strategies are beginning to shift from preventive to predictive — driven by innovation in enabling technologies and streamlined access to consistent operational technology (OT) data resulting from IT and OT alignment and integration.
  • As the market becomes more defined, vendors seek product differentiation by offering domain expertise and the alternative delivery option of APM as a service.


CIOs in asset-intensive industries who are optimizing foundational technologies should:

  • Develop and expand expertise in critical APM technology building blocks by adopting a bimodal approach and leveraging advanced analytics, IoT, algorithms and cloud computing.
  • Use third-party APM services to collect and analyze equipment data and support performance improvements, if internal IT resources are constrained or third-party collaboration is a goal.
  • Identify possible data sources to support a predictive strategy and determine what data analysis software can maximize your investment in multiple situations by collaborating with your operations team.
  • Determine the pros and cons of outsourcing data analysis core competencies by examining how much of product or domain expertise is unique and, therefore, should be a core competency.
  • Decrease unplanned work, mean time between failures and mean time to repair metrics by working closely with your maintenance and reliability departments.

Market Definition

Asset performance management is a market of software tools and applications designed for optimizing operational assets (such as plant, equipment and infrastructure) essential to the operation of an enterprise. Organizations invest in APM tools and technologies to reduce unplanned repair work, increase asset availability, minimize maintenance costs and reduce the risk of failure for critical assets. These products can also improve an organization’s ability to comply with regulations that prescribe how assets are inspected and maintained. APM uses data capture, integration, visualization and analytics to improve operations, maintenance timing, and which maintenance and inspection activities to perform on mission-critical assets.

There are two other related, but separate, asset management systems — enterprise asset management (EAM) and asset investment planning (AIP) — which are not assessed in this research, but it is important to understand the relationship (see Figure 1 for the relationship flow).

  • APM should not be confused with EAM, although integration between the two is common for triggering work orders in all levels of functional capabilities listed above and some EAM vendors have invested in APM. APM is designed for decision support; EAM is designed for maintenance execution. For more information on EAM, please see Note 1 or “Magic Quadrant for Energy and Utilities Enterprise Asset Management Software.” Some EAM vendors have an APM product strategy; most rely on partnerships with APM vendors. Sourcing an APM solution that is compatible with your EAM solution provides more ready-to-use integration.
  • APM also should not be confused with asset investment planning (AIP). APM is designed to support safe, reliable, and efficient operation of equipment and infrastructure. AIP is designed to support long-term capital investment decisions, most often used by local governments and regulated utilities. AIP takes data on asset condition, maintenance costs, criticality, budgets and risks, then analyzes it to produce capital investment plans over extended time horizons (see “Technology Overview for Utility Asset Investment Planning” ). The two solution types often use the same data and similar analytical techniques, but for different purposes. There is no overlap between APM and AIP solution providers.
Figure 1. Data Flow in Asset Management Systems

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

APM includes specific functional capabilities (organized by APM category) that require data collection and aggregation from data historians and other operational data stores for the purposes of analysis (see Table 1).

Table 1.   APM Capabilities and Categories


Processes and Tools

Asset Strategy and Risk Management

Data collection and aggregation from EAM systems.

Certified integration with major EAM systems for updating maintenance plans.

Various analysis techniques and tools for calculating risk and assessing criticality, including:

  • Weibull analysis — Statistical distribution of asset life data from a representative set of sample units to predict the life of an asset.
  • Risk-based inspection (RBI) — Analysis methodology and process that requires qualitative or quantitative assessment of the probability of failure (PoF) and the consequence of failure (CoF) associated with each equipment item.
  • Fault tree analysis (FTA) — A deductive failure analysis method that models the pathways within a system that can lead to failures or undesired results.
  • Mechanical integrity — Management of critical process equipment to ensure it is designed and installed correctly, and that it operates and is maintained properly (that is, all elements are fit for service).
  • Safety integrity level (SIL) analysis — A method to indicate the tolerable failure rate of a particular safety function.
  • Library of failure modes and recommended practices.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)

Data collection and aggregation from EAM systems.

Root cause failure analysis — Actions taken to determine why a particular failure or issue exists and correcting those causes.

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) — A method to identify where and how an asset might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures.

Predictive Asset Management

Statistical modeling/regression analysis of physically observable characteristics in a piece of equipment, recorded over a period of time.

Neural network analysis — Computational data model that can capture and represent complex input/output relationships.

Machine learning to determine the related characteristics that are observable in a failure of equipment or parts so as to use that as the basis of future failure indicators.

Proprietary algorithms.

Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM)

Rule engines — To determine and record tolerance levels for physically observable characteristics in a piece of equipment.

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Gartner surveyed vendors for the types of APM customer deployments organized by APM category. Figure 2 summarizes responses from 10 leading APM vendors.

