2,000 power assets use predictive software to foresee failures; ROI is 6-9 months

Predictive software sees failures before they happen, protecting 2,000 power assets globally, says SmartSignal, with typical return on investment of 6-9 months.

By Control Engineering Staff September 19, 2008

Chicago, IL — SmartSignal Plant Availability and Performance Solution (APS) predicts, diagnoses, and prioritizes equipment failures; it identifies and resolves minor issues before they grow into major problems.

DTE Energy (Detroit

.SmartSignal says that it works with each plant to configure a solution to fit its unique combination of people, process, and technology. Every plant, no matter what its staffing and culture, to easily deploy SmartSignal Plant APS and quickly achieve measureable ROI—often within a matter of weeks, because of the flexibility of the offering, the company says.“SmartSignal Plant Availability and Performance Solution has proven beneficial to us in several ways,” says Mike Bennett, operations manager at Mirant Dickerson, a Washington, DC-area power plant that installed SmartSignal Plant APS in March 2007. “First, the quick notifications we receive have enabled us to plan downtime and prevent equipment failures. Second, the weekly item reporting has enabled us to improve plant work orders and plan corrective maintenance. Third, when we run into a performance issue, we’ll call the SmartSignal team to explore the model and help us identify abnormal trends.”Over the last year, SmartSignal has worked with clients to eliminate thousands of rotating and non-rotating equipment failures. In the process of driving down costs and improving safety, plants employing SmartSignal Plant APS have:• Achieved availability gains of 1% to 5%;• Reduced unplanned maintenance by 5%• Improved heat rate by a 0.25% to 0.5%.Beyond these benefits, says How it works: SmartSignal advanced asset analyticsems that mesh closely with a plant’s O&M processes.Through its Internet collaboration features, SmartSignal works with plant personnel until the problems are investigated and resolved. SmartSignal Plant APS provides the intelligence and guidance needed to predict, diagnose, and prioritize developing failures even before traditional, often difficult-to-maintain, condition-based monitoring tools detect them—which provides plants with critical lead time.Also read:

Get smart with controls

Control Engineering about DTE Energy application. SmartSignal has information about other applications of predictive technologies . Control Engineering provides other stories on predictive maintenance .– Edited by  Mark T. Hoske , editor in chief Control Engineering News Desk Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .