Do your assets have class?

Do You Have Assets In Class

Where do you start when developing EAM content? It doesn’t matter if you’re developing PM plans, asset names and descriptions, problem and failure codes, or another type of content. You can’t tackle all your assets at once. You need a way to break up the effort into manageable chunks. The question is, how?

Asset classes are the answer. Classifying your assets means grouping similar assets together according to shared or similar characteristics. Each group shares an asset classification, such as Reciprocating Compressor or Centrifugal Pump. Grouping your assets and assigning classification codes should be the next step after your assets are identified.

How asset classes support EAM content development

Placing your assets in groups is a great way to target content development efforts. It allows you to break the project into logical steps — for example, “This week we’re creating a PM routine for Reciprocating Compressors; next week we’ll create a PM routine for Centrifugal Pumps.”

Building EAM content around asset classes saves work because you only have to develop content once for each class of assets. Most assets in the Reciprocating Compressors class can share a single PM plan. Most assets in the Centrifugal Pump class will have the same failure codes. That’s the benefit of building on class.

Classifications can drive the development of failure codes, PM and standard job plans, naming conventions, custom fields, and more. These relationships are visually expressed below.


How asset classes drive priorities

Grouping assets together doesn’t mean that all assets in the same class have the same priority. Once you classify your assets, the next step is to prioritize them—determine which ones are most important and least important. Obviously, some pumps in a facility are more critical than others, and you should start with your most critical assets.

Classification is the first step to determining priority. You have to separate the safety valves from the doorknobs — i.e., place the assets into logical groups that provide similar services and perform similar functions. Then you can determine which classes and which assets in those classes are most critical.

Building EAM content around asset classes

We’ve already said that you can use asset classes as the basis for developing asset descriptions, job plans, failure codes, and other EAM content. Let’s look at how this works in more detail.

For example, let’s take the asset class Centrifugal Pump. Below is the type of information you may want to track on this type of pump.

Centrifugal Pump Attributes
Asset ClassPump
Asset ModifierCentrifugal
Asset Attribute 1Type
Asset Attribute 2Inlet Size
Asset Attribute 3Inlet Connection
Asset Attribute 4Outlet Size
Asset Attribute 5Outlet Connection
Asset Attribute 6Impeller Size
Asset Attribute 7Stage
Asset Attribute 8Capacity
Asset Attribute 9Total Head
Asset Attribute 10NPSH
Asset Attribute 11Rating
Asset Attribute 12Shaft Speed
Asset Attribute 13Material
Asset Attribute 14Driver
Asset Attribute 15Mount
Asset Attribute 16Process Fluid

This information can be used to build asset descriptions and custom fields on the asset record. For example, here is sample asset description for a Centrifugal Pump using the attributes in the sequence listed above:


You can also create PM plans and standard job plans by asset class. Here’s a sample PM plan for the Centrifugal Pump asset class. And here’s a sample standard job plan for the Centrifugal Pump asset class.

Failure codes should be built on asset classes, too. Below are problem, failure, and action codes for the Centrifugal Pump asset class:


Creating a list of asset classes

Asset classes should be clearly defined and distinctive. It should be easy to tell what each class does and does not include, and classes should not overlap. To give a simple example, you shouldn’t have one asset class for Electric Motors and another for DC Motors. You need logical consistency.

The way to achieve this is by figuring out a scheme and sticking to it. You should start by creating a master list of asset classes. This way you can figure out your classification scheme in advance and avoid overlap.

SwainSmith can help with this. We offer a fully developed master list of asset classes that has been refined over 25 years to provide the right clarity and level of detail. It’s part of our EAM Library, a cloud-based library of naming conventions, coding structures, and data standards that help you develop high-quality EAM content faster.

Starting your EAM content development project

When organizations skip the classification step and try to tackle one asset at a time, it creates a massive and overwhelming effort. By identifying your asset classes first, you can zero in on your EAM content development efforts. Start the development effort with your critical assets, or those that have the highest frequency of work orders, and go from there.

If you need help developing your asset classes or would like to see our library of asset classes, codes, and conventions, please contact us for details.