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Challenges

Xcel Energy (Xcel) is a major U.S. electric and natural gas company, with regulated operations across eight Midwestern and Western states. It serves over 3.5 million electricity customers and 2 million natural gas customers. With the power and utilities industry facing many challenges including meeting increased demand while keeping costs down, increased regulations, and a changing workforce, Xcel realized it needed an asset performance management software solution to gather more real-time data on its assets.

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Solutions

Xcel had previously implemented Asset Performance Management (APM) from GE Digital (formerly Meridium Enterprise APM), and while APM was successful at gathering real-time asset data, the industrial application was being used in siloes and was not fully integrated into Xcel’s workflow and event tracking methodology.

The company decided to upgrade, expanding its APM users to approximately 80-100. The asset performance management software and the company had come a long way in six years, and there was a great opportunity to improve productivity.

Xcel began by looking at its current asset performance management processes. Employees at 76 units were currently tracking data through documents, spreadsheets, and the APM solution. With the upgrade, Xcel soon realized it could integrate all of the information into APM easily. That meant the monthly asset performance management process of manually updating a spreadsheet (with approximately 40 tabs) for each unit could become a thing of the past. Besides consolidating information, Xcel was able to utilize a dashboard for asset performance monitoring and evaluation more real-time data across its enterprise. Xcel implemented training to standardize and streamline process for event assessments, root cause analysis (RCA), and recommendations.

Results

By expanding utilization of APM, Xcel almost immediately saw the benefits of asset performance management in the form of productivity enhancements. The company implemented automated tracking and alerts, so if an event assessment had not been approved within 30 days, a reminder was triggered. At 60, 90, and 120 days, those alerts escalated to higher management, if necessary. Previously, this was also tracked on a spreadsheet, which proved hard to manage and made follow-through a challenge.

In one year, Xcel was able to save over 2,000 hours of time on event assessments tracking and workflow. Users were no longer emailing documents and spreadsheets; instead there was one source and view of asset data that allowed Xcel to improve asset performance efficiency and accountability. Also, by having each plant analyze mitigation actions for future events, Xcel can identify and share best practices across its enterprise.

Learn more about GE’s capabilities in Asset Performance Management.

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