Figure 2. Customer Deployment Capabilities Reported by APM Vendors

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

The figure represents the number of customer use cases added up across all reported vendors.
Vendors may indicate multiple use cases per customer.

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Market Direction

APM Adoption Is Accelerating, but at a Varied Pace

APM is a critical investment area for asset-intensive industries, including manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, transportation, and utilities (see “Asset Performance Management Transforms How Operational Assets Are Managed and Maintained” ). Successful APM deployments can deliver measurable improvements in availability, as well as reduce maintenance and inventory carrying costs. Some aspects of APM have been practiced for more than 10 years, mostly by the largest companies in a handful of industries. Its broader adoption has been stalled until recently by a combination of internal and external factors, including cost/budget, skills, delegation of responsibilities and maturity of technology. In prior years, there was a need to build your own or apply complex mathematical tools to the problem.

Recently, APM has become more productized and is maturing into a more normal part of business. This is, in part, due to rapid innovation in enabling technologies such as IoT, advanced analytics and algorithms in asset-intensive industries. These are widening the scope and decreasing the deployment cost, aiding more widespread awareness and use of APM. The promise of reduced maintenance cost and downtime, coupled with higher levels of operational reliability, is attracting other industries. APM adoption is progressing at a varied pace among industries. Those that depend on the success of their assets such as manufacturing, utilities and natural resources industries tend to be further along in their asset management strategy, and usually invest more heavily in APM (see Figure 3). Other industries that rely on physical assets to some degree, such as retail and public sector, are beginning to embark on this journey, but may not invest as heavily in APM solutions (see “Differentiation in Asset-Centric Companies” ).

Figure 3. APM Significance by Industry

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Not all organizations are mature enough to invest in APM. In some instances, there may be immature asset management processes and a standard EAM system of record. In that situation, the better investment may be to upgrade the existing EAM system and/or invest in a data-cleansing project. APM is not an execution system and, therefore, depends on EAM to execute its recommendations and provide feedback on the results (as portrayed in Figure 4, which illustrates the maintenance and reliability flows between the two systems). Before investing in APM, organizations need to assess the maturity of their EAM system and have a sustainable integration plan between the two.

Figure 4. Maintenance and Reliability Flows

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Relationship Between Asset Owner/Operators and OEMs

APM offers the potential for new business models, and this will, ultimately, change the dynamic between owner/operators of assets and OEMs in a number of industries. This is a long-term trend that will depend on a number of factors:

  • The rate of OEMs investing in APM themselves, with the goal of using APM to deliver new service offerings.
  • The capability and agreement of owners/operators to share maintenance history and condition data with their OEMs, directly or via a cloud service through a digital twin (see “Predicts 2017: IT and OT Convergence Will Create New Challenges and Opportunities” ). This could lead to a shift from operator-as-maintainer to manufacturer being maintainer. Manufacturers could evaluate equipment field performance, which enables conditioned-based maintenance, diagnostics and preventive maintenance, while supporting future design improvements.
  • The emergence of third-party data aggregators, taking data off sensors and offering data as a service to OEMs and owner/operators. This is evident in adjacent markets such as retail and finance, and is expected in the equipment domain, which may accelerate the process and address data ownership issues.
  • The complexity of an owner/operator’s portfolio of assets and the diversity of its OEM relationships. A large portfolio of diverse assets might make some forms of OEM collaboration impractical, or the operator could also revert to building its own in-house equivalent analytics service instead of going to multiple vendors. The changing relationship between owner/operators and OEMs will play out over 10 or more years. In the meantime, we may see a parallel development in the future, where OEMs, vendors offering APM as a service and APM vendors supply their own capability .

Enabling Technologies and Market Opportunities Are Driving the Solution Universe

Recent advances in core technologies, such as IoT (see “The Internet of Things Revolution: Impact on Operational Technology Ecosystems” ) and advanced analytics (see “Using Advanced Analytics to Predict Equipment Failure” ), have spurred concurrent advances in the APM market. For example, IoT-driven innovation is rapidly increasing the volume and variety of data available to assess asset condition, enabling broad expansion of APM use cases (see “The Internet of Things Is Accelerating Asset Performance Management Innovation and Adoption” ). Advanced analytics capability is becoming a competitive differentiator in the market, which is aiding the maturity of asset maintenance strategies from preventive to predictive (see “Asset Management and Reliability: A Strategic Roadmap” ). In addition, because of cost, complexity and time, more APM vendors are now providing APM-as-a-service offerings. This addresses the needs of organizations that do not have the data capabilities already in-house. Cloud is also having an impact by lowering the barriers to the use of APM itself and aiding the emergence of APM-as-a-service offering.

Diversity in the Market Is Increasing

The rising interest in APM is creating a diverse set of market participants, including independent software vendors (ISVs) and OEMs. Many of these vendors have invested substantially to create and deliver new APM solutions.

