Machine Learning: How Intelligent Data Capture and Control by Utopia is Shaking Up Asset Management as You Know It

Eric Ecker | June 29, 2020 | 2 min read

Let’s get started with a “pop quiz” …What is the biggest challenge you will face when creating a complete, global asset registry for your enterprise assets?

Answer: Trick question…Getting started!


There are so many things to consider and endless business and technical challenges that must be addressed. And finally, so many resources are needed – more than you probably have at hand. But this is exactly where modern technology can help jumpstart and accelerate your project. Machine learning is probably one of the most innovative technologies currently in the market to digitize tedious manual processes. As an owner-operator, it is your liability to know the exact technical assets operating in your facilities. Outside of the health and safety of your colleagues, fellow operators, and yourself, your greatest concerns should be ensuring long-term asset uptime, preventing unplanned downtime and maximizing operational performance. Your assets must operate smoothly 24x7 and provide your organization with a high return on investment.

Digital Twins

But first, you need to have the asset fully described in your operational system like SAP S/4HANA. You most likely are familiar with SAP Plant Maintenance or SAP Maintenance Manager. Problems begin with legacy equipment. Too many brownfield assets have been operating for years, even decades. There is no plan to decommission them anytime soon (thanks to you and your team's diligent maintenance), but they are NOT fully digitally represented in your systems of record. If they are, the records lack critical information. So, you need a digital representation of this asset in your system. Commonly called a digital twin.

Intelligent Data Capture and Control

Now you can start doing plant walk downs and record asset-by-asset in an Excel file. But that is time consuming, error-prone, and does not scale. Not to mention, current business conditions prevent this type of activity entirely! But there is a solution. With a fully digitalized process, you can snap images of your assets and hand them over for automatic processing to a machine learning based asset data enrichment application.

Introducing Utopia’s Intelligent Data Capture and Control (IDCC). You snap a picture using a mobile device, then the image is analyzed using optical character recognition and machine learning algorithms. It extracts key information like the manufacturer data and the model number. That critical information is then used to intelligently gather further information like the technical characteristics of that asset. For example, with an electric motor you’d get information like the physical dimensions, electrical information like the nominal output or speed at a certain frequency or industry classification codes like ISO14224, UNSPSC, or eClass. Should the machine learning process not find all available information there is a built-in automated process that crawls the manufacturer website, extracts essential information, and further enriches your asset registry.


Your technical assets represent a tremendous value for your organization. Safe and profitable operations are a continual challenge. All digital processes like financial asset analysis, return on asset value, as well as technical maintenance processes like predictive maintenance require you to have the digital twin represented in your critical business systems. An intelligent way (no pun intended – IDCC) to do this is using modern technology like machine learning to capitalize on your physical assets.

To learn more about Utopia’s IDCC solution and speak with an IDCC SME, click here: HTTPS://WWW.UTOPIAINC.COM/DATA-GOVERNANCE

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