Best of the Best 2016: TUASPRING

Use of best available automation, technology minimizes staffing costs

Hyflux Energy Pte Ltd’s first generating plant began transmitting power to Singapore’s 230-kV grid in August 2015. The Tuaspring Cogeneration Plant, a combined power and water-desalination facility, delivers 411 MW to the wholesale power market while producing 70-million gallons per day (gpd) of water. The facility is equipped with a Siemens SCC5-4000F single-shaft combined cycle capable of firing both LNG and distillate; generator is hydrogen-cooled and the control system is T3000.

NAES Corp is the O&M contractor, with the highly experienced Dean Motl managing company’s staff onsite. Representing owner Hyflux in plant activities are Kannan Kumar, VP of O&M; Vishnu Senathyrajah, maintenance manager; and Hue Nah Han, assistant VP of IT.

Subject of this entry in CCJ’s 2016 Best Practices Awards program is the pre-commissioning activities at Tuaspring focused on minimizing O&M costs by improving workplace efficiency. As one area of improvement, plant management sought the best available automation and technology to minimize manpower costs.

First step in developing a solution was to analyze the required business processes to determine which software platforms would best serve the plant’s needs. Participants agreed that a fully integrated enterprise asset management system (EAM) should be the core of the IT infrastructure. After researching the options, the evaluation team recommended IBM’s Maximo as the choice that would best suit the owner’s and the plant’s requirements.

Before soliciting bids for the EAM system, staff compiled a detailed bid specification that ensured the EAM platform would support the required business processes using Siemens KKS™, the existing asset structure. Using KKS as the foundational asset structure would enable a centralized and defined hierarchy where the EAM modules would interface.

By design, the KKS system employs a comprehensive hierarchal breakdown structure from the unit to the component level. This resolution allows quick queries of all plant asset information. The plant team worked with the Maximo integration company to design the asset drill-down to match the Siemens-provided KKS asset list (Fig 1).


1. Asset drill-down in Maximo matches the Siemens-provided KKS asset list. Click to enlarge.

With the asset structure established in Maximo, all of the EAM modules use the KKS asset tables connecting the matrix of information. This facilitates automation of the key activities:

      • Barcoded inventory management

• Strategic spares

• Consumables

• Tooling

      • Procurement initiation, interfaced to Oracle ERP

• Contract management

• Vendor management

• Goods receipts

      • Work-order management

• Defects/corrective

• PM/predictive

• Warranty

      • Safety: Permit-to-work process (5 × 5 risk assessments)

• Lock out/tag out (LOTO)

• Confined-space permits

• Hot-work permits

• Working at heights

• Excavation

• Radiographic testing

      • Operations shift logs

Having barcoded inventory management integrated into Maximo allows the facility to maintain strict control of its critical and costly spares. The inventory system includes detailed records of each spare part that can be queried by asset (KKS) number, part number (PN), or drawing position number (Fig 2).


2. Inventory system provides three ways to query detailed spare-parts information. Click to enlarge.

Tuaspring’s plant engineers then undertook the arduous task of linking high-resolution photos of each spare part to facilitate visual ID when researching spare parts needed for work orders (Fig 3). This added detail streamlines work-planning, especially in the case of urgent emergent work.


3. Photos linked to spare-parts inventory streamline work planning. Click to enlarge.

For procurement initiation, the new EAM interfaces to Oracle ERP, which improves workflow by reducing paperwork and expediting approvals. Instead of hand-carrying procurement requests to get approvals, they are routed through Maximo, which digitally transfers the requests to Oracle ERP across the secure corporate network. As an added benefit, Maximo also pushes the plant inventory balance across to the ERP system, providing real-time inventory balance records between the plant site and the finance department.

As inventory spares are consumed, they are charged to the work order. Each work order is linked to an asset (KKS), and each asset is linked to the associated budget code. This integrated matrix back to KKS allows the facility to develop cost reports to the unit, equipment, or component level for either the plant or the finance team.

Before an individual can work at the facility, a permit to work (PTW) is required, and the EAM system also has streamlined this process. The KKS asset structure integrates a completely electronic safe work permit. Standard NAES Safety Management Procedures, customized to reflect local regulations, are used as the administrative design basis for Maximo’s PTW process. In this framework, the process flows seamlessly from the work order to an electronic 5 × 5 risk assessment (RA) and subsequently to a master PTW (Fig 4). The results of the RA identify which additional permits are required—such as LOTO, confined-space, hot-work, etc (Fig 5). The master PTW and associated permits are routed electronically through the approval process.


4. Master permit-to-work and associated permits are routed electronically through the approval process. Click to enlarge.

The electronic PTW function in Maximo also includes a LOTO system, which electronically prints the tags using a dedicated LOTO printer (Fig 6). This significantly decreases the time spent by the operations engineer preparing PTWs.

Tuaspring_figure 5

5, 6. Electronic permit-to-work in Maximo includes a LOTO system (above) which prints the tags using a dedicated LOTO printer (below). Click to enlarge.

Tuaspring_figure 6

The EAM system provides electronic shift logs to replace the traditional hard-copy logbooks (Fig 7). Every shift-log entry is time-stamped and associated with a specific KKS number. Because it’s integrated with the KKS asset structure, operating engineers can raise a defect request directly from the shift-log module. All staff members are alerted to these defect requests when they meet each morning to review the previous day’s shift logs.

Tuaspring_figure 7

7. Electronic shift logs replace the traditional hard-copy logbooks. Click to enlarge.

Finally, the facility has plans to integrate the EAM system with condition-based monitoring data. Plant engineers are exploring the interface of live plant operating data from the plant historian to the EAM. In concept, the data would trigger automated work orders, based upon predetermined parametric values. This progressive automation would further enhance plant reliability by pre-emptively identifying equipment reliability concerns before failures occur.

Results. As energy markets become increasingly competitive, business processes supporting lean and effective staffing plans become ever more critical. Using an EAM system as a central platform allows teams to work together more efficiently and cost-effectively. Although Tuaspring is new to the market, a wholly integrated EAM platform positioned it to compete effectively from Day One.

Along with the EAM, plant personnel designed and integrated fully electronic systems for document control, punch list/warranty tracking, and performance monitoring and security control. By incorporating these systems, Tuaspring has automated nearly all of its plant business processes.

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