Paul Casto with GE Digital

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Paul Casto, APM Industry Principal at GE Digital about “The trends and benefits of being connected with”.  Here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation:

  • Securing operational technology with zero trust. 0:00
    • Palo Alto Networks offers zero trust security for operational technology, simplifying management and protecting assets.
  • Industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. 1:16
    • Scott Mackenzie welcomes listeners to the SMRP 31 conference in Orlando, where he will be talking to Paul GE Digital about industry trends and innovations.
    • Paul Casto discusses APM, maintenance, reliability, and asset performance management, highlighting the differences between these concepts.
  • Asset management strategies and technology adoption. 4:55
    • Paul Casto emphasizes the importance of aligning asset management with business outcomes, identifying blockers to achieving those outcomes, and addressing them through strategic planning and asset performance management.
    • Paul Casto highlights the need to think about asset management as a strategic part of the organization, rather than just a maintenance or reliability issue, and to prioritize value creation through asset-focused initiatives.
    • Successful organizations prioritize sustainability and adoption when implementing new technologies.
  • Prioritizing assets for maintenance and reliability. 9:27
    • Leaders must prioritize and educate operational teams on asset management to ensure proper execution.
    • Continuity between leadership is crucial for long-term success, but it can be challenging to maintain as executives move on.
  • Risk management and asset performance in maintenance and reliability. 13:30
    • Paul Casto emphasizes the importance of embedding risk management into the organization's culture, as it's hard to do it if it were easy.
    • Paul Casto and Scott MacKenzie discuss how to infuse risk and quantify risks, dynamically, using criticality analysis and asset health data.
    • Scott MacKenzie highlights the importance of dynamic risk management in asset performance management, particularly in the context of GE Digital's work with customers.
    • Paul Casto discusses the growth of SMRP, including the organization's certifications, training, and working relationships with other organizations globally.
  • SMRP certification and its impact in asset management. 19:29
    • Scott MacKenzie interviews Paul Hall about SMRP, a professional organization for asset management, reliability, and maintenance.
    • Paul Casto provides contact information for SMRP and encourages listeners to reach out for more information.

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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Industrial Talk is brought to you by Palo Alto Networks. Palo Alto Networks offers zero trust for your operational technology without the PTSD. If you're in the digital transformation game, keeping Operational Technology secure and running smoothly, is a tall order. It's enough to make any coolest Operations Director wake up in night sweats Palo Alto Networks zero trust ot security delivers comprehensive visibility and security for all ot assets, networks and remote operations. It provides best in class security while simplifying ote security management. It sees and protects everything in the network. And it automates threat detection while implementing zero trust across all operations. So sleep better at night knowing you have the most comprehensive platform to detect, manage, and secure your ot assets. Learn more about the Palo Alto Networks zero trust solution, go out to Palo Alto That's Palo Alto Find out more, you will not be disappointed.


Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots,


and let's go Alright, once again, welcome to industrial talk a platform dedicated to you industrial professionals all around the world, you are bold, you are brave, you dare greatly you innovate, you collaborate, you solve problems, each and every day, you're making the world a better place. Thank you very much for what you do. And thank you for your continued support of this very important platform. This ecosystem we are broadcasting on site. This is SMRP 31 conference here in Orlando. And it's bigger, stronger, faster than it has ever been. We have more people attending, we have more vendors attending, it is all here happening now. And if you want to be in the world of May maintenance, asset management, reliability or everything in between, this is an organization for you to get engaged with go out to Find out more they have a lot going on. And that's why we're going to be talking to Paul GE Digital, we're going to be talking a little bit about SMRP. We're going to be talking about all the activity that is taking place out there and then some. So let's get cracking. How're you doing for our annual Kanye conversation? Paul?


I am doing great. And it's my pleasure to be here. It's good to see you.


It's good to be seen. It's exciting. It's every year, it's like hey, how are you? Hey, you know, it's been just so fine. It has. So you've been having a good conference.


This is a great conference, as you mentioned, it's record right we have record attendance record vendors in it has been a fabulous conference in terms of information share networking, really good. It's just the right size conference to see all your old friends make a bunch of new friends.


It is I always walk away with a smile. Because it's just that is everybody's just so happy to to be a part of this organization. So once again, find out more. That's important. So let's talk a little bit first off again, for the new listeners. Give us a little background on Paul.


Well, I've been in business for several years now I am. My real job, as I say is with GE Digital. I'm an APM industry principal there I've been working in this space for over 20 years APM reliability of equipment, those kinds of things.


For the listeners, APM asset performance management got it.


And I'm also quite active with SMRP. I'm the past chair on the board still and doing a lot of work there. SMRP has a lot of interesting things going on globally.


Tell me the difference. Because I want to know, so we have maintenance, we have reliability, we have asset management, we have asset management, asset performance management. Explain to me the differences that exist there.


Well, if you think about maintenance, maintenance is maintaining that equipment so that when you need it, it's ready to go. It's it's addressing potential issues that you know about through preventive maintenance, predictive maintenance, efficiency of your workforce, those kinds of things. Then if you think about reliability, reliability is all about failures. It's how do we prevent failures? It's how do we eliminate failures when they occur? It is how do we build a proper asset strategy for We're maintenance to execute, that meets the business needs of our organization, which is really important. You know, we're engineers, and sometimes we want to just engineer for the fun of it. Yeah. But we need to be engineering around the the outcomes that our companies are trying to achieve. And reliability plays a big role in that. So reliability proactively feeds into maintenance. Asset Management is a bigger picture, you know, especially with ISO 55000, all the standards and processes associated with that, how do we get value out of our assets, of which maintenance and reliability is a subcomponent of that, you know, we think about 55,000, a strategic part of that is the samp, the strategic asset management plan. And then for particular assets, there's an asset management plan, which rolls up to that, that's where the maintenance and reliability issues come into play there. And then lastly, asset performance management. Oh, that's a term that was coined years ago by bonds, Hart, who was the owner of meridiem. And that's really structured around how do we maintain how do we perform reliability on our assets? And how do we get a better performance out of our assets to deliver to deliver the value that our companies needs? Very asset focused?


With that said, with that segue, how do we how do we take that, that seems more strategic? Is that just sort of the higher level more strategic looking at your operations from that perspective? Is that and then you look at it? How do we, how do we gain value out of that?


So if we think about these outcomes that our companies want to achieve? You know, the next thing we should ask ourselves is, how can we achieve that? And then it becomes, what are the things that are keeping us from achieving these outcomes today? In other words, if they're so important, why haven't we already achieved them? And that's where we become much more detailed in looking at solutions, which align with those outcomes that create the value we need to achieve those outcomes. And so now, you know, from that perspective, that's where APM reliability maintenance of start to come into play. How do we address those, what I call them up? You know, they're, they're the blockers, the things that are blocking us from achieving higher performance. Sometimes those are really difficult problems that we've been trying to solve for years. And sometimes it just requires the right folks.


But but it seems heavily human centric. It has little to do with the technology. It has everything to do with the people. And how do you get that boat rowing in the same direction? That's that's the challenge.


That's an interesting statement, because it's really true that the answer is yes. And yes, we're engineers, and we sometimes become enamored with technology, right? Oh, well, this is a great tech, do


we have that shiny object baby problem?


Can I saw, right? Yeah, let's go find a problem to solve. But you're right. We've got to get them properly aligned. And then this is a really interesting thing. Our most six my most successful customers out in the marketplace, the people I've worked with, are the people who think about, I've got these new work processes. I've got these new technologies, enabling work processes, I've got new technologies that are integrating data to give me insights. How do I make that sustainable? And how do I drive adoption? How do I get my people using these work processes? How do I get them leveraging the power of the solutions? And that's the key and the most successful organizations are the one who are the ones who can step back and address these two questions about sustainability and adoption? And how am I going to handle the change management associated with the workforce? Now, you know, we're struggling with industry 4.0. And now we're hearing about industry five point


Yeah, I heard that and I was thinking to myself, can we just get through, or


you're right about that. But you really hit on a very salient point. The key to really being successful is how do we leverage the people to drive value using these new technologies?


But Paul seems overwhelming. You know, when we're talking about this, it's just seems overwhelming. Can we in good conscience? incrementally do this?


Yes. And and you know, that old saying that we've all heard a million times you eat an elephant one bite at a time? Well, here's how we start. If you're running a plant, an organization, you know, you've got some equipment out there, that's critical. It's critical to your revenue is critical to your costs. That's where we start. We start with the most important assets that you have out there. The most important things that are going on and we address that. Then we move on to the next one. There is no magic wand. There is work associated with this, but Start with the with the most important things and drill down.


