Solution: Their EAM provider reviewed legacy data and created a rule set to standardize data company-wide. The data standardization rule set, including an asset lexicon and taxonomy, standardized all assets and spare parts as well as maintenance procedure data.
Results: As a result of these operational improvements, the company realized a $1.6 million net income increase, a 6.4 percent inventory reduction and increased equipment efficiency. The organization also experienced higher levels of productivity among its maintenance personnel, as a direct result of creating a foundation of standardized data which enhanced reliability practices across the enterprise.
Source: CMMS In the Wind Industry
Lastly, the company found that having vigorous, positive, visible and continual management support was essential to the success of a project of this nature.
Wind Industry Maintenance Strategies
Although maintaining equipment at a wind farm has some unique challenges, the wind industry can certainly pursue some of the best-practice approaches that their peers in the industrial and general manufacturing sector are utilizing. By adopting continuous monitoring or frequent monitoring of machinery health conditions, wind techs are able to schedule required maintenance activities at the proper intervals.
Furthermore, by utilizing a host of pertinent predictive maintenance technologies, such as CMMS, wind industry personnel responsible for caring for these critical assets are in a better position to identify when an impending failure may be approaching, providing valuable time to plan, schedule, and execute the required corrective tasks before the condition becomes an emergency.
The Future of Wind Power
Organizations seeking to make quick, informed decisions that will contribute to meeting production schedules, ensuring quality, safety, and environmental standards are in compliance, satisfying customer demands, extending equipment life, optimizing worker productivity, and reducing costs, recognize that they must adapt maintenance management practices that enable them to leverage comprehensive and accurate operational, maintenance, and financial data into a common platform, most likely via an enterprise asset management (EAM) systems.
Insiders expect to see more fluid (and more robust) exchanges of data between OEMs and end-users, which will enable end-users (many of which plan to maintain their turbines internally for the first time) to better care for their assets. Warranty tracking, equipment repair/replace algorithms, and Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) are also expected to be improved upon in wind industry maintenance software in the coming years.
Investing in technological advances will always play a decisive role in the evolution and expansion of the wind industry, but there is also a keen understanding of the need to continually parallel that by investing in the development of the culture of O&M teams. “Companies can review, select, purchase, implement, and train on using the best designed systems on the market, but if they fail to educate the technicians on the value of using the system and put in place accountability measures to ensure the system is being used according to agreed upon work processes, they have failed.” (reliabilitweb.com) In much the same way that the law of cause and effect operates, companies that actively address the “soft” side of maintenance today (cause), will be leaders in the wind industry of tomorrow (effect).
Lead image: Technician Engineer in Wind Turbine Power Generator Station via Shutterstock