APM acquisition activity is reflective of growing interest, and is expected to continue. Recent acquisitions include:

  • AspenTech acquired Mtell
  • Bentley Systems acquired C3global (to add to its acquisition of Ivara in 2012)
  • GE Digital acquired Meridium (to combine with SmartSignal as part of Predix)
  • Schneider Electric bought InStep Software in 2014

Other large OEMs are also making investments in APM to support their service businesses, and expand their existing APM software businesses.

Vendors such as SAP, Infor, GE and others have begun investing heavily in domain expertise. They are hiring talent with relevant industry experience, as well as bringing in technical expertise and creating internal data science/analytic groups, as another product differentiator. However, these efforts are just taking root, and their long-term impact on the market is yet to be determined.

We fully expect to see similar activity continue. The next few years will bring a significant amount of new activity and consolidation in the market. Vendors of all types recognize that delivering a comprehensive APM platform will expand their market opportunities.

Not all buyers are looking for a comprehensive APM platform. For them, there is still a growing market of vendors that deliver APM solutions to address a specific application. For example:

  • ABB’s Asset Health Center (based on its acquisition of Obvient Strategies in 2011) is primarily focused on monitoring the health of critical power transformers, and related substation equipment, for the electrical transmission and distribution industry.
  • Detechtion Technologies is an established provider of APM software and services for monitoring and managing gas compressors in the upstream oil and gas industry.
  • DNV GL has the product Cascade, which is focused on predictive analytics for the power sector.

These, and other targeted solutions, continue to serve specific APM constituencies.

Market Analysis

The APM market is composed of two distinct, but overlapping, submarkets. One is a market of APM platform vendors. The other is a market of asset analysis solutions used to support specific analytical approaches or, in some instances, specific classes of assets.

Platform Vendors

Platform vendors deliver comprehensive APM platforms for:

  • Aggregating asset data
  • Analyzing the data
  • Creating an asset management strategy based on risk factors, criticality and predicted outcomes

APM platform vendors support a comprehensive range of risk assessment and management methodologies (as described in the Market Definition section). They also provide integration with EAM systems and operational data stores, such as data historians. If deployed as an enterprise system, an APM platform becomes the focal point for an organization’s asset management strategy and, where applicable, its adherence to the ISO 55000 standard for physical asset management.

An organization should not automatically select a platform vendor because it has a comprehensive platform. These offerings should be considered only if your organization is in the market for an integrated product set based on the needs of your organization.

Asset Analysis Vendors

Asset analysis vendors typically provide a suite of capabilities for predicting equipment failure that includes:

  • Aggregation of data from various operational data sources
  • Application of advanced analytics to discern patterns from the data
  • Visualization to identify potential failure patterns

These vendors may also include creation of alerts and workflow to support decision process.

These capabilities can be applied to a broad spectrum of different types of equipment. Most asset analysis tools are general in nature, while a few target a specific class of asset. They can be used strategically or tactically as part of a more comprehensive asset management strategy.

Other APM Ecosystem Vendors

The market is also supported by vendor products that aren’t widely used as APM solutions per se, but serve an essential role in the APM ecosystem. Some, such as Asset Performance Technologies, primarily provide APM content to other solution providers. Others, such as the data historian OSIsoft, primarily provide the operational data necessary to support APM. The historian’s data infrastructure also has been used by customers as a platform to build unique CBM solutions. (Note: Given the large number of existing and potential CBM solutions in the market, we have chosen not to highlight vendors that do only CBM. However, a number of the vendors represented in this Market Guide also can support a CBM project.)

The decision on which APM solutions and techniques to use is driven by the types of assets an organization needs to manage, as well as available solutions. No APM vendor currently provides all of the capabilities required to support all APM strategies and manage all classes of assets across all industries. Figure 5 illustrates the field-proven capabilities of vendors represented in this Market Guide. It is not a complete list of existing solutions, but does include the major APM vendors.

Figure 5. Capabilities of Representative APM Vendors

Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Green — Comprehensive, cross-industry capabilities
Yellow — Limited or unproven capabilities
* Capabilities listed are provided by multiple products of different origin (see the Representative Vendors section).

Source: Gartner (March 2017)

Representative Vendors

The vendors listed in this Market Guide do not imply an exhaustive list. This section is intended to provide more understanding of the market and its offerings.

APM Platform Vendors

Bentley Systems

Bentley is an ISV based in Exton, Pennsylvania. Bentley offers its AssetWise suite of APM products, including the acquisitions Ivara and C3global. Most AssetWise customers are in North America and Western Europe, and span a range of industries.

