By Brandon Most, Portfolio Director
Infrastructures that serve vital human needs – such as water, power, communications and manufacturing –are growing in complexity, while more engineers are tasked with managing multiple sites from a single control center. This often leads to discovering problems after failures occur—when it’s too late to avoid a costly crisis. Post-data analysis activities are an essential part of successful data-driven improvement initiatives and are often overlooked when evaluating analytics tools. What happens after an issue is found? How do you go about quantifying the issue’s impact and fixing it? The solution needs to be easy-to-use, intuitive and effective, or else your team won’t adopt it.
Issues Management, a robust feature within our ASSET360-powered Atonix Digital Monitoring & Diagnostics product, provides a simple and proven way to collaborate among team members to intervene early and greatly reduce asset failure risks. Whether you’re managing assets the old-fashioned way with spreadsheets or with an advanced, software-based asset management solution, Issues Management is a tool that can improve virtually any alert-to-resolution workflow. Below are three main reasons Issues Management is incredibly effective at identifying and resolving issues fast.
Why Issues Management is Unbeatable
The Discussion Thread feature of Issues Management centralizes communication efforts. It ensures that every person on your team stays in the loop, on the same page, all at once. For example, engineers in the control room can create messages and attach relevant files or data within the interface for technicians out in the field to reference. Intuitive desktop and mobile interfaces, along with integrated email, make Issues Management easy for all users to participate and contribute through. This centralized knowledge base documents and stores activity regarding outstanding issues in real time. Users can also easily search the database to find and share relevant information. With virtually all issue information at your fingertips, you can collaborate better and significantly improve workflow efficiency.
- Manage Issues
The Issues Scorecard feature displays every detail regarding the criticality of each issue while summarizing the impact of all issues outstanding. It can identify how an isolated issue impacts operations plant-wide or across all plant locations.
Having a holistic summary of all issues shortens the diagnostic process and supports quicker resolutions. It also allows engineers and operation managers to focus their attention on the highest-priority problems while keeping stakeholders informed. For many utilities, this feature shifts their asset maintenance strategies from reactive to proactive.
- Calculate Impact of Failure
Issues Management allows you to quantify the risks in terms of reliability, efficiency, production, cost and other user-specified metrics. The Impact Calculator allows you to track asset performance history and prioritize work orders, enabling enhanced communication between your maintenance and performance engineering teams. This feature alone can justify your investment in the software, as it measures costs and risks according to users’ parameters.
Issues Management in Action
One of our clients saved millions of dollars using Issues Management.
CPS Energy serves more than 821,000 electricity customers and 347,000 natural gas customers. The company ranks sixth in the US for annual installed solar power. Mike Harris, a CPS Generation Performance Manager, has worked in operations and maintenance for over 30 years. Early in his career, he conducted asset maintenance manually by calibrating instruments and collecting measurements to diagnose performance issues in the field.
Over time, CPS Energy’s operations grew more complex, while its resources shrunk. Mike reached a point where he couldn’t conduct all the physical performance checks required of him, and many problems went unnoticed.
“We were throwing away perfectly good energy,” said Harris. “Before implementing the solution from Atonix, we didn’t realize how much energy we were wasting. Worse, we had been doing it for 25 years.”
Issues Management uncovered a problem with an attemperator spray system. The estimated accumulated losses topped $5M. Read the full success story here.
Issues Management Removes the Risk
There are many cases like CPS, where serious issues remain unnoticed for too long, resulting in drained resources. Issues Management can identify issues early on and calculate the cost impact of each risk, allowing operations managers to address and resolve critical matters fast.
Conceived and developed by utility experts at Black & Veatch, this highly effective feature is made by utilities engineers for utilities engineers. Our customers, time and time again, let us know how Issues Management is an essential, easy-to-use function of the Monitoring & Diagnostics solution. Issues Management has resolved nearly 10,000 issues to date and saved our customers well over $132 million.
Learn more about Monitoring & Diagnostics and the value of Issues Management.