Industrial Assets Life Cycle

January 12, 2023

Assets are material goods that have value in themselves or produce value for an organization. The definition of asset, for the purposes of this article, will be restricted to tangible assets, i.e., material goods that comprise the physical production structure of industries, such as machinery. Asset management involves the optimal management of their life cycle, finding the right balance between performance, cost and risk to achieve the defined objectives of a business in a sustainable manner 

The efficient management of the asset life cycle, or asset systems, is fully in line with the need for the industry’s competitiveness, in all sizes and segments. 

The life cycle of the asset involves its selection (design and acquisition), operation, maintenance, possible retirement and disposal. 


For industrial assets to generate value for the organization, throughout their life cycle, it is not enough to simply specify, request quotes and purchase that asset. 

Differently from that, the acquisition and management of an industrial machine is a multi-step process to be done calmly and properly, including: 

1. Identification of the need

The careful and detailed identification of the necessity, which includes the opinion of operators and maintainers. It should include analysis of the solutions available, the return on this investment, the form of acquisition, among others. 

2. Plan what is expected from this asset

In this stage a careful evaluation is done, a planning of its use, as well as the definition of productivity goals for its use. 

3. Project or Design

At this stage any modification to the standard design of the machinery is defined. It is important to remember that a design adjustment after purchase or even commissioning is much more difficult and expensive. 

4. Acquisition

In this stage the actual acquisition of the asset is made. This is the time to negotiate contractual terms of supply, including warranties, repair and replacement responsibility due to defects in the machinery or parts.

5. Commissioning and deployment

Some assets can be delivered ready for use. Others, however, need to be installed and commissioned. In this phase it is ensured that the asset is fit for the purpose of the purchase, that it is not damaged or installed incorrectly, and that no features promised by the vendor are missing. 

6. Operation and maintenance

This is usually the longest phase of the life cycle in which costs must be recorded and a clear plan must be made for both operation and maintenance. 

7. Modification or upgrade

During their useful life, some assets are subject to modifications or upgrades to make them more efficient. It is important to compare the expected results of this modification in relation to the acquisition of a new, and more modern asset. 

8. Decommissioning and disposal

It’s the end of the useful life of the asset. When the operating or maintenance costs become too high and it is necessary to plan its withdrawal, which usually occurs in parallel with the acquisition of a new asset. 


A bathtub curve is a visual representation of the failure rate of an asset over time. By plotting the occurrences of failure over time, this graph shows three main periods that an asset experiences during its life: 

I – Infant Mortality 

II – Useful life 

III – Wear and Tear 

As seen in the graph, there is a high incidence of early stage failures, also called infant mortality, which are failures due to: 

  • Manufacturing problems; 
  • Installation defects; 
  • Project errors; 
  • Incorrect assembly, among others. 

Past the infant mortality risk period, one enters the asset’s useful life where failure events slow down and stabilize. When they occur, failures are random and generally due to the operation of the asset. 

At this stage the application of the appropriate maintenance strategy plays an extremely important role, seeking to avoid corrective interventions. In this aspect, predictive and preventive techniques should be adopted. They work for the reliability and availability of the assets and, therefore, for their value generation. 

With time, the asset tends to show more wear and tear faults.

Understanding the graph

As the graph of the bathtub curve illustrates, this incidence increases significantly in the final phase of the asset’s life. At this point, you enter the stages of modification or upgrading, or decommissioning and disposal. 

The productive capacity, new technologies, maintenance and asset replacement costs will indicate the best way forward. 


The quality of management in an organization is what determines its success or failure. 

In a competitive environment, where leading-edge organizations are introducing Industry 4.0 technologies into their operations, extracting maximum value from asset investments cannot be neglected. 

  • Among the benefits of good industrial asset lifecycle management are: 
  • Extend the life of machinery and equipment; 
  • Increase the reliability of the operation; 
  • Increase productivity; 
  • Keep maintenance costs at an optimal level; 
  • Improve health and safety for employees; 
  • Generate greater energy efficiency; 
  • Contribute to the profitability of the business. 

Keep browsing to learn about the Dynamox Solution and how we can help you in a more efficient management from the optimization of the asset lifecycle.

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