The national transmission system operator of the Netherlands is responsible for maintaining the high-voltage grid. In 2002, this operator was among the earliest adopters of professional Asset Management as a new concept. With the support of MaxGrip, and a fact-based vision on asset integrity, MaxGrip provided the knowledge, methodology and the data management for the operator’s long-term policymaking and optimized maintenance strategies. For a start, MaxGrip demonstrated that saving at least 10 percent on maintenance, year on year, was perfectly feasible.
The high-voltage grid is the backbone of the electricity system. Our client manages the grid in the Netherlands and a large part of Germany, always offering sufficient capacity to balance supply and demand. Reaching the highest possible quality at low transmission costs is a continuous challenge. Their most important duty is to safeguard the integrity and reliability of the grid, a large part of which dates from the 1960s. The right maintenance will minimize the risk of disruptions that may have unacceptable consequences for supply security, staff safety, the environment, and society as a whole. At the same time, society demands cost-effective operations.
The goal of Asset Management is to keep your assets safe and in optimal working condition. Maintenance analysis, fault analysis, and stock analysis will substantiate the choice for corrective or preventive maintenance for each asset. By providing the systems and simulation tools, Asset Management also allows for organizational streamlining. With the help of MaxGrip, operators can generate and efficiently manage the data needed for safe and sound strategies.
Our client started an Asset Management project to organize its maintenance in such a way that any risk resulting from technical failure is controlled at acceptable costs. Known as ‘Maintenance based on business goals norms’, the project needed to pinpoint the real potential threats to achieving goals. MaxGrip started the process with a one-year risk analysis for all relevant operating assets, recording all results in new maintenance concepts. All staff involved in maintenance was trained in the risk analysis method to apply it in their daily work.
MaxGrip expert Marcel Morsing: “We explored many what-if scenarios for critical assets. New maintenance concepts were drawn up for 21 substations with voltage levels of 220 and 380kV. These concepts were the basis for the development of a long-term maintenance program. Matching the risk-based maintenance plans to business goals showed the feasibility of a structural saving of at least 10 percent of the annual maintenance costs.’
With a clear picture of the long-term balance between costs and risks, the client accelerated the purchase tender program for EU-certified companies. Creating the tenders was important for the practical application of the new maintenance program, and led to a faster return on the choices made in the new Asset Management process. The company now knows exactly what is necessary to keep the grid in good condition, and what is not. It is able to carry out fewer visual inspections and less preventive maintenance, and more if and when required. Moreover, it can demonstrate how it keeps maintenance affordable without taking irresponsible risks.