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UK National Grid rewards exceptional performance with contract extension

Service with a smile, for 17 years

National Grid is a publically-listed company charged with running the electrical transmission grid across England and Wales. Set up in 1990 it went public five years later and in 2005 took responsibility for running the Scottish grid too, though it doesn’t own the infrastructure north of the border.

The infrastructure it does own includes more than 50 sites across England and Wales, which are maintained by ABB under a service agreement that has been running for more than 17 years, thanks to what the customer describes as “exceptional” performance.

That service agreement requires ABB to stock spare parts, and provide an engineer within 24 hours (on working days) in the event of a failure, but it’s the preventative maintaince that the customer has really come to appreciate because it extends the life of the equipment – an import factor when some of the sites are more than 20 years old.

ABB Solution

When first negotiated, 18 years ago, the contract demanded a four-hour response at any time, but the redundancy, and resilience, of the grid has made that unnecessary. These days, the ABB engineers still respond within four hours during the working day, but at other times a next-day response has proven more than adequate. Nowadays, the contractual response is 24 hours but ABB aims to respond as soon as possible when the problem is deemed urgent.

ABB maintains an extensive stock of spare parts, at a site in Stone, which is conveniently located in the center of England, but it is the skilled ABB engineers who have been able to prevent device failures with preemptive repairs – reducing downtime and expensive outages.

This proactive approach to service has proved extremely beneficial to the customer, who has seen extended lifecycles and reduced maintaince costs.


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Customer benefits

By outsourcing its maintaince National Grid not only ensures that qualified, and experienced, engineers are consistently available, but it also changes a variable cost into a predictable expenditure. A fixed-price contract ensures that faults are quickly attended to, and that preventative maintaince is carried out promptly. It’s in the interests of both parties to ensure faults are kept to a minimum.

ABB advantage

Over the last 17 years, ABB has obviously built up a good deal of knowledge about the systems and operations at National Grid. Having been involved in many of the sites since their inception ABB has a unique insight into their operational and maintaince needs.

But it is the trust between the companies that has prompted National Grid to again renew its maintaince contract. Built up over years, that trust-based relationship enables both companies to work effectively together, understanding what’s needed and delivering it, combining efforts to ensure the grid remains operational without excessive expenditure.

ABB has been maintaining National Grid equipment for almost two decades, and with exemplary quality of service, proactive maintaince to reduce faults, and experience engineers who understand what the customer needs, there’s no reason to think ABB and National Grid won’t be working together for at least another decade.

ABB Substation Automation Service

As a market leader, ABB offers a number of consultative services directly to electrical utilities, manufacturers and contractors, aimed at supporting power system projects, more efficiently and economically.

Contact your local service and sales support team to discuss your requirements further.

For further information visit: http://new.abb.com/network-management/service

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