July 3, 2019 | Written by: IBM SEE Think Blog
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The energy industry has reached a major tipping point. Climate change, advances in renewable technology, societal pressure, and changing regulatory requirements and new digital services are all coming together to radically transform the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. As a result, today’s energy industry is becoming greener, cleaner, smarter and more personalized than ever before.
Source: The Eles Company
While the exact shape of the future energy industry is still unknown, energy leaders are currently having to place their bets and transform fast. What is certain is that the energy leaders of tomorrow will need to combine decarbonized market strategies with digital capabilities in order to create new energy ecosystems, form deeper relationships with customers, cut costs while increasing safety and reliability.
IBM is playing an important role in enabling this shift with a number of game changing technologies combined with deep industry expertise to help energy companies in their journeys:
The Slovenian Transmission System Operator for electricity, ELES, started using the IBM Maximo Asset Management software solution for managing physical assets back in 2003. More than fifteen years later, this remains the world’s leading asset management tool designed to meet a wide range of current and future needs. It integrates with existing data sources and operational processes to analyze and predict the performance of assets to help deliver safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy.
Learn about the benefits this will bring to the Slovenian TSO, and how ELES will use Maximo Asset Healh Insights (Maximo AHI) to inspect the ‘health’ of its assets and further its key work processes.
According to Miran Marinšek, the Asset and Project Management Division Director at ELES, the latest International Transmission Asset Management Study (ITAMS) has shown that it was precisely asset management process where ELES had recently made the biggest progress. In this area, the results of the Slovenian TSO for electricity were compliant with ISO 55000.
“If IBM’s Maximo is a fundamental decision support tool for asset management, Maximo AHI gives us a more thorough insight into the state of our assets, thus enabling us to make a significant step forward,” explained Marinšek. According to ELES’ Asset and Project Management Division Director, Maximo Asset Health Insights will bring full and increased benefits through synergistic effects when used as part of the company’s Diagnostic and Analytics Centre (DAC), where it will provide the basis for decision making is asset management together with other tech support tools. “The investment in Maximo AHI and the Diagnostic and Analytics Centre will have a positive impact on reliability of power supply, reducing the risk of outages. It will also improve the maintenance process in existing infrastructure and its technological upgrades.”
Source: The Eles Company
Maximo AHI – an asset health check-up tool
“To explain the asset health index in simpler terms, using the parameters in the Maximo AHI asset health solution is like using blood tests to determine your health status,” said Marinšek, adding that in this case the small size of the Slovenian TSO is, in fact, a great advantage as this allows for quick implementation of the required processes and advanced technologies.
“When assessing asset health, the greatest challenges in using Maximo AHI include good input data and methodology. Here, the highly relevant study conducted in collaboration with the Ljubljana Faculty of Electrical Engineering was very helpful. Meanwhile, an important finding that has helped us pursue our mission was the significance of hiring the best staff possible. In the Diagnostic and Analytics Centre we are building in Beričevo, we plan to engage in diagnostics and analytics, which will hopefully result in better services for our consumers. This requires at least six new highly qualified experts,” said Marinšek when explaining the company’s plans.
As ELES’ long-standing Asset and Project Management Division Director, Marinšek is well aware of the importance of the company’s operational efficiency and his area of competence. “As operators, we are obliged to meet the requirements of asset owners on the one hand and need to be able to translate their language to service providers on the other hand. It is also essential for us to provide a solid ground for decision making at various levels of business operation.”
First European TSO with an innovative Diagnostic and Analytics Centre
With the already mentioned Diagnostic and Analytics Centre (DAC), ELES will become the first TSO for electricity with this kind of technology hub in Europe. ELES’ experts have held presentations of the centre for colleagues from some of the best TSOs, and Miran Marinšek has discussed the project as part of his activity in the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO–E).
»If the Maximo AHI software solution gives the ‘asset blood count’, DAC is where we can get a macro image of the system’s assets, based on which we can manage the assets better throughout their life cycles. The investment will be repaid through improved process efficiency and greater integration, as well as through better utilisation of IT systems for asset management.”
DAC will play an important role also in emergency situations such as natural disasters, when transmission routes and network access start to break down and ELES’ experts seek the fastest solutions to restore the network. The main purpose of DAC is to increase the utilisation of the primary energy capacity; conduct economic and technical analyses of the operation, utilisation and quality of energy capacity, taking into account the costs of each facility over its entire life span; identify and manage risks; and carry out research.
The support of CEO is crucial to company’s rise to the top
When asked about the crucial factor that helped ELES become of the leading European TSOs in terms of asset management and be the first to introduce an innovative project like DAC, Miran Marinšek did not have to think twice: in his view, it was the understanding and support of the company’s CEO.
“In our case, the CEO recognises the importance of what our department is doing and supports it unconditionally, knowing that the fundamental worth of a company originates in the way its assets are managed. Naturally, our responsibility for what we do has the right place in the company’s strategy.”
When asked how, specifically, IBM’s solution will contribute to ELES’ activities, Miran Marinšek said the investment programme identifies the entire project revenue as network charge revenue and recognised return on the remaining value of fixed assets. “The benefits of improved efficiency and use of power assets as a result of the establishment of their health status are appraised additionally,” he explained.
According to Marinšek, the broader social and economic benefits of the investment include security of power supply and smoothness of the company’s business process. In addition, the investment reduces the risk of outages, improves the maintenance process in existing infrastructure and its technological upgrades, and enhances all automated processes. Finally, it also supports ELES’ commitment to social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
And what can Maximo do for your business?
Enterprise asset management (EAM) in the era of IoT — with a constant stream of data from people, sensors and devices — can be challenging. Imagine if you could manage your strategic assets maintenance for non-stop uptime, reduce cost and minimize risk? With IBM Maximo, you can check asset health in real time on a secure, simplified, scalable platform. You’re able to maintain all asset types no matter where they reside, set up new assets quickly. In addition to meeting the requirements with core Maximo, IBM has developed specific industry solutions for key asset-intensive industries.