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Communication Feature | October 2018

No data, no strategy

When it comes to ensuring a reliable power supply, the proper functioning of protection systems is indispensable. This requires regular testing and maintenance of assets. However, today's utilities face a number of complex challenges such as the integration of distributed energy resources, increasing end-customer expectations, operational efficiency objectives set by authorities and related changes in energy policy.

Taking all these demands into account, how can utilities ensure future-proof risk management for their protection systems? How can they foster their reputation and trust with their partners and guarantee growth and development for their company, while providing a safe and reliable power supply?

A holistic approach
The standard ISO 55000 defines asset management as a coordination task for organisations that enables them to maintain the value of their assets. Asset management includes maintenance planning, the evaluation of individual assets, the setting data of the respective protection systems and disturbance analysis. This rather holistic perspective allows for a strategic risk and reliability management for protection systems. Furthermore, the long-term evaluation of the effects of investment decisions must not only be evaluated in terms of a single variable but rather in relation to the total lifecycle costs.

Data management
The foundation for these decision-making processes all comes down to a solid and well-established data management. All data needs to be up-to-date and available in a way that supports all of the functions in the asset management process. But in practice, it is often difficult to stay on top of all the data since test plans, test protocols, manuals, etc. are often saved in different locations. This increases the organisational effort and complicates the access to documents when it comes to essential questions, such as:

  • When did each operating resource last undergo testing or maintenance?
  • When are the next maintenance tests scheduled for?
  • Where are the test reports for the individual assets?
  • What is the current test and maintenance status of the whole facility?
  • Are all relevant test templates and test plans always on site and available?

Smaller utilities often use common spreadsheet programmes to manage all of the data. But they can become slow and unstable if they exceed a certain size and the options for reliable backup are limited. Larger utilities frequently use modules from an ERP system but these are usually not adapted to the needs of utilities.

As a worldwide leading provider of testing solutions for protection systems we have acknowledged the needs of utilities and developed ADMO, an innovative data management solution. ADMO allows users to plan and manage all testing and maintenance activities in centralised protection systems. It facilitates the seamless documentation of all maintenance tasks and offers easy access to all relevant documents. Thanks to pre-defined asset categories all relevant type-specific data and nominal values can be tracked.

ADMO's client-server architecture enables multiple users to work in parallel on the asset database. In the field, test engineers work offline and access the test data they need. The clear structure offers helpful guidance when performing tests. In the office, engineers and managers can enter asset data, plan maintenance activities and analyse test results. This way, all the participants involved in the asset management process are always up to date and can collaborate efficiently.

Easy InSight
With InSight, the new ADMO dashboard for analysing substation and asset data, users can optimise investment and human resources planning. InSight supports users by providing different widgets that help the decision process related to asset life cycle management. The InSight widgets draw process, and visualise their data from ADMO. Thanks to flexible filters, the users can focus their widget data on specific areas of interest. For example, filter by location, voltage level, asset type, feeder or a specific timeframe. Data management made easier!

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