One of the participants asked:
I’ve just started the asset management process looking at my inventory for one asset category and considering the condition assessment. I’ve been advised to look at how long the assets have been in place and use its life expectancy to determine the condition.
Are there other things I should be considering?
Yes, that’s a really good place to start. Make sure that you have got a reasonable inventory of accuracy that’s appropriate for the assets you are managing.
Split up the asset life
One of the things I do often just when you’re starting with something like that is – just split its life up. Is it in the first third, second third or last third of its life?
And so if it’s in the last third of its life, then maybe you need to know a little bit more than just an age approximation of condition.
Evaluate and categorize the asset’s function
The other thing to look at there is to say – is it just a pipe that’s feeding half a dozen houses? Or is it the main pipe from my tank and my well field? So what happens if I lose that pipe?
And that might cause you to look at it a little bit differently from the condition point of view.
But age approximation’s where you start and working out the ones that are in the last third of their life is a good rule of thumb just to then guide any further work that you might want to do.
Know the assets’ maintenance and repair history
And just a couple of other things to think about as you’re looking at condition is what do you know about its maintenance history? Is it one you’ve been taking good care of over the years? Or is it one that you’re kind of been ignoring?
And if you have been ignoring it, the chance that the condition is a little worse is probably better if you’ve been doing a lot of maintenance and really taking good care of it, the condition might be a little bit better.
Thinking about its repair history, how many times has it broken over the past five years, ten years, etc.? Are there a lot of breaks?
Identify your key source of asset condition information
Anything you know, maybe from your long-term operators who are more familiar with particular pieces of equipment asking them about what is your experience with pipe or wells or tanks or whatever it might be.
Asking them questions about the condition can be another place that you can look for condition information. So kind of just using what you know is a great place to start.
You don’t need to go to huge lengths to hire expensive technologies and what not to look out and as a starting place, I think if you’re just using what you know about those assets. How they’ve been maintained, how they performed?
Compare your assets based on material type
And maybe even thinking about the materials of construction. If it’s a pipe for example, how does cast iron pipe in your system compared to duct iron pipe or PVC pipe or so looking at those kinds of things?
So just using what you can know – if you can actually observe it. Visual observation is another good thing. We can’t observe underground infrastructure assets but be looking at things that you can visualize as are the other things you can look at.
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