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How can we achieve a holistic asset management framework through improving technical quality?

Utilities of today face multiple challenges. With increasing optimization demands, expectations of high efficiency and grid modernization, utilities (and other critical infrastructure owners) face issues such as​:

  • Struggling with managing the end-life of electrical assets​
  • Operating power networks at manageable risk levels​
  • Increasing the quality of services​ delivered to consumers
  • Difficulty in finding resources and qualified manpower​
  • Lack of guidance around internationally accepted best practices in the power utility sector​

All of the challenges listed above translate into an urgent need for a new asset management (AM) framework which can allow utilities to have a better understanding of and visibility of their assets –  which can, in turn, facilitate appropriate decisions around the allocation of investment required to operate and manage their portfolios.

Although many utilities have adopted the new AM framework provided by ISO 55000, many are struggling to improve and manage technical quality under this new framework, which is not industry specific. This means that technical aspects specific to the power sector are not taken into account.

To address this, DNV GL has developed an assessment tool focusing on ‘7 technical quality areas’. These focus areas are based on the SMART targets framework (SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-based) to help utilities adopt a structured approach in identifying the gaps in their AM practices, and provide the technical perspectives for asset owners to:

  • Identify technical areas to be taken note of in an existing AM framework​
  • Have a deeper insight into their current AM practices ​
  • Have a holistic perspective, ranging from network to corporate level​

The proposed ‘7 technical quality areas’ aims to provide structured steps to achieve technical competence in accordance with industry best practices, so as to enhance utilities’ technical competence and obtain actual benefit from the new ISO 55000 framework. By understanding the current practice and process on technical quality, utilities can​ develop their AM roadmaps and implementation plans which allow the enhancement system reliability in cost effective ways.

Here is a brief overview of the assessment tool for the ‘7 technical quality areas’ DNV GL has developed:

  1. Asset lifecycle management: Strategic planning for asset acquisition, commissioning, operation, maintenance and replacement planning, from new build to end life
  2. Risk management and mitigation: Criticality analysis of the utilities’ policy and objectives including risks and mitigation​
  3. Asset data quality & analysis:Complete, correct and available data are vital​
  4. Operation and maintenance:set up O&M programmes with corresponding execution​
  5. Condition And performance assessment: correctly assess the asset condition and performance. AM System can then generate asset health indices in order to prioritize​
  6. Knowledge infrastructure: Knowledge infrastructure in the organization is an essential focus area for maintaining skills and capabilities​
  7. Monitoring and evaluation: KPI setting for continuous improvement of the AM system

These are further categorized into 31 sub-clauses. Here is how the sub-clauses correspond to the key elements of ISO 55000​, in the context of the power sector.

When used effectively, this assessment tool for the ‘7 technical quality areas’ will help utilities identity gaps in their current AM practice​, list and prioritize technologies and methodologies to focus on​, and assist with resource planning on the immediate, short- and long-term basis.

If you would like to find out more about the technical gap analysis based on DNV GL’s proposed ‘7 technical quality areas’, or learn more about our asset management services, please do not hesitate to contact us.

This blog is an excerpt from part 1 of our Asset management: Making better decisions webinar series. To learn more, watch the recording of part 1 or register for the upcoming webinars in this series, click here.

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