AssetWise Asset Lifecycle Information Management (ALIM) provides structured control of asset information and managed change throughout the asset life cycle beyond just APM. AssetWise Asset Reliability supports core APM functions with a map-based mobile offering for inspections. AssetWise Operational Analytics is an operational intelligence/predictive analytics product that serves three primary functions — operational data capture, data analysis and visualization/reporting. It is complementary to AssetWise Asset Reliability with limited overlap. AssetWise Enterprise Interoperability facilitates the interoperation of multiple data sources and includes predefined connectors for many third-party systems, such as EAMs, as well as supports a number of exchange standards.


Meridium (acquired by GE Digital in September 2016) is an APM ISV based in Roanoke, Virginia. Founded in 1993, it initially focused on the oil and gas, and chemical industries, but has since expanded into manufacturing, mining, transportation and utilities.

Meridium offers a suite of APM products to include machinery and equipment health, reliability management, asset strategy optimization, and compliance and integrity management. Key capabilities include data integration to common EAM and condition monitoring systems, risk and criticality analysis, failure analytics and simulations, asset strategy optimization, and industry APM benchmarking through Asset Answers. Integration with the GE Bently Nevada System 1/SmartSignal products existed prior to the Meridium’s acquisition by GE, and full integration of the combined APM portfolio began immediately after the acquisition in September 2016 (see the GE Digital profile).

Asset Analysis Vendors


ABB is a global power and industrial automation company based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its Enterprise Software product group provides a suite of software products, including two independent EAM products. It has two APM products — Equipment Reliability (ER) and Asset Health Center (the latter is based on the FocalPoint analytical toolkit that came with its acquisition of Obvient Strategies).

Asset Health Center has been sold to utilities primarily for management of transmission assets, specifically the health and risk (of failure) assessment of critical bulk power transformers, circuit breakers and energy storage batteries. The solution can be deployed on-site, hosted or managed and in the Microsoft Azure cloud. ER was designed as a solution to help enforce standards related to equipment reliability and work management, specifically to support INPO AP-913 compliance in the nuclear power industry and has been folded under the Asset Health Center banner. Most Asset Health Center and ER Suite customers are in North America.

Detechtion Technologies

Detechtion Technologies is an APM software and service provider based in Houston, Texas, with offices in Calgary, Canada, and Brisbane, Australia. It offers its Enalysis product for gas compression fleet monitoring, alerting and optimization as a cloud-based service only. The product was built over many years of gas compressor troubleshooting service engagements, and has few direct competitors. Its customers are mostly in the upstream and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. The majority of its business is in North America, but it also has clients in Australia.

The vendor’s APM offering uses proprietary algorithms to determine the exact operating status of compressors from both a production and maintenance viewpoint. This can be delivered through multiple platforms, including computers, tablets and phones. It also offers its remote workers (with no access to the internet) a comprehensive set of PDF reports delivered by email for review as they travel through their oil and gas routes.

In October 2016, Detechtion acquired Enbase, which provides SCADA, mobile applications and predictive analytics for the oil and gas industry. Enbase will be integrated under the Detechtion brand and extend the capabilities for wellhead chemical injection and compression assets.

GE Digital

GE Digital , in 2016, acquired Meridium (APM; see the Meridium profile), Bit Stew Systems (data management and integration), ServiceMax (field service management solutions) and (machine learning). GE offers a number of APM-focused solutions acquired over a number of years, including SmartSignal, Bently Nevada System 1 and GE Digital Historian, as well as new Predix APM applications.

GE has streamlined APM to be a horizontal solution built on the Predix platform, which can be contextualized for industry verticals. GE also offers a number of vertical-specific APM products, many of which it delivers as part of its OEM service businesses, including GE Power and GE Oil & Gas. The APM horizontal solutions are deployed across a range of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, chemicals, transportation, mining, and utilities. In addition, GE provides an APM service offering based on the SmartSignal product with its Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC), which is an asset performance monitoring service delivered via the web.

Previously GE Oil & Gas formed a partnership with Meridium in 2014 to develop a joint APM product — Production Asset Reliability. Some components of the GE Digital and Meridium APM software have already been integrated and brought to market by combining legacy functionality from both systems by integrating through a common user interface and platform data synchronization. The full integration for GE Digital’s and Meridium’s APM software across the entire breadth of product functionality is expected to continue in 2017. For information on the complete set of APM solutions and capabilities, now available from GE Digital, see the Meridium profile.


Mtell (recently acquired by AspenTech) is an APM ISV based in San Diego, California. Although it has been in existence for much longer, its focus on APM as a product category began in 2006. Mtell’s primary APM offering is Previse, a predictive analytics and prescriptive maintenance asset management solution that can be applied to a broad range of assets. Using machine learning, Previse automatically analyzes large volumes of operational and maintenance data to discover patterns that indicate impending failure and sends notifications. Previse has been deployed in a number of asset-intensive industries, including oil and gas, transportation, chemicals, water, mining and pharmaceuticals.


