Manitoba Hydro has capital assets-in-service at original cost exceeding $13 billion, making it one of the largest electrical utilities in Canada and the lowest-cost provider of domestic electrical rates in Canada. The company has a generating capacity of 5,500 megawatts, of which 98% is produced by self-renewing, water-powered generators. Most of the company’s electricity is generated from stations located on the Nelson River, in the northern part of the province.
Challenges & Issues
Root cause analysis (RCA) is a significant contributor to assuring that unplanned outages at the critical DC distribution link at Dorsey are minimized. If the Dorsey Converter Station is not operated and maintained properly, it has the potential to bottleneck generation in northern Manitoba. Forced outages are also expensive – roughly ten times more expensive than that of a planned outage. For example, if the Dorsey Station plans an outage for one of their smallest valve groups with a 300-megawatt capacity, the outage costs the company approximately $1,000 per hour. If there is an unplanned outage for the same valve group, the cost is $10,000 per hour.Information pertaining to the company’s root cause analyses was captured through an assemblage of documents, spreadsheets, pictures, emails, etc. Recommendations resulting from analyses were entered into the company’s CMMS as work requests and tracked through the use of Excel® spreadsheets. Because of a lack of consistency in how information was gathered, stored and tracked, the groups found it difficult to find complete information on previous analyses, hampering their ability to eliminate chronic performance related problems.
The performance group’s vision was to have all information associated with their HVDC equipment failure investigations reside in one safe, secure, central location providing web or desktop client access for all users. Additionally, the company had plans to move from their current CMMS system to SAP, so their RCA solution would have to seamlessly integrate with the company’s future maintenance management system. SAP® recommended Meridium (a SAP strategic business partner) as offering a root cause analysis solution, PROACT® for Meridium, capable of meeting Manitoba Hydro’s RCA solution specifications, as well as offering a seamless SAP interface.
Using the PROACT® for Meridium root cause analysis work process and application, analysts are now guided through the steps for documenting an event failure, capturing failure modes, determining root causes, implementing recommendations and tracking for results. This new approach to RCA has offered Manitoba Hydro:
- A more disciplined and consistent approach to RCA
- A full documentation of the RCA process
- Consistency in performing analyses using the RCA methodology, as well as the documentation generated as a result of analyses
- Elimination of chronic problems using recommendations addressing the true root cause of the problem
“Budget and schedule are very important when implementing a project. The PROACT® for Meridium project is one of the very few projects that I have seen completed on schedule, and under budget. I think that this was in part due to our Meridium team working well with our IT staff. Because of the success of the company’s RCA program, Manitoba Hydro is implementing Meridium Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) and Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) solutions.”Lawrence Janzen, Performance Analyst, Dorsey Converter Station, Manitoba HydroAPM Advisor: