A friend of mine does a lot of writing for an antifriction-bearing maker. The manufacturer, he says, loves to include the phrase “mission critical” when describing their bearings’ role in applications like helicopter gear boxes. Certainly the bearings ARE mission critical in that and other applications ... but then, what mechanical component in a helicopter gear box isn’t critical?
Power generation facility managers often describe their turbine as being their most critical asset. It’s certainly the most expensive, but there are several other system elements that are just as important. You could call the turbine the heart of the power gen facility, but the distributed control system (DCS) is the brain. And the smarter the brain, the greater the performance of the turbine and overall plant.
Ensuring the health and performance of the DCS is the goal of ABB’s Power Generation Care service, which replaces ServiceGrid. With Power Generation Care, we’ve responded to customer feedback to create an offering that better matches their needs, and also extends the same type of care to many of the moving pieces managed by the DCS, including the turbine, drives, motors, transformers, and other assets related to the plant or process.
1. What does Power Generation Care do that ServiceGrid didn't?
ServiceGrid focused mainly on maintaining the DCS, and it did a great job of optimizing its performance and ensuring reliability. But ‒ back to our brain analogy ‒ it only addressed brain health instead of the whole body ... the assets connected to the DCS. That’s what Power Generation Care does. It also supports the performance and reliability of the ABB breakers, transformers, drives, and other components as well.
2. Is it still a bundle of services like ServiceGrid?
Power Generation Care is the latest iteration of our evolving approach to service. We used to have a total à la carte offering, but the resulting service agreements were complicated and inefficient. ServiceGrid offered customers a good/better/best approach of service bundles. This was a simpler, easier-to-manage approach for both the customers and ABB, but the bundles didn’t combine things in a logical way for many customers.
Power Generation Care’s three levels of bundled services are framed along different levels of customer needs.
- Essential: The no-bells-and-whistles service offering of maintenance and sustainability programs to keep the system online.
- Enhance: For customers who want to improve the performance of their operations over time through upgrades to newer technology.
- Encompass: A proactive maintenance plan for customers interested in getting the most out of their facility, including features to optimize operations and help improve key metrics like run rate, ramp rate, and heat rate.
The first two options are actually a lot like ServiceGrid. Customers won’t see a whole lot of changes except for some additions we think are essential. Encompass is entirely different. With it, ABB assumes more responsibility and risk, including elements like extended warranty and parts management.
3. How does Power Generation Care address software maintenance and upgrades?
Power Generation Care is a big step up from ServiceGrid because customers now can select from three levels of software support.
Power Generation Care provides a life-cycle-management approach that addresses the dynamic demands of your plant and ensures your automation system can efficiently support these demands throughout the life of your plant. It ensures your automation system will continue to provide reliable service and, just as importantly, enables you to get the most out of your automation and power generation assets.