Asset performance management in the electric utility industry
APM for electric utilities
Maximizing asset performance for electric utilities relies on dynamic processes that capture and maintain quality information. Well-informed decisions about repairs and replacements impact the bottom line, but also have an integral relationship with both customer satisfaction and regulatory requirements. Generating actionable information about the health of transformers, breakers and other vital equipment has not always been easy, and is often based on tribal knowledge.
The monitoring and management of utility equipment can be automated, transparent, efficient and effective. This, combined with powerful analytics using timely and relevant data about equipment health and performance, means that utilities can make well-informed decisions, realizing measurable savings in day-to-day operations as well as long term capital planning.
Definition of asset performance management
Asset performance management is a combination of data capture, integration, visualization and analytics and reliability and includes condition monitoring, predictive forecasting and reliability-centered maintenance. Utilities are increasingly adopting these elements, which also helps to achieve certified compliance with asset management standards ISO 55000 and PAS 55.
A better APM approach
Many utilities have been basing asset maintenance schedules purely on time intervals, taking transformers out of service every few years for cleaning and changing parts. A better approach is based on the current health and performance of a fleet of assets. Utilities can improve their asset performance management programs by developing health index ratings for all assets, paying particular attention to equipment in bad health and “bad actors.” A bad actor is a piece of equipment that has shown a high percentage of failure due to design or build. A good actor in mediocre health has less of a chance of failure than a bad actor in very good health. Over the course of compiling these health index scores in a computerized maintenance management system, utilities are able to identify with confidence the assets most vulnerable to failure.
Software designed for the electric utility industry
Designed specifically for the electric utility industry, Cascade is a utility asset management software tool that can help companies just beginning to shape their asset performance management strategy as well as those that have already made significant progress.
Utility asset management and predictive maintenance
Three basic pillars of Cascade enable this APM journey. First, Cascade collects and aggregates data about equipment health from multiple sources, including sensors, visual inspections and diagnostics, with a critical emphasis on data quality to enable better analysis and decisions. Second, Cascade monitors and analyzes large amounts of data to help asset owners prioritize maintenance. Finally, Cascade’s analytics, insights and dashboards empower smart decisions on maintenance and replacement strategies and other important initiatives.