How do you deal when you start to prioritize your assets and removing the that's my motor, that's my favorite motor and becomes a personal thing as opposed to something that is truly, no, I'm sorry, Scott, your Moto is not that important?


Well, these things take great leadership, it comes up to the leadership of these organizations to help the maintenance reliability Asset Management departments be able to properly execute that it really is a key element, you know, leaders sometimes have to step up and say, This is what we're going to do, because it's the right thing to do. So that's a good way to handle that leadership comes into play. Another good thing is, many times, if you think about operational people, they they came from a completely different discipline, they might not be engineers, they didn't grow up in maintenance. And we have to help them understand we have to educate them. And a lot of that is on us as the maintenance reliability professional to do our jobs.


But we've been down this road before there, Paul, and some executives said that this is important because it does impact in a positive way, our bottom line, but that executive decided that after three years, he's going on to bigger and better things, and we got a new person in there. So there's a lot of change, how do we ensure some continuity between those leadership?


Where do you come up with these great questions? Is that through it? So let me just say that's a real challenge. And here's what I've seen. I've seen companies essentially become at the pinnacle of being a reliability driven organization. And 10 years later, they have fallen off quite a lot. And it's exactly what you said. The key is for the most successful companies to embed this in their culture, as they have a new executives and training, you have new leaders that are that are being mentored and coming up, is really critical that this become a part of the culture. Sometimes that happens, sometimes exactly what you said, the those leaders move on retirement hits, all of these people who've been doing this for 20 years are suddenly gone. And now you've backed up.


What is interesting is, as I've always, because there's always inefficiencies that exist in the operation, and there's like low hanging fruit, like you said, well, let's focus on these assets. These are important assets, they're struggling. So we could probably gain some value out of it, right? It's tough. It's right there, right? Just tweak this, do this. And you get those, those aha moments. But then eventually, those aha moments wane. And you've got to try to sustain this. And nobody says, Hey, our operation is just see. But you don't see those big, like, drops or, or whatever, you see what I'm getting.


I do. And first of all, you've got another great point there never ever as long as you live and breathe under estimate the value of a few short term wins exactly what you do. But you're but you're right, later on, you know, our organizations properly done, start running much more efficiently, better. And then what happens? Often our leadership say, tell me again, why we're spending all this money on maintenance, because we aren't having problems. So it's right. That's why it's so important for the leadership to embed this into the culture of the organization. And it's hard to do, if it was easy, we wouldn't be talking about it, right? It's hard to do it is.


And what's so fascinating is it all it takes is just that one catastrophic event on that particular asset, shutting something down, and then all of a sudden, that maintenance dollar doesn't look so, so bad, as opposed to that catastrophic event that we decided that we wanted to sweat that asset.


Yeah, one of the areas I've become very interested in in the last few years is risk risk manager, you go How do we understand risk? How do we manage that risk? How do we put some dollar values around risk? And you know, we're engineers and one of the things we're good at a lot of things. One of the things we're not very good is estimating the probabilities associated with risk on some of these assets.


brings up a good point. How do we begin to infuse risk and identifying and and tangibly quantifying those risks?


There's a whole body of knowledge in this area, and sort of to for us that are working in maintenance and reliability. You know, we're really concerned about the risk of failure and the risk of these assets having an unexpected failure, but it's a much bigger, much bigger error. You know, most of our companies have I have this group called to enterprise risk management groups. Right? And those, they're interested in business continuity, right, all of those kinds of things. Yeah. So risk really permeates our work life. And you know, what it permeates for a lot of us our personal life as well, if once you start working in this area of risk, you don't look at anything anymore without thinking about risk.


But I think it's, it's, it's a way of being able to take that hook. Because we're naturally inclined with financial risk. We've, we've we've, that's part of our DNA, that's a risk there. But operational risk needs to be more tangible. And it seems, go ahead.


