Energy at War: How Asset Management Systems Deliver Effective Energy Solutions

Energy at War: How Asset Management Systems Deliver Effective Energy Solutions

How automation of asset management processes helps Ukraine’s power system since the beginning of a full-scale invasion

In the field of energy, there is a significant number of critical assets that must be managed effectively, in particular, plan and timely perform maintenance and repairs to reduce unplanned downtime and increase equipment availability.

The upheaval caused by the war in Ukraine showed how automation of asset management processes helps to quickly respond to accidents and ensure the stability of the energy system.

Implementation of asset management systems (English Enterprise Asset Management, hereinafter – “EAM”) becomes an integral part of the successful operation of enterprises in modern realities.

The EAM system should be considered as a complete complex of functional elements (modules) that must work harmoniously as a single solution to ensure the reliability of the equipment and the continuity of its operation.

From the beginning of the full-scale invasion and massive shelling of infrastructure facilities, the main emphasis was directed towards solving urgent issues to avoid the threat of stopping the equipment, which could result in a blackout.

In this context, the use of the EAM system helped and helps to solve a number of new challenges that were not so relevant before.

Quick search for equipment analogues. The automated process of maintaining a database of equipment with detailed characteristics helps in the search for analogs for energy equipment of substations, lines, etc., damaged as a result of military actions.

In particular, the 220 kW autotransformer has more than 50 important characteristics. EAM helps to quickly find analogues of such equipment.

Prompt determination of maintenance and repair priorities for equipment under shelling conditions. Efficiency was achieved by switching to electronic logs of incidents and technological violations, thanks to which the dependence on paper documents and the human factor decreased.

Limited resources and time for inspection work. Mobile applications, which are used during inspections of energy facilities, have become a key component of improving the efficiency of inspection work.

They allow you to monitor the condition of equipment and the availability of resources in real time, register incidents, plan maintenance and repairs, provide access to data and necessary technical documentation directly at the location of the object (without the need to visit the office).

Such mobile applications are cross-platform and work on both Android and iOS.

The number of challenges related to military aggression is constantly increasing. At the same time, the modern EAM system is quite flexible and able to help in solving them.

The use of EAM in the energy industry is becoming a key element of the strategy that helps to optimize processes, increase reliability and ensure compliance with regulations that are important for successful work in this industry.

Implementation of EAM: strengths and features of implementation in a military environment

The EAM system allows you to make quick and correct decisions even during military operations and large-scale destruction, thanks to an up-to-date and complete database of equipment and regulations and automated business processes.

For example, if an infrastructure object is destroyed or equipment is damaged, the EAM system will provide reliable information about the equipment and its maintenance history, will allow effective planning and management of restoration work, or will provide analytics on the need for restoration.

Also, the system will help to keep track of the movement of assets during the recovery process. A big advantage is that you can work with the system and the necessary data remotely. This adaptability of the system to the needs of the company can be extremely useful, given the complex conditions on the ground.

The system can also be quickly customized to collect information and create a database of infrastructure damage and damage assessment.

It is possible to add photos and video recordings, attach prepared protocols and other important documents that are critical for the assessment and restoration of damaged objects.

The asset management system is a benefit in post-war recovery

EAM is an important component in the context of post-war reconstruction of energy facilities and civil infrastructure in the following areas:

  • Inventory of assets. The EAM system will help create a database of inventory of all assets such as buildings, equipment, vehicles, communication networks, roads, etc., damaged or destroyed during war.
  • Maintenance and repair planning. EAM helps create maintenance and repair plans for assets so that they are restored to functionality and reliability as quickly as possible.
  • Asset condition monitoring. The system allows you to monitor the state of assets in real time and predict and detect possible problems in a timely manner. Such technologies of EAM systems as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) open wide opportunities for monitoring the condition of assets, predicting failures and other problems with assets.
  • Inventory and supply management. EAM helps organize inventory and materials for asset recovery and repairs.
  • Optimization of resources. EAM enables efficient use of resources, prioritization and planning of actions to restore assets.
  • Analytics and reporting. The system provides the ability to analyze data to make informed decisions and generate reports for control and reporting.
  • Cost monitoring. EAM helps track asset recovery and maintenance costs, which is important for efficient use of limited resources.
  • Saving information. The EAM system helps to store important asset data and make it available for future recovery.

As you can see, EAM systems help solve a number of challenges faced by managers of energy and civil infrastructure enterprises, both in peacetime and during war or other emergency events.

What is the key to successful implementation and operation of the EAM system?

Taking into account the experience and world practices, implementation projects and further operation of the EAM system often require not only the implementation of system settings, but also the implementation of a number of consulting works that will ensure the maximum use of the benefits of EAM.

First, the project should start with the construction of the target operating model of EAM in the company. At the beginning of the project, the enterprise has a unique chance to improve the EAM business processes and the EAM function as a whole.

As part of building an EAM operating model, target business processes, a role model of the EAM function, necessary regulations, and a transition plan from the existing to the future target operating model are usually developed. Thanks to this, business processes at a higher level of maturity will be automated in the EAM system.

Equally important is the task of choosing an EAM system. Each enterprise has a unique IT infrastructure and landscape of existing information systems that must be considered.

When choosing an EAM system, it is necessary to take into account not only the functional requirements and the cost of the system, but also other factors, such as: the IT strategy of the enterprise, plans for the digital transformation program, the cost of ownership and development of the system, trends and capabilities of the technological platform, etc.

The development of an individual evaluation method will help to choose the most optimal option.

Given the level of IT development in Ukraine, energy companies often already operate some kind of EAM system. In such cases, it will be advisable to conduct an audit of the EAM system. The results of such an audit will be recommendations and a well-founded action plan for improving the EAM system.

Therefore, thanks to a comprehensive approach to the implementation and operation of the EAM system, when the functionality of the system and the advantages of consulting services are combined, thanks to the synergy effect, energy companies can get the maximum benefit from EAM.

Author: Yuriy Ryabokon, senior manager, leader of the company’s asset management department, EY in Ukraine.

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