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A scalable service offering maximizes plant performance and efficiency

Power generation customers face numerous challenges today. Two of the biggest are coping with the impact of renewable energy on power grids, as well as price and cost pressures resulting from flat or declining global electricity consumption and overcapacity.

The changing power model: birth of a new relationship

The impact of renewable generation on the power plant operating model is profound. Many baseload power plants are now operating in more intermittent, adaptable and fl exible modes. More peaking or variable modes of operation mean operators have to be able to efficiently modulate the generation process on demand.

Given this changing scenario, the relationship between power generation operators and automation suppliers is moving towards a more integrated, partnership approach, in which suppliers develop deep ties with customers and help them to operate their plants more efficiently, reduce costs and plan the best long term operational solutions.

The changing power generation sector means customers need more than a pure supplier of spare parts, onsite works, repairs, and system upgrades. Today’s ABB service offering encompasses long-term pre-packaged standard maintenance contracts with a set of different service options to fi t each customer-specifi c need.

How to better equip plant operators to face new challenges

For power generation plants ABB has developed ServiceGridSM, a comprehensive life cycle service delivery system supporting power generation facilities. ServiceGrid solutions match the operational and maintenance needs of a power generation facility, transforming routine maintenance tasks and freeing resources to proactively focus on power production. This solution can help extend asset life, complement technical resources, protect financial and intellectual investment and maximize plant reliability. The ABB offering is the collective result of experiences with customers over many years, distilled and condensed into a huge collection of experience and best practices, enabling ABB to help customers improve plant operations by working closely together.

This is really integrated service, a set of contracts with different scopes and purposes. They are prepackaged, and although options can be added to the package, the basic contents do not change, and because they are standardized, ABB can provide the best offering tailored to each power plant to maximize the plant availability and lower overall costs.

ServiceGrid approaches, benefits, and advantages

ServiceGrid is a good example of how ABB can help customers fi nd better ways of operating their power plants, matching service level to their needs, from asset maintenance to ensure steady performance, to asset upgrades that ensure the customer has the latest technology at the best cost, to strategies for better asset operation.

As part of the ABB community, customers receive immediate advantages in terms of planning system investments, improving daily operations, and ensuring protection against unplanned events. ABB service helps customers expand their focus from day-to-day operations so they can better navigate tough markets and difficult issues.

The assets at a plant are treated differently at different stages of their life cycle. For example, a customer may not want to invest further in a plant, but still would like to keep it operating. ABB Service can help prioritize investments to bring about the best outcomes. Environmental concerns can also make investment decisions more difficult, so the closer a relationship with the customer and the earlier it begins, the better ABB can help the customer decide what is best for his asset.

ServiceGrid delivers these benefits through a comprehensive choice of four different levels of participation - Core, Select, ProActive, and Enterprise Core. These levels provide customers with a series of essential service products for plants that are self-maintaining, have limited budgets or limited running time, but still require services that only an OEM can deliver.

The service products included into ServiceGrid range from software updates and DCS on-site support to repairs and spare parts. Select builds on the Core foundation and increases the extent of ABB’s support. It provides a range of services for customers who want to continue to work on their own but who also want the peace of mind provided by a global OEM. In addition to the products and services provided by ABB in Core, it includes aspects like software upgrades and annual life cycle reports.

The third and fourth levels – ProActive and Enterprise – are premium programs for customers who recognize the benefits of a service partnership with a global OEM. Both levels include all the products available in Core and Select, with the addition of high-value services like a designated technical account manager (TAM), application/process support, and quarterly reports and reviews. ProActive is for customers who wish to partner ABB on a single plant; Enterprise is for companies with multiple sites who want to reap the benefits of ServiceGrid across their entire fleet. A complete range of program options is available for each of the four levels, such as power plant tuning, energy efficiency assessments, cyber security services, and turbine control support and services.

Through collaborative life cycle management planning with the customer, ABB can deliver a state-of-the-art solution to maintain customer assets, extend their life time and optimize their performance with new service contract solutions that integrate an entire system lifecycle into a five or 10-year plan. In this case, ABB and the customer look at the installed base over five or 10 years and decide what needs to be upgraded and when. The result is a blueprint of small, seamless upgrades that are done regularly, instead of having to deal with one giant and potentially disruptive upgrade project.

Strategic services concentrate on helping our customers to achieve their business results through collaboration to identify opportunities and implement services for continuous improvement at various steps along the customer's value chain. This result is a long-term, performance-based agreement intended to reduce total lifecycle costs.

ServiceGrid is structured to deliver five principal benefits:

– Maximize plant performance and efficiency
– Minimize the risk of unplanned and unexpected outages
– Extend the life cycle of ABB products and systems
– Complement the plant’s existing technical and service resources
– Protect the customer’s financial and intellectual investments in ABB technologies

 

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In Control 02 | 2015

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