SAP , founded in 1972, is a global enterprise application software vendor based in Walldorf, Germany. SAP’s Predictive Maintenance and Service and SAP Asset Intelligence Network are integrated with SAP EAM. In November 2014, it launched “SAP Predictive Maintenance and Service, cloud edition,” which allows reliability engineers and data scientists to leverage a set of prediction models and machine learning algorithms in Hana. It offers integration with OSIsoft’s PI System product, which is used to load asset data collected via sensors to be stored in SAP Hana, and has certified interfaces with OSI data historian. SAP services a variety of industries, including oil and gas, utilities, and manufacturing. SAP’s Condition-Based Maintenance capability is provided through the SAP Plant Maintenance (PM) module (EAM solution), which has been available for many years.


SAS is a business intelligence, analytics and data science ISV. It is based in Cary, North Carolina, with offices worldwide. SAS was founded in 1976, and can claim a long history of helping businesses apply advanced analytics to discover patterns in large data and complex sets. It offers an APM solution — SAS Asset Performance Analytics (first released under the name SAS Predictive Asset Maintenance, which is now a part of the SAS Quality Analytics Suite). Asset Performance Analytics uses a variety of analytical approaches, including time series regression and neural networks to model failure modes for specific assets. SAS’s APM business is distributed across the energy, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries. It also is broadly distributed across various regions of the world. In addition to SAS’s own Professional Services Division, it partners with Wipro, Accenture, CT Global Solutions and Pro Technology for implementations.

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is a global energy management and automation company, with headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison, France. Its software line of business offers the Avantis family of asset management products and services. These include an EAM product and a few APM products. The APM products it offers include Avantis PRO EAM, Avantis Condition Manager (CM) and Avantis PRiSM (which came with the 2014 acquisition of InStep Software). Avantis Condition Manager is a CBM product that integrates with Avantis PRO EAM and other EAM products. PRiSM is a predictive asset management solution that has been primarily deployed in the utility industry for predicting the failure of power generation, transmission and distribution equipment through use of models and machine learning. Other customer deployments exist in the oil and gas, food and beverage, metals, mining, and mineral industries.

Other APM Ecosystem Vendors

Asset Performance Technologies

Asset Performance Technologies is a small provider of APM content and software based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its content offering is Asset Strategy Library (ASL), consisting of an extensive library of failure modes and asset strategies for industrial equipment. It primarily sells ASL through APM vendors such as Bentley and Meridium (recently acquired by GE Digital). In addition, it offers an APM software product — Preventance — that leverages the ASL library. Although not as comprehensive, or as well-established, as similar APM products, it is has been successfully utilized by small to midsize asset-intensive businesses with an interest in utilizing the recommendations in ASL in lieu of a major RCM project. The majority of customers are in the Power Generation sector.


DNV GL , headquartered in Norway, is a provider of classification, technical assurance, software and advisory services. Its utility-oriented product, known as Cascade software, for technical asset management and predictive maintenance consolidates equipment diagnostics, nameplate and real-time data, providing equipment statuses. It can be integrated with most leading enterprise resource planning (ERP and EAM) systems. The utility-specific software interfaces with a wide variety of test equipment, as well as real-time and asset repository data, and allows SCADA and online-monitoring data to be automatically evaluated and captured as equipment reads.


MaxGrip is an APM ISV and service provider based in Utrecht, Netherlands, with offices in the U.S. and Asia/Pacific. Founded in 1997 as a maintenance and reliability service organization, it later expanded into a software business in 2000. The company offers three APM software products: Optimizer+, which interfaces with SAP, Infor, IBM and Ultimo EAM systems; strEAM+, which embeds APM functionality in IBM Maximo; and APMSmartApps, which are mobile, light apps to simplify APM. The APMSmartApps are built to work on all versions of SAP. In February 2015 — based on a partnership with Lloyd’s Register Energy — MaxGrip released a new risk-based inspection module to add to the MaxGrip APM portfolio called strEAM+ RBI. MaxGrip’s APM customers span a broad cross-section of industries, with a concentration in oil and gas, chemical, utilities, and food and beverage. It has customers in all regions of the world, but is particularly well-established in Western Europe. (MaxGrip did not participate in the vendor survey to be placed in the above APM submarket categories.)


OSIsoft is a large privately held, process data infrastructure vendor based in San Leandro, California. Its PI System is widely used by asset-intensive organizations to aggregate and manage their process data. As such, many of the vendors in this Market Guide rely on PI System for the operational data required for APM. PI System has also been used to develop custom CBM solutions in agriculture, chemicals, oil and gas, and utilities. These custom CBM applications typically use PI System’s Asset Framework (AF), which can be used to define hierarchies of assets and process flows between assets for process data, event-framed data, performing calculations on assets, and integration with EAM systems to trigger maintenance work orders based on predefined conditions. The PI System can also be linked to off-the-shelf CBM solutions. In 2015, OSIsoft released the PI Integrator for Business Analytics, a software integration product, which enables sensor-based data captured within the PI System with existing advanced analytics and visualization tools within the industry. That was followed by release of PI Integrator for Microsoft Azure in 2016. In January 2016, OSIsoft announced a global reseller agreement with SAP. SAP will resell the OSIsoft solution as the SAP Hana IoT Connector by OSIsoft through its global network of affiliated customers and business partners.

