Dynamic industry trends and continuous innovation mean that utilities companies cannot afford to stand still.
And the latest buzzword also affects them:
Every industry must go digital and utilities need to transform themselves into a digital utility to stay in the game.
Because technology trends, such as hyperconnectivity, super computing, cloud computing, smarter world, and cyber security will change the entire business in future.
New business models emerge and ongoing automation affects existing business processes. These trends will also change the ways we work and collaborate.
Just one example are the increasing number of sensors that will be attached to utilities’ assets in the near future.
These mean that the health of a transformer can be permanently tracked and huge amounts of asset life data are stored in SAP HANA. Together with data from the Asset Intelligence Network, the asset life cycle profile is updated and enriched by analytical models running on SAP’s digital core S/4 HANA that predict the end of life of the asset.
As a result, capital-intensive assets such as transformers can now be included in future financial portfolios at the right time. This will better balance the necessary capital expenditures of a utility.
On the other hand, industry trends, such as decarbonization will force utilities to invest in a low-carbon policy through improved fossil generation efficiency, applied carbon capture and storage technology, and substitution using CO2-free generation.
Ongoing decentralization however, will turn power supply into a two-way power flow within distributed networks with a mixed generation portfolio, including renewables.
The rise of renewable production and the construction and operation of renewable power plants also require advanced measures to guarantee worker safety.
New types of risks need to be captured and incorporated. New technologies, like wearables and 3D printers will change current business processes and mean it is easier to operate assets safely and reliably.
As an example, wind turbines in on-shore wind parks are equipped with sensor technology. These immediately detect any imbalances and automatically identify and inform the relevant person who can deal with the incident.
On arrival at the top of the turbine, the technician is warned acoustically that a security check has to be performed. The check is initiated and executed using digital gloves in combination with smart glasses.
SAP Visual Enterprise also provides the technician with a 3D model of the object to be maintained. During the inspection, they also identify a faulty injection molding part that needs to be exchanged. Looking for a substitute within SAP’s Asset Intelligence Network the technician finally is able to print the part in 3D from their service vehicle, thereby saving valuable time.
SAP can play an important role in helping utilities to transform into a digital enterprise, stay competitive, and deliver against their business goals.
Experience how SAP solutions for Operational Efficiency for Plants and Grids can support your journey to becoming a digital utility.
This topic will be subject of a half-day conference workshop at the International SAP Conference for Utilities in The Hague, Netherlands.
Monday April 11, 2016 (14:00 – 17:30) – Workshop 8 “Achieving Operational Efficiency for Plants and Grids by Managing the Capital Lifecycle and Establishing Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) and Work Permit Management“. Further details and registration -> Link
Stay tuned for more details, and remember to sign up for the conference!
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