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Physical asset configuration

Physical asset configuration is a comprehensive, actionable digital twin. It provides up-to-date information on the composition and structure of a managed item or property.

What is physical asset configuration?

The physical asset configuration comprises all the mechanical, electrical/electronic, software, and associated document-related components of an asset, as well as the history of configuration changes during its operational use. Physical asset configuration data may include technical documentation needed for service activities, and information on service materials such as parts and kits.

The purpose of creating and tracking physical asset configurations is to simplify the process of supporting and servicing high-value products in the field. Physical asset management software manages the complex web of information associated with the physical asset configuration, reducing the cost and time needed to create and deliver critical service documentation while improving the information's quality and efficacy. Through physical asset management software, all stakeholders are assured of obtaining up-to-date visibility of the serviced physical asset configuration.

Physical asset configuration is also a critical set of information used by service lifecycle management (SLM) software to ensure timely and correct servicing of products during their operational life. This software’s service asset management (SAM) functionality provides an open ecosystem that makes physical asset configurations accessible to OEMs, customers, and third parties involved in delivering effective service to managed assets.

It is important to have accurate records of physical asset configurations for a broad spectrum of manufactured products, but especially for complex products characterized by relatively long product lifecycles: equipment, machinery, devices, vehicles, and more. For many of these products, manufacturing portfolios have grown in recent years to include a large number of product variants, including different physical configurations and geometries, different software and hardware configurations, different components and assemblies, and other variations. In order to properly service such assets throughout their operational life, the physical asset configuration tracks the asset and updates the configuration through installation, deployment, maintenance, repair, and upgrades.

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Understand the benefits

By tracking physical asset configurations, manufacturers and service organizations are able to provide timely and appropriate service to assets in the field, which increases the assets’ performance, efficiency and life during their operational use.

Improved asset management

Visibility and traceability of serialized assets with their current configuration in operation.

Consistent, up-to-date info

Visibility of service events and feedback loops from service teams to design provide valuable insights to design for serviceability.

Better impact planning

Reduce asset downtime and service inefficiencies while keeping assets in production longer.

How physical asset configuration software works

Physical asset configurations provide a framework for defining the current state of a managed asset as it evolves during its operational life. Accurate visibility of the physical asset configuration depends on tight coupling between two bills of materials (BOMs). The service BOM (sBOM) is the neutral representation of the product with a defined set of OEM service-related definitions. The physical BOM represents a specific instance of an asset. As a result of this coupling, the physical asset configuration provides service technicians with live, up-to-date, contextualized asset data. The service lifecycle management system can use physical asset configurations to populate service documents and update the physical BOM and other service-related bills and protocols.

Physical asset configurations include:

  •  Contextualized design date - design requirements, validated configurations, service requirements, change history, and design specifications
  •  Comprehensive descriptions - relevant configuration information outlines the physical asset in its as-designed, as-built and as-maintained states
  •  Complete history - each asset and its traceable systems, assemblies, and components
  •  Technical information - defines each asset’s traceability, life characteristics, life limits, applicability and utilization

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