Market Recommendations

While a comprehensive APM platform solution would deliver value for almost any organization, all the components of these types of solutions may not be needed for most organizations, and the value should be weighed against the investment and total cost of ownership. More specifically, when evaluating APM options, consider:

  • The importance of good quality data in your EAM systems. Assess your data quality, and if there are deficiencies, then invest in upgrading your EAM systems and/or an asset data-cleansing project before investing in APM.
  • The importance of integration with EAM. Ensure there is an interface to your EAM to be able to execute APM recommendations directly in the transactional EAM system.
  • The importance of sufficient, secure, sustainable and relevant operational technology data. If the data doesn’t exist or is not accessible, then invest in deploying sensors and process data management infrastructure before embarking on an APM project. Additionally, look at the underlying governance of the OT systems to ensure you have a documented, secure and stable basis for OT data architecture. If you are considering APM-as-a-service options, determine if outsourcing the core competency of data analysis is beneficial in your long-term plan, or, alternatively, if you should build competencies in-house.
  • The APM vendor’s experience with your specific use case. Does it have customers already using the product to manage the performance of similar assets? Most APM vendors serve a variety of industries and asset types, but some are quite specific and are developing “domain expertise” offerings. Pick a solution that fits your scope and budget.
  • The alignment between the vendor’s APM product roadmap and your own long-term equipment reliability strategy (assuming you have one). Not all APM vendors have an expansive product strategy. If your long-term plan includes expanding the scope of the solution to encompass different assets, and different approaches to managing their performance, then invest in an APM platform vendor solution. If your organization only needs to support specific analytical approaches or specific classes of assets, then an APM asset analysis vendor may be more suitable.
  • The ability of the solution to support collaboration across the organization, as well as with external business partners, such as OEMs. Cloud technology is changing asset management collaboration dynamics and opening the door to new asset management business models. If you are considering a more collaborative asset management model, invest in APM solutions that support, or will support, the necessary collaboration.


Gartner received vendor briefings and associated material from 10 APM vendors (most have global reach, but some are only regional) from July through October 2016. Gartner also surveyed secondary research sources for information on market trends and vendor activity.

Note 1

Enterprise asset management includes planning and scheduling, work order creation, maintenance history, and inventory and procurement, as well as equipment, component and asset tracking for assemblies of equipment. In some instances, the functionality is extended by addition of basic financial management modules, such as accounts payable, cost recording in ledgers and HR functions, such as a maintenance skills database (see “Magic Quadrant for Energy and Utilities Enterprise Asset Management Software” ). While some EAM vendors have an APM product strategy, most rely on partnerships.

ISO 55000 is an international standard covering management of physical assets. Initially a Publicly Available Specification (PAS 55) published by the British Standards Institution in 2004, the ISO 55000 series of asset management standards was launched in January 2014.

Posted on

Web-based Maintenance Optimization Platform providing Preventative Analysis and a Comprehensive Library of Asset Strategies for Industrial Equipment and Nuclear Power Plants

Mark S. Benak

Chief Executive Officer


Asset Performance Technologies, Inc.


Interview conducted by:

Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – April 3, 2017


CEOCFO: Mr. Benak, what is the focus for Asset Performance Technologies today? 

Mr. Benak: Our primary focus is the Nuclear Promise Initiative. I do not know if you have heard about it in the popular press yet, but America’s nuclear power plants are struggling to be competitive in the power markets. That is to say that it is cheaper to produce electricity from natural gas plants. We are reading about certain plants being shut down. As a result, the industry banded together and created the Nuclear Promise Initiative, which is an initiative to cut O&M (Operations & Maintenance) costs by thirty percent. The original goal was 2018. I think they are a little behind schedule. However, top on that list for cutting costs in the nuclear power plant is optimizing their maintenance plans and that is exactly the products & services my company offers.


CEOCFO: Is cost the only factor that is barring people from nuclear today?

Mr. Benak: I am sure it does at some level, depending on who you talk to. I think the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan nearly six years ago reminded us that, although nuclear power is clean, safe and reliable in general, when things go bad they can go really bad. However, that was in isolated incident in my opinion, and there is probably a whole other interview to talk about some of the perhaps design issues and other things that could have been avoided in that case. However, let me put it this way, that accident in Japan slowed down the construction of many new plants in the US and probably globally, from which we are just starting to recover. Now, when I talk about the industry having to become more cost competitive, it is low electricity prices from natural gas or it is aging infrastructure. These are older plants. Many of them were on forty year licenses that are now coming up for renewal. They are trying to extend to sixty years, so they are “boldly going where no one has gone before”. Hence, those questions are coming out as well as historically, nuclear has had relatively high fixed costs. They are trying to address all those issues.