And it also needs to be dynamic. Yeah, you know, so here's what happened. Yeah, we go out, and we do criticality analysis. And oh, then we do some risk analysis around that. And we decide, oh, this is in our heat map, or heat map, it's up in the red, let's get it down to the green, we develop an asset strategy for that. And suddenly Life is good. But you know, what happens there just like equipments like people, and over time, the risk of failure starts to creep up. And so we've been working quite a lot in this area of what we call operational risk, how do we sort of make our risk assessments dynamically. And what that does, then when you can do that? By sort of combining criticality and asset health and current? And all this data, we're getting now to currently give us a picture of the health of the asset? How do we sort of combine that and when we do that, it's going to impact the things we do on a daily basis, you know, we've got our strategy laid out, and we're going to execute our PMS or PDM, is all the things that we're going to do. But there may be other things that we need to do when our risk dynamically creeps up on us over time.


I think that that is an area within the world of asset performance management that can definitely increase. I just think that that because I'm being a financial guy, in the past longer go galaxy far, far away. I was always sensitive to risk. But rarely did we ever say, if that thing goes down, what's that impact? And quantify? Not Not? Not, you know, Swagat quantify it, that says, yeah, that's what's gonna happen.


Yeah, in my real life, with GE Digital, we have some customers who are doing really pretty gutsy groundbreaking breaking work around this idea of dynamic risk, operate, operationalizing risks that's, that's going on there. So that's an area that's really, really starting to develop, and I think over the next, you know, months and years, we'll see a lot more developments in this area.


Before I wrap up, where do you see SMRP? Going? Like, what what are some of the new things that are ta


SMRP? I'd love to talk about smrc, because they're doing such good work. You know, we're, we have a lot of things going on, we've just announced here, you know, we have the certifications, the only ancy certified certifications, and maintenance and reliability, the cmrp and cmrt. And we've just announced some training that's coming out for that we have practice exams, and we're doing a lot of work globally. So if we think about of the last two years, we've developed a working relationship with P Mac of Canada, we have an MOU with them and they offer, what we're trying to do is leverage what we have globally, by working with other organizations that are more regionally focused. So they're really focused in Atlanta, I'm sorry, ended up in Canada. Well, there's no reason for us to go in and establish infrastructure in Canada. Let's work with these different organizations to let them leverage our information. And we want to leverage their information. So we've got one of those with P. Mac, we have a relationship with I am a globally we're working more and more closely with Oberman in South America. We're working some with the Asset Management Council in Australia. So so that's really our objectives. You know, if you think about SMRP memberships and see mrps around the world, we're about 12,000 members and SMRP around the globe now, so 52% of our membership is outside of the United States.


All you have to do is have run a query in LinkedIn, and just type in SMRP. And then you look at what pops up the list. International, yes. International


52 52%. And across the globe, the cmrp that certification is the most valued certification of all and it's because it's anti certified right, you know, there there's a stringent a bunch of rules that come come along On with being certified and getting recertified in that area.


I gotta tell you, Paul, I'm pretty excited about SMRP. And what's what's happening and the impact it's having in, in everything. I mean, it's an amazing organization, and I really appreciate it. How did they get a hold of you, Paul,


you can get a hold of me at And it's been my pleasure looking forward to seeing you again soon.


Next year. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, we're going to have all the contact information for Paul out on in dust real talk. So make sure that you reach out that's your that's your task list. Reach out with Paul and, and get more about SMRP. And we're broadcasting from SMRP is 31st annual conference here in Orlando. It is exactly what he was saying. It's a collection of individuals that are really focused on solving your challenges. You need to put this on your calendar for next year. So go out to Find out more, get engaged, become a member ASAP. We're gonna wrap it up on the other side. Thank you very much for joining industrial talk. We will be right back. Good job. All right, brother. Yeah, always good. Always good, my friend.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


Paul Hall never disappoints, have had him on a couple of times. Every time he just gets it out of the ballpark. He is amazing. Reach out to Paul, GE Digital is the company. We're going to have all the contact information for Paul out on industrial talk. So yeah, make that a priority. Reach out to Paul, also make it a priority to go to in the profession of asset management, reliability, maintenance, and everything else. That should be your first stop, go out to Look into their certification program, be a part of this community. And, you know, I can't speak enough about SMRP. So go out to We're building an ecosystem here at industrial talk. We want you to be a part of it. We're about education, collaborating, and of course, innovating. Think about it. All right. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from this army SMRP shortly so stay tuned.

Industrial Talk is onsite at SMRP 31 and talking to Paul Casto, APM Industry Principal at GE Digital about "The trends and benefits of being connected with".

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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