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GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms has announced its work process management software enabled for use by utilities for Smartgrid solutions.

With Proficy Workflow, utilities can digitise and orchestrate work processes to achieve coordinated, efficient and reliable power delivery.

Proficy Workflow, in conjunction with a Service Oriented Architecture such as Proficy SOA, can orchestrate processes across systems and people, triggering automatic and manual actions based on real-time events – which support the three key Smartgrid functions of delivery optimisation, demand optimisation and asset optimisation.

‘Every utility contains a mix of automated and manual interactions between equipment and personnel,’ said Greg Millinger, product general manager for Proficy Workflow and Proficy SOA for GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms.

‘Often, these processes are not fully documented and include extra steps and resources.

‘As such, they are difficult to adapt to changing needs, which challenges the industry in the journey toward the Smartgrid.

‘As workforces age and retire, utilities are losing the knowledge that is gained from years of experience – as the information has not been captured electronically and put into formal processes,’ he added.

To help avoid potential failures in the grid, Proficy Workflow can provide response, automatic recovery scenarios and improved ‘pre-warning’ systems of potential distribution problems.

The system guides operators through step-by-step instructions to ensure actions comply with defined processes – with validated entry.

Users can capture both automated and manual data entry, and digitise and enforce compliance with policy manuals and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Teams can react immediately to alarms and process exceptions with best practice corrective action and exception management.

Utilities can automatically and dynamically respond to process problems and events, monitoring alarms and out-of-spec conditions from multiple systems.

Proficy Workflow can send tasks to people or systems to correct for problems in real time and escalate as needed.

Utilities can minimise nuisance alarms and take proper action on critical alarms.

Proficy Workflow also helps with the employee attrition facing utilities and loss of expert knowledge and processes.

With Proficy Workflow, utilities can implement Troubleshooting Trees to walk people through potential problems to determine root cause and solution, therefore increasing uptime and reliability.

Troubleshooting Trees can help with repair of equipment as well as in-process coordination.

In addition, utilities can capture the knowledge base of expert workers due to retire, reducing effects of attrition.

Proficy Workflow allows utilities to provide new operators with instructionally sound training and the ability to practice operations tasks and SOPs before actually operating equipment.

Proficy Workflow can orchestrate the exchange of real-time data across the existing utility systems software and hardware infrastructure including HMI/Scada.

The solution decreases costs associated with low-level systems integration and reduces downtime by simplifying data orchestration.

For example, seamless integration of information from a Scada system on top of a wind farm into a Scada system of a larger utility may help determine short-term generation capacity while the transformer temperature profile can concurrently be leveraged by the maintenance management system.

‘With Proficy Workflow, utilities can improve response to real-time events – as an example, taking an automatic corrective action to overcome a cascading failure or automatically reducing loads over time,’ said Millinger.

‘Operations experts have the opportunity to quickly create, deploy and modify work processes for greater agility and improved performance – without requiring IT resources or support – to make every operator an expert,’ he added.

GE Intelligent Platforms

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