CEOCFO: What gives you the confidence that you can address some of these in a way that the group will be happy with? What do you understand to help you craft a solution or strategy?

Mr. Benak: Unlike most industries I think the nuclear industry, and this dates back twenty-five plus years ago, realizes that a problem at anyone’s plant is really a problem for the industry. I think that is probably what drives it. Let me say that up front. They work very well together. In banding together around the Nuclear Promise Initiative there have been, for the past probably close to two years, a variety of committees and discussions within the greater initiative to talk about, “Okay, how are we going to cut costs and what are our priorities for doing so?” High on that list is maintenance optimization. I think the nuclear industry realizes that it is probably over maintaining certain assets that are less critical in nature and perhaps there is a need to maintain other assets better, although I think it is more the former point.


CEOCFO: Why have they turned to you? What is it that you bring to the table, giving the nuclear industry confidence in APT?

Mr. Benak: That is a very good question. There are actually two aspects to my response to that question. The first aspect is that the data portion of our solution has its history in the nuclear power history from the Electric Power Research Institute or EPRI. This template based approach to maintenance offers the RCM (Reliability Centered Maintenance) analysis on a variety of equipment types for all known operating contexts; the nuclear industry championed that approach through the expert facilitation of my colleagues twenty plus years ago. My colleagues, the cofounders of our company, have been the ones exclusively facilitating that data collection for over 2 decades. Therefore, we have got that connection on the content or data side of the equation to the Electric Power Research Institute, which gives us some credibility for the industry. The second aspect is that we have developed software that runs on top of those data to make them better, to make these maintenance strategies more appropriate for any plant, including a nuclear power plant. We are very fortunate that one of our marquis customers is the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station; they have been a customer since 2010. They not only were an early adopter of the technology, but they took our tools and they built a process around it called Value Based Maintenance (VBM) – which is now being adopted by the industry. The reason that is important is, as we talked in our last interview, it is one thing to optimize your strategies and predict what is going to happen. It is another thing to track what is truly happening, to track the results of those predictions. Palo Verde has done that! They have shown that this works. They have shown that their costs are coming down and the entire industry is now taking notice.


CEOCFO: How are you working with these companies now? Are you working with them as a group?

Mr. Benak: We would like to work with them in groups. We are now working with them individually as we propose the idea of working more as a group. However, the way we engage individually is really two-fold when it comes down to it. It is licenses. Software licenses to use our cloud based tools. That is another thing we have launched since we last spoke; that all of our tools are available in a web-based format. You just need a browser and an internet connection to access them. The software license is one aspect. The second is services; whether we are training you how to use the software, or more importantly, we are now being asked to come in and help do the work for the plant. That is because experienced reliability personnel are in high demand, but they are in short supply these days. Often, these companies need to contract out those services.


CEOCFO: Would you give us a couple of examples?

Mr. Benak: I will offer some examples from one of our customers. Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, of whom I just spoke. Non-critical, low voltage breakers. In Palo Verde, those are outside. Palo Verde is just outside of Phoenix, so it is hot and dusty. These breakers were outside; they had a roof over them, but no walls near the cooling towers. Therefore, they were being exposed to heat and probably dust. Occasionally the Phoenix area gets those crazy Middle Eastern type dust storms called “haboobs,” not to mention it can be windy and blowing sand everywhere, not to mention moisture and perhaps corrosive chemicals coming off the cooling towers. I forget the exact details, but at the time a few years ago Palo Verde was simply replacing the breakers every six years or so. Instead, by using our platform they realized if that they just built an enclosure around the breakers, put those breakers into a mild, but not a severe operating environment, they could save something like $3,000 per year per breaker. They have 158 of those breakers. Therefore, in round numbers, that is a half a million dollars in annual cost savings, just by putting a wall around those breakers. That is savings every year from now going forward, because they are not overspending on their breaker maintenance. Another example would be non-critical, low voltage motors. Notice that I am not talking about critical equipment. I am not talking about the reactors themselves. I am talking about all the stuff that goes around the reactors; for example, non-critical, low voltage motors. When Palo Verde went to analyze their low voltage motor maintenance program using our tools, they realized that they were spending about 3 hours per motor to grease them. Three (3) hours for the entire lubrication process. That is, a person gets the order to go do the work, collects up the paperwork, collects up the tools, goes and finds the motor, greases the motor and reports back out to the computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). That was taking 3 hours. Our software concluded, “Wait a minute, if it is taking you 3 hours, do not bother greasing them, just let them run to failure. That is too expensive.” That did not sit well with the engineers. Therefore, maintenance and engineering sat down and discussed, “We are uncomfortable letting them run to failure. It is rotating equipment. We need to lubricate it.” Because of those discussions, instead of doing these single motor lubrications, they created what they call their Lube King program. Now, I am told they have maintenance personnel, who every day get a list of all the motors they need to lubricate that day. They were able to take that 3-hour time to lubricate a motor down to half an hour. Our software tool concluded, “At half an hour, sure! That is very beneficial of you to lube your motor; you should do that. You will save money.” For one further example, they also looked at non-critical Air Operated Valves or AOVs. There were able to optimize the maintenance programs to show significant cost savings on the order of several hundred thousand dollars per year. However, I will never forget the day when the head of Reliability, the PM Program Owner at Palo Verde called me and said, “You know Mark, we are looking at our non-critical AOVs, and we realize in using your tool that several valves were very critical. As a matter of fact, they are single point vulnerabilities (SPVs). That means when they fail, the plant trips. We have had failures in the past that cost us 2 million dollars per day. We looked at your library and realized we were missing a maintenance task that probably would have prevented those failures from happening!”


