At The Hub Power Company Limited (Hubco), IT systems were obsoleted and unconnected, causing process delays and inefficiencies that affected some of its HSE practices.
Hubco upgraded to Maximo for Oil and Gas 7.6 software and integrated its IT environment, gaining the applications and efficiencies it needs to support and improve its specialized HSE-related processes.
60% reductionin approval times for management of change (MOC) processes
20% reductionin number of safety incidents being investigated or pending investigation
50% reductionin processing times for invoices
Business challenge story
Unintegrated and outdated software
Hubco, Pakistan’s first and largest Independent Power Producer (IPP), takes its Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) practices seriously. This commitment is reflected in a key performance metric. For the 2018 – 2019 fiscal year, the utility logged 4.3 million man hours across its three operational power stations, reporting a total recordable injury rate (TRIR) of a mere 0.05.
The utility’s impressive safety record stems, in part, from investing in the right technology. “Our team is always on the lookout for any technological advancements to improve efficiencies and to monitor emissions from our plants,” says Shaharyar Nashat, Company Secretary, Director Legal and Public Relations at Hubco.
One of those technologies is IBM Maximo Asset Management software. In the past, the utility used versions 5.2 and 7.1 of the software to manage its critical assets and support its large asset database. It also relied on a locally-developed compliance management system (CMS) for its safety initiatives, and continues to use Oracle Financial applications.
However, because the technologies were not integrated, certain key business processes had to be executed manually. What’s more, data siloes required some tasks to be duplicated across systems.
“Different information was in each system,” explains Abid Ali, Hubco’s Planning Manager. “So, the people in finance had to make double entries for payments and financial reserves — one in Maximo and another in the financial system. It was taking a lot of time and duplication of effort.”
Hubco sought to integrate its critical IT systems, including the financial system. It also recognized that upgrading its Maximo software would bring new functionalities and many safety-related modules the business did not currently have.
“Safety is our highest priority at all sites on the group level,” adds Ahmed Aftab, Hubco’s IT Manager. “So we decided that while we integrate our existing systems, we must upgrade Maximo, too, and get first-line support from IBM.”
A modern and connected IT environment
In 2018, Hubco turned to Systech, an IBM Business Partner specializing in asset management solutions, to integrate and upgrade its critical IT software and systems.
The engagement consisted of four projects:
- Migrating the corporate database from a Microsoft SQL server to an Oracle database
- Upgrading the existing Maximo Asset Management 7.1 software to Maximo for Oil and Gas 7.6 software
- Implementing add-on HSE modules
- Integrating the technologies with the Oracle Financial system using the Maximo Enterprise Adaptor add-on
With Maximo for Oil and Gas technology, Hubco gains the applications it needs to support its specialized HSE-related processes and the industry best practices to improve the productivity, efficiency and safety of its critical assets. “Compared to version 7.1, there are several new functionalities in Maximo 7.6 that are beneficial to Hubco,” says Shams Ladak, Director of Asset Management at Systech.
During the engagement, Systech conducted management training to demonstrate the new features in Maximo 7.6. It also trained users and administrators on the new Maximo applications. To help overcome challenges related to system integration and database conversion, Systech worked side-by-side with IBM.
“Systech worked very closely with us to find solutions and resolve issues,” says Abid Ali, Planning Manager at Hubco. “They did a good job in this project. We never found them lacking expertise in any area, and the support from IBM was fantastic, too.”
Today, all systems are live and integrated. Systech continues to provide the utility with technical support and evaluate new technologies for Hubco’s future initiatives.
Fast and efficient processes
Today, Hubco’s business processes and safety management activities are more efficient and streamlined. “For Hubco, many of the benefits of Maximo Oil and Gas are related to safety and system integration, which we set out to do,” adds Mr. Ladak.
For instance, in the past, the MOC process used to be administered manually and required information from multiple, disconnected IT systems. As a result, approvals could take as long as six months or up to a year or more. Now, the process takes just a couple of months, or up to 60% faster, because the MOC module in Maximo Oil and Gas software integrates with the work order and safety systems.
The software’s risk assessment application also helped Hubco improve workorder safety management. In addition, Hubco enhanced its monitoring of safety-related actions and tasks, reducing the number of incidents being investigated or pending investigation by 20%.
Invoicing is also faster. After integrating the Oracle Financial system using the Maximo ERP Integration add-on, Hubco reduced the average invoice processing time by 50%, from an average of 50 – 60 days to 30 – 35 days, creating faster cash flow from operations. Additional benefits include more timely reviews of preventive maintenance records, better monitoring of temporary changes, and improved compliance management with safety walk schedules.
“Compared to other solutions, the modules in Maximo are much better, there is more functionality,” adds Mr. Aftab. “It’s also more cost-effective.”
Moving forward, Hubco is deploying Maximo Oil and Gas software in its new plants and will apply it to new IT initiatives. “Maximo is giving our management, engineering and operations teams the confidence to apply IoT to our new plants,” concludes Mr. Aftab. “It is a very critical system in an operation, especially in our sector.”
The Hub Power Company Limited
With the aim of fueling lives through energy, The Hub Power Company Limited has an installed capacity of producing over 2920MW through its four plants in Hub, Balochistan; Narowal, Punjab; and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The utlity is the only power producer in Pakistan with four projects listed in the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor; namely, imported coal-based China Power Hub Generation Company (Pvt.) Limited at Hub, Thar Energy Ltd., Thalnova Power Thar (Pvt.) Ltd. and Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company. Hubco employs over 6,000 people and reported net earnings of PKR 9 billion for 2019 – 2020.
About Systech International
Based in New Jersey in the US with operations in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, IBM Business Partner Systech is a full-service IT firm that specializes in providing enterprise asset management solutions. Services include software implementation, configuration and integration; annual maintenance and support; and software audits and health checks. The company serves the manufacturing, oil and gas, transportation, utilities and public sectors. Systech was founded in 1995 and employs roughly 30 people.
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