As discussed in Chapter 2 Asset Management, asset component inventory and condition assessment are important steps in any infrastructure management process. They provide essential information for maintenance and rehabilitation decision making.
For immobile and long-lasting physical assets with explicit geophysical locations, inventory can be relatively simple. Data records for asset location, size, age and other pertinent information can be created. As new assets are added or retired, the data records need to be updated, either as transactions occur or on a periodic basis. Computerized asset facilities management (CAFM) systems and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) systems with or without mapping capability are often useful for these inventories.
For linear and network physical assets (e.g., pipelines, electrical distribution systems, etc.) inventory is increasingly complex. Like fixed location systems, data records can be created and updated; however, accurate inventories for the systems are specifically dependent on management systems with geospatial capabilities (e.g., geographic information systems (GIS)) that include a mapping capability so that these assets can be displayed on a two, or even three-dimensional map.
Mobile assets may be more difficult to inventory since their locations might not be known at any given time. However, records of acquiring and retiring mobile assets provide a means of keeping an inventory listing. Manual inspection or bar code readers provide a means of identifying the locations of the various assets. Figure 3.1 illustrates a typical mobile asset in the form of a postal truck used for carrying mail and parcels. Replacement parts for infrastructure such as elevators represent another class of potentially mobile assets that might be inventoried by an infrastructure manager.