Body of knowledge development for water utility assets

Development of asset models using the RCMD framework. This knowledge base is to be shared amongst water utilities for collaboration.

Overview

Data, information, and ultimately knowledge is an important strategic asset to any business. Businesses use documentation as a mechanism to retain knowledge even as experienced engineers, operators, and maintainers leave.

The problem is analytical solutions cannot directly use unstructured information spread across hundreds of documents. RCMD captures and codifies engineering knowledge, creating a structured repository of knowledge that advance analytical solutions can easily leverage.

“Modla’s open platform allows utilities to pool data and share learnings about their assets using a common framework.” - Dane Boers, Founder @ modla.co

How does RCMD work?

The first step is to understand what factors and attributes can affect asset performance. These include environmental and operational factors, age, and conditional attributes.

From here, subject matter experts and engineers quantify the relationships between these attributes and specific components and failure modes. Insights from data affirm, modify, or invalidate each claim.

Modla’s approach creates a common model for each asset class that can be reused for a multitude of unique assets while accounting for their specific nuances. RCMD significantly reduces the cost and resource requirement of maintenance strategy optimization and other analyses.

Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) trial

Goulburn Valley Water trailed Modla’s asset management platform and developed a model for sewage pump stations based on the RCMD methodology.

Over six months a common model was build that can account for the distinct features of 278 sewage pump stations. The model contains the collective knowledge of their engineers, maintainers, and operators, presented in a format that can be improved upon continuously.

The model enables Goulburn Valley Water to model the associated risks and costs of their maintenance strategy, compare different strategies and create optimized strategies unlocking additional value for their business.

“The product developed by Modla provides a one-stop platform for reliability information and intuitive analyses. The RCMD methodology and decisions layer means that a fair chunk of the grunt work of RCM is automated.” - Samar Patel, Asset Optimization Engineer @ GVW

Trial objectives

  • Develop an industry working knowledge base
  • Structure model to allow use across varying business contexts and environments
  • Automation of analysis
  • Create traceable relationships between data inputs and analysis results

Results

  • Developed a sewage pump station model from RCMD principles.
  • Validated the model against budgetary and operational data.
  • Documented key engineering knowledge.
  • Delivered an asset model able to inform advanced asset analytics.