Technical Blog Post
What's In A Name? Maximo Nuclear!
What's in a Name? This simple question resonates with English speakers as part of a famous dialog in William Shakespeare's well-known play, Romeo and Juliette.
This question, immortalized by The Bard in the sixteenth century, remains powerful to the present day. In its simplicity, the question suggests the distinction between what we label something, and what it actually is. The question also serves as a way to introduce an important development in the way Maximo Nuclear is bringing value to customers outside the realm of commercial nuclear power.
Maximo Nuclear is the IBM application that is bringing value to many reactor plants in the worldwide nuclear power industry. It was chosen by fleet owner/operators to be their centerpiece information system. Maximo Nuclear helps plant personnel implement their EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) programs, while contributing to high standards of safe and reliable operations.
Some power generation operators have chosen and applied functionality from Maximo Nuclear to their fossil generation assets, and many more are looking at the specific and unique functionality within the IBM nuclear solution to help them achieve their goals in their non-nuclear generating assets. Furthermore, this trend has extended beyond power generation. It was first noted in the US National Labs, and has extended into several heavy manufacturing entities.
Why does this development make sense? Although named "Nuclear" as a way to roll up a rigorous approach to EAM under a single label, Maximo Nuclear is more. It is Work Management; it is Operational Management; it is Regulatory Management; it is Condition Reporting and Corrective Actions. In total, it is the collection of the interrelated business processes that are needed by any heavy industrial facility to survive and prosper in the current competitive and highly regulated environment.
Common drivers reach across fuel types in the power generation portfolio, and beyond. These factors include:
* Recognized need for increased rigor in specific areas
* Drive for fleet standardization
* Cost pressure
* Regulatory factors
* Performance improvement driven by best practices
* Deep and unpredictable changes on the horizon
In addition, most utilities now regularly rotate personnel between their nuclear units and their other generation units. Our customers tell us that they have found the whole is greater then the sum of the parts when they combine the best aspects of nuclear and non-nuclear thinking in their fleet business processes. This is another driver in process crossover.
* Rotations are seen as a necessary developmental step for professionals on the management side of the house, in both the nukes and the fossil fueled sides. There is much to learn from the perspectives of each discipline!
* Likewise, personnel at the Technician level are regularly swapped over to support intense manpower needs, such as occur during reactor refuelings, and shutdowns at the conventional units. A Tech who calibrates an instrument loop at a coal plant is just as skilled as a nuclear Tech, and familiarity with the same base EAM system is obviously a plus.
The rigorous processes in Maximo Nuclear help meet the challenges of Twenty-first century industry. What are the functionalities that might be most helpful, for example, pursuing integrated operations management at a power generation facility?
* Clearances: for operational configuration control during operations and shutdown.
* Duty Stations: including narrative logs, operator rounds, and shift turnovers.
* Permits: robust work permits to support maintenance, such as Safety, Fire Hazard, Confined Space, Hot Work, and Heat Stress permits.
* Condition Reporting and Corrective Actions: a unified performance improvement and defect correction system with operational focus.
* Other functionality can also be of interest to some customers. For example, Configuration Change Management functionality has been mentioned by one.
Finally, as in other Maximo applications, extensive MAXVARS (Maximo Variables) permit configuring the nuclear applications to detune some processes where non-nuclear generators have already provided feedback to the development team. Using these simple MAXVAR settings, application business rules can be adjusted to suit specific requirements.