Keep and Grow Value with Engineering Asset Management

Engineering asset management encompasses all types of engineered assets from infrastructure and equipment to software systems across all sectors of industry and the public sector. Successful asset management requires multidisciplinary approaches. The WCEAM 2015 conference slogan reminds us of the fact that physical assets are not there for their own sake, but to create value for their owners, users and other stakeholders.


ISO 55000 Asset Management facilitators and panellists: Robyn Keast, Christoph Heinz, Irene Roda, Alastair Crombie, Kari Komonen, Kerry Brown, Erik Helms and Joe Amadi-Echendu.

The slogan of the 10th World Congress on Engineering Asset Management (WCEAM 2015), held in September in Tampere, Finland, was Keep and Grow Value. The congress was organized by Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in cooperation with VTT Technical Research Center of Finland and the International Society of Engineering Asset Management (ISEAM). About 130 delegates from 22 countries were attending the world congress.

The annual congress has contributed significantly to the fact that engineering asset management has matured into a professional practice. This year the delegates contributed to the common body on engineering asset management competence with 90 paper presentations, keynote, panels and workshops.

The congress slogan – Keep and Grow Value – emphasized that considerations on asset life cycle and economic aspects are important parts of engineering asset management. The slogan is well in line with the newly launched ISO 5500x standard series that defines that Asset Management is the set of coordinated activities that an organization uses to realize value from assets in the delivery of its outcomes or objectives. However, the methodological level of engineering asset management responsibility area is low, lower than the importance of the topic would allow.

Dr. Kari Komonen from Promaint in Finland addressed in his keynote speech Strategic Aspects of Physical Asset Management. Dr. Komonen called for development in several subareas of physical asset management such as strategic requirements, asset management processes, asset hierarchy, investment decisions, economic calculations, performance appraisal, uncertainty management and life cycle management. Dr. Kari Komonen also received this year’s Lifetime Achievement award for exceptional dedication and contribution to advancing the field of Engineering Asset Management.

Digitalization and Intelligent Machines

Digitalization is going to change the world radically. What are the key assets of the future? Who should manage physical assets while digitalization, asset light approach and sharing economy drive the focus towards intangible assets? Dr. Jari Hämäläinen from Cargotec Ltd in Finland called the audience to think about the future of engineering asset management.

The evolution of asset management has been very predictable from the early history of mankind until today. Evolution has been very focused on physical assets, from ancient tools to the products and intelligent machines of today. Companies are currently strengthening their focus on global fleets and taking a solution approach rather than a product view.

The growing complexity associated with current trends and interconnectedness brings about many unprecedented challenges. In his keynote speech, Professor Jayantha P. Liyanage from the University of Stavanger in Norway reminded that even though commercial incentives for current development and utilization strategy are clear, there are various forms of uncertainties that define the success or failure. In his keynote Professor Liyange presented a number of examples from high-risk sectors to elaborate the role-play of uncertainty and their commercial consequences, and principles for a new regime that is essential to ensure safety and security under emerging conditions.

The keynote speech of Professor Ming Zuo from the University of Alberta in Canada dealt with the dynamic modelling of the operation of a mechanical system. The simulated vibration signals are able to reflect the effects of possible failure modes and health degradation. With these simulated vibration signals, one can use various signal processing techniques to find effective indicators of the health condition of the system.

Dynamic modelling can provide useful guidelines for field condition monitoring and health management of mechanical systems. In his presentation Professor Ming covered the advancement in this area of research and future research challenges with special attention on gearboxes and bearings.

CERN operates a very specific asset – the world’s largest accelerator machine complex, which catalysed numerous discoveries that eventually led to the precise understanding of the observable matter in the Universe. Dr. Johannes Gutleber presented an overview of the physics findings obtained by using particle accelerators; technological spin-offs resulting from this work indicate how to break through current barriers of growth and sheds light on the next chapter in fundamental particle physics.

Dr. Gutleber also pointed out that the technical research and development required to make those machines has left their footprints on many aspects of our everyday life – some of them are known, others less so.

Best Paper Award Presentation

WCEAM2015 also started a new tradition to give the Best Paper Award winner the opportunity to present the paper also as a keynote in the plenary session. The WCEAM2014 award winner Ype Wijnia from the Delft University of Technology presented his paper The Asset Management Process Reference Model for Infrastructures in the plenary session. In the presentation Mr. Wijnia pointed out that both PAS55 and ISO55000 standards only prescribe what needs to be in place, not how these requirements should be fulfilled.

Yet, many organizations struggle on how to implement asset management. More guidance is needed. The presented reference model is the result of some 15 years of developing and implementing asset management in a variety of infrastructures. Next year we will hear 2015 Best Paper Award winners Professor Lin Ma, Dr Michael Cholette and Dr Fengfeng Li from the University of Queensland presenting their paper Reliability modelling for electricity transmission networks using maintenance records in the plenary session!


Best Paper Award winners Michael Cholette and Lin Ma together with Joe Mathew, Helena Kortelainen and Kari T. Koskinen.

Keeping and Growing Value was referred to in several conference papers, and the value considerations were addressed in panel discussions and in workshops. In addition to monetary value, ‘value’ may arise from environmental or social factors, from skills and competence development, from safety and risk management and sustainability targets.

ISO 55000 Asset Management signals the emerging need for adopting new types of management and leadership skills in Asset Management and to integrate technical and management systems. These issues were discussed both ISO55000 panel and EFMNS Physical Asset Management workshop and the hardships of decision making were also tried through experiential learning and simulation in Serious Games workshop.

This Year in China!

Next year the latest development in the field of physical asset management will be presented and discussed in China. The 11th WCEAM congress takes place from 25th – 28th July 2016 in Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan, China. WCEAM2016 will be organised together with 6th International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering (QR2MSE). The Joint QR2MSE & WCEAM 2016 conference is to bring together leading academics, industry practitioners, and research scientists from around the world to advance the body of knowledge in quality, reliability, risk, maintenance, and safety of engineering systems, to establish and strengthen the link between academia and industry, to promote applications of research results in practice, and to showcase state of the art industrial technologies.



Helena Kortelainen

Research Team Leader, VTT, Finland,




Kari T. Koskinen

Professor, Technical University of Tampere, Finland,



Ming Zuo

Professor, University of Alberta, Canada,

Asset Management | 20.3.2016

Latest articles

How ultrasonic sensors and artificial intelligence improve condition monitoring

In an industrial setting, assets are everything. A breakdown can cause hours  of downtime, and thus hours of lost productivity and lower financial gains. Preventative maintenance is one way facility managers counteract system entropy, but it is not perfect strategy. In some cases, a preventive approach to maintenance can actually lower the overall effectiveness of an asset. In the case of a valve for example, constant tightening can cause premature wear and tear.

Applications | 23.10.2018

To analyze or not to analyze, that is the question

Can we successfully improve reliability without analyzing reliability data?

Asset Management | 23.10.2018

Sustainability transformation: Are you ready for the change?

Companies which create truly sustainable businesses will remain competitive in the future.

HSE | 27.9.2018

Evaluating IT asset management software: Who do you trust?

Nowadays, more or less all companies have to deal with diverse kinds of IT assets. Using IT assets (software, hardware, digital media and networking) is no longer specific to the technology giants. 

Cmms | 7.9.2018

New methanol engine ready for the marine market

Within the frame of the GreenPilot project, Gothenburg-based ScandiNAOS AB has developed methanol engine concepts for the marine industry. A spark ignited methanol engine that wasn installed and tested in the Swedish Pilot boat “GreenPilot” has now been followed by a compression ignited methanol engine. The GreenPilot project is lead and initiated by Swedish Maritime Technology Forum, part of RISE Research Institutes of Sweden.

R&D | 4.9.2018

How to Safely Align Wind Turbines

Safety engineers around the world can breathe easy. The PRUFTECHNIK ROTALIGN® and OPTALIGN® technology has made aligning machine shafts, especially gear shafts, much safer.

Partner Articles | 6.6.2018

Maintenance: A Necessary and Important Function in the Future

Euromaintenance 2016 will take place in Athens at the end of May. It is the ideal moment to reflect on maintenance in a European context. Euromaintenance is known as the summit for all involved in maintenance across Europe, it’s the place to be. The conference, with the support of the EFNMS, is the only commercially independent conference covering the topics we deal with in the maintenance world.

EFNMS | 20.5.2016