NIE upgrades asset tracking software with System Dynamics

3 Aug 2011

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) has deployed new calibration tracking technology, moving from an in-house system to IBM Maximo enterprise asset management software. The project was handled by System Dynamics, the technology and consulting services provider.

NIE is responsible for the planning, development, construction and maintenance of the transmission and distribution network, and for the operation of the distribution network, in Northern Ireland. This network currently comprises 45,000 km of transmission and distribution systems, serving more than 800,000 customers.

The organisation needed to centralise and securely manage all calibration tracking for its calibration assets and had already been using IBM Maximo to manage other parts of its network business. It engaged System Dynamics to migrate its calibration assets from an in-house system to Maximo. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

The project has allowed NIE to have full, accurate and consistent visibility of its calibration assets, give advanced notice of calibration to calibration asset owners, and in so doing ensure full, managed and monitored compliance to its requirements under the ISO 9001 standard. The system schedules the calibration, captures internal calibration results and where necessary, records calibration certification details for external calibrations.

‘A model project’

“System Dynamics has delivered to us a model project during which they migrated the existing calibration asset database to Maximo, including the owner and user of each asset, required frequency of calibration and next calibration date, and assigned a predefined task list (Job Plan) that is required to capture calibration results for the particular instrument using the Maximo Work Order application,” said Sam Gibson, manager of the Asset Group within the NIE Plant & Technical function.

System Dynamics also set up Maximo to use Dashboards to allow NIE to manage, capture and monitor all calibration assets and activities appropriate to each NIE asset owner.

Maximo has been configured to capture NIE and compliance-specific information and uses generic job plans that have defined information requirements appropriate to each calibration asset. It also manages and monitors external calibration requirements and attaches any external calibration certification against the calibration asset through work order tracking and appropriate dashboards.

NIE uses Maximo to schedule the creation of Calibration Work Orders by calibration frequency. System Dynamics created scheduled emails that notify the respective asset owners at six-week and one-week intervals of the calibration assets that must be returned for recalibration. “The Maximo system has been configured to monitor the receipt of the assets and enables NIE to escalate non-receipt where necessary,” added Gibson.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic