Maynard Substation 3

Smarter Investment and Maintenance Strategies on the Rise with Shift in APM

Jan. 24, 2020
With a change toward ever more sophisticated asset performance management (APM), operators are increasing reliability and reducing cost for operations and maintenance across the entire energy chain.

Gartner’s 2019 Market Guide for Asset Performance Management Software shows that APM is becoming a central capability for energy utilities and other industries. The report states: ‘Asset performance management (APM) is becoming a core competency to improve overall business operations in asset-intensive industries’.

APM strategies are shifting with new technological developments, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and remote sensing. An increasing number of utilities are leveraging advanced technology, including streaming analytics based on ever faster communications, to monitor equipment health. Some are moving toward third-party software vendors’ cloud solutions for APM.

Combining powerful analytics with timely and relevant data about both health and performance, operators can make smarter decisions about their assets. This has the potential to increase reliability and reduce operations and maintenance costs.

APM software market overview

The Gartner Market Guide gives an overview of the APM software market worldwide, across many industries. It presents key findings and recommendations on how to leverage cross-industry innovation for better equipment performance.  

“Organizations realize the need for a combination of asset maintenance strategies to support a variety of asset types and situations across the business through a toolbox approach,” the report says.

Predictive maintenance gives results

Doug Venjohn, Manager of Transmission and Substation Predictive Maintenance at Evergy, a leading energy company in Kansas and Missouri, says his company has embarked on a wide-ranging initiative regarding predictive maintenance, monitoring and managing 47,000 batteries, transformers, regulators and other assets.

“When we started this program, we typically had 13 transformer failures in substations each year that would cause lights out,” says Venjohn. “But over the last two years we’ve had just one.”

Bringing the data together

Another industry expert, Maynard Coulson, spent decades in the field working for a major investor-owned utility. “We had around 1,000 substations and 10 maintenance headquarters and you had all these people keeping track of their own data and spreadsheets and there was no communication between the groups,” Coulson says. “They started to gather the right data, but it was segmented so that nobody could get a hold of all the data to make educated decisions.”

Now Coulson has joined DNV GL as a senior consultant and helps utilities implement their APM solution for electric utilities, Cascade. Cascade captures diagnostic, online and inspection data and integrates it to other systems. It supports condition and predictive based maintenance and provides business intelligence.

Comprehensive APM solutions

DNV GL is one of the Representative Vendors mentioned in the Gartner report. DNV GL has an asset-centric approach, meaning that their software is tailored to specific assets across industries. They offer comprehensive, cross-industry capabilities in all four APM categories: asset risk management, reliability-centered maintenance, predictive asset management and condition-based management.

“Our strategy at DNV GL has been to integrate our industry domain software with well-proven enterprise solutions,” says Elling Rishoff, Director of Software Ecosystems at DNV GL – Digital Solutions. “This toolbox approach supports a wide variety of asset types and situations across the full energy chain,” he says.

Learn more about DNV GL’s Asset Performance Management software here.  

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