In April 2016 the United States Navy announced that one of their new Litton class destroyers would be going into drydock for a 23 million dollar repair to its propulsion system.
"During startup of the main propulsion diesel engines, lube oil was not properly supplied to the ship's combining gears as required by the ship's operating procedures," said Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a Navy spokesman. "The insufficient flow of lube oil resulted in high-temperature alarms on the port and starboard combining gears." The Navy was happy to pay only 23 million.
As this was happening, at Dexcent we wondered why the alarm set-point for the oil level was so low; why was the high-temperature alarm level so high? And then we realized something: the US Navy had likely been on a collision course with their OEM and may not have even known it.
When the Navy chose to use their OEM’s APM system they were letting the fox guard their henhouse. If this sort of thing can happen to the US Navy, chances are it can also happen to your organization as well.
Equipment Manfacturers: In it for the Money?
Your company is in business to make the most money possible for the owners and/or shareholders. At the end of the day aren’t we all?
Whether you sell widgets, crude oil, or electricity, the mission is to maximize revenues while optimizing the supply chain to lower your input costs. You work to tune your systems to realize the largest possible return on investment. Your business model is built on moving product. So are the business models of your equipment manufacturers.
Manufacturers have a focus on selling equipment, repair parts, and maintenance services. If they are successful in their model, they will get the best possible price on the initial sale. Their after-sales effort then focuses on getting the most revenue from the sale of parts and services.
You can probably already see where this is going, but let's continue to see what happens when you, the customer comes into the picture.
OEM APM: Letting the Fox Guard Your Henhouse
You have your Condition-based Maintenance (CBM) program up and running. You put pressure on your OEMs to offer some sort of CBM support by providing asset health monitoring and some analytics. In response, most vendors today have some sort of asset monitoring capability attached to their equipment and will provide you with failure notices in a timely fashion.
As we just mentioned, however, these same OEMs make their money by selling parts after something has failed. So isn’t allowing them to provide your asset health monitoring a little like allowing the fox to guard your henhouse?
On the one hand, the OEM's business is to sell as many parts as possible. On the other hand, they want to provide advanced analytics that will allow their customer to spend as little as possible on parts through early detection of failure. Accepting that they have incorporated both into their business model, to be successful on both sides, a compromise is needed. The thing is, there shouldn’t have to be.
The DAAS Solution for Better Asset Analytics
We see OEM asset health reports giving systems a clean bill of health while in the background the asset is slowly failing. Because the performance has not degraded to the manufacturer’s failure set point, nothing is reported. The point at which the OEM-provided systems report failures is somewhere between a minor issue (low oil in final drive) and catastrophic failure (lack of oil caused failure and damage).
With the technology available today, there is no reason for predictive asset analytics platforms to not provide you with the earliest possible warning of a pending failure. We know. We do it.
The Dexcent Asset Analytics System (DAAS) works differently than OEM supplied APM systems. The DAAS business model is founded on your success. DAAS does not sell equipment. DAAS does not sell parts. DAAS does not offer repair services. DAAS does tell you as early as possible that there is a problem so it can be addressed when the cost to fix the issue is at its the lowest.
We wonder what the result of the US Navy ship’s health issues if DAAS had been used instead of the OEM’s APM. That could have been the difference between just adding some oil and a 23 million dollar repair bill.
If you are interested in learning more about how Dexcent and DAAS can work in your organization to improve asset health monitoring and analytics, contact us today.