CEOCFO: That is a big deal! How do you help guide your clients at what to look for in your asset library?

Mr. Benak: During the sales process, we offer trial evaluations of our tools. They are 30 days free of charge, no strings attached. In the process of getting to a trial, we try to encourage the customer to think about which equipment types are causing problems today, which are failing more often than they should. For example, which ones are costing you too much money? That is generally how we engage a customer with the software licenses. If we are providing services around Value Based Maintenance, there is a step-by-step approach to this methodology. Step one is understanding your cost basis, meaning understanding what your equipment is costing you to run today. The mantra here is the Pareto principle. Find those couple of equipment types that are causing you the most pain: apply the 80/20 rule where twenty percent of the equipment is probably causing you eighty percent of the headaches and cost. Identify which equipment types are costing you too much money; those are they types you seek to optimize first. That is because you are going to get the biggest gains from this type of analysis.


CEOCFO: Can companies use your tools or look to you proactively when thinking of replacing equipment?

Mr. Benak: Definitely! That is the life cycle costing issue that is also referred to nowadays as Asset Investment Planning (AIP): when do I need to replace or purchase new equipment. We play a role in that in that and we hope to play a bigger role in the future – for which we are exploring partnerships now. However, we play a role in those discussions in that as an asset ages, you likely have some history on failures it has already seen, if any. Our tools can help you analyze what is the anticipated failure rate of this equipment, given how it is operated as well as the costs associated with operating it. I am thinking of a particular example from a certain semiconductor manufacturer (that will remain nameless), where they had industrial chillers that were over twenty years old. They asked us the question, “What do we need to worry about now?” This offered us the opportunity to explain, “You just need to look at all the failure modes which can occur after twenty years. Those are the ones you need to be concerned about now.”


CEOCFO: What else is going on at APT?

Mr. Benak: Certainly, the Nuclear Promise Initiative has put a lot of attention around optimizing equipment maintenance cost; that is to say, to get the reliability you need at a maintenance cost you can afford. This is where much of our attention has been lately. We also focus on partnerships around our content and software. We are pleased to report that one of our partners, a company called Meridium, who resells our content library in its APM software, was recently acquired by GE Digital. That has been good for APT. We are developing new partnerships as well. Many of those seem to be forming around the Internet of Things (IoT), of which you may have heard. This is the industrial internet; sensors in the plants that are connected to the internet so equipment health data can be easily collected and analyzed. There are many vendors out there that provide those systems and provide some of the algorithms to analyze those data. What they are interested in talking with us about at APT is, “I want to provide better prognostics to my customer, the operator of the equipment.” I will give you a concrete example. For example, let’s say there is a bearing temperature alarm on a motor. What subset of failure modes could have caused it and what is the probability of each of those occurring. That is the type of information that my company can provide.


CEOCFO: Can you keep up with the demand?

Mr. Benak: We are a small company that is looking to scale quickly. Our approach is to high key personnel out of the nuclear industry, who not only know most of the other companies and personnel, but also have the expertise and knowledge to help us scale quickly.


CEOCFO: Why choose Asset Performance Technologies?

Mr. Benak: That is a good question. We talk a lot these days about competitiveness of American and/or North American manufacturing and processing operations. Politics aside, the world economy is essentially “flat” now. As a country, we have got to be able to compete globally. Part of that competition is being able to provide goods and services at a competitive cost. That is, to build and sustain profitable businesses. In heavy industries which are often called asset intensive industries, safety plus reliability equals profitability. My company helps you improve the safety and reliability of your equipment so that you will be profitable in the global economy.

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