Wednesday, September 19, 2018

What Are Critical Asset Surveillance Technologies [CAST]?

Have you ever been chartered with managing risk of the critical assets at your place of employment? The risks you may have to manage could be employee safety as they interact with the assets or maybe mitigation of asset downtime and failure rates. What do you do? How should you approach this task of preventing a problem before it occurs? Adopting a Critical Asset Surveillance Technology [CAST] program may be the solution.

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In today’s business world, it is mission critical that a company introduce programs and procedures to try to accomplish zero events of employee injuries or death and zero events of operational downtime. Why? Because these events, should they occur, can cost companies billions of dollars in worker compensation fines, life insurance payouts, lawsuits or lost revenue if operations are suddenly interrupted by an unplanned maintenance event.

Is it possible to mitigate risk? Can I increase the reliability of my operations? In a previous blog, we defined what a condition-based maintenance program was and how companies are using this program to manage the health of their critical assets. CAST is a huge element within a condition-based maintenance program. A Critical Asset Surveillance Technology program is defined as “risk based” condition inspections of assets. It is a total surveillance repair maintenance model – find the problem before the asset fails and fix it. CAST surveillance enables employees to frequently inspect and determine the condition of the assets compared to predetermined alarm limits and if needed, perform remedial preventive maintenance in a scheduled, timely, safe and efficient manner. The result – improved Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF), which is a critical reliability metric for companies to track and trend over time.


A CAST Business Case

Benefits of Adopting a CAST Program

Adopting and implementing a CAST program should provide the following benefits:

* Optimizes plant operations

* Improves the reliability of overall operations

* Decreases downtime from asset failure (Improvement in MTBF metric)

* Advanced scheduling of preventive maintenance when it is evident that an asset is close to failing

* Reduce overall costs by fixing a problem before it occurs

* Improve bottom line revenue from less downtime

Will a CAST program work for my company?

A critical assessment of the advantages and disadvantages should be performed by a company to determine if a CAST program will mitigate risks and improve the bottom line. Consider the following questions before deciding if a CAST program will benefit you:

1. What are the risks to employee safety if a failure occurs? Would a CAST program improve worker safety?

2. What are the risks of an unplanned asset failure?

3. What are the risks if recovery from a failure is lengthy?

4. What will it cost to fix and recover from a failure?

5. What are the risks of downtime to my end-user customers? What is the potential for damage to the company’s reputation?


A thorough analysis of the company’s risks associated with an asset failure must be performed to determine if adopting a CAST model manages and mitigates those risks. Employee safety is a primary concern. The bottom line revenue and profit/loss are primary concerns. Costs of implementing a condition-based maintenance program versus costs from unplanned downtime and failures is a critical part of the analysis.

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