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Guides operators through standard procedures and emergency events
GE Intelligent Platforms announced a new product, Proficy Water Operations, a work process management (WPM) application specific to water/wastewater utilities that builds on capabilities of the company’s Proficy Workflow solution. By guiding operators through procedures, WPM reduces risk and costs, improves quality and eases compliance by minimizing operator errors and tracking responses. Furthermore, to minimize the effect of a “brain drain” that many infrastructure industries will face when their expert operators soon retire, the solution captures and digitizes expert knowledge—ensuring that best practices become standard operating procedures.
“Operations management solutions are growing in demand as municipalities seek to streamline plant operations,” said Alan Hinchman, infrastructure market director for GE Intelligent Platforms. “Proficy Workflow brings together the principle of continuous improvement and the critical next step of electronically documenting standard operating procedures. Together, customers are enabled to prepare for the future, understand the best practices of yesterday, while optimizing operations today.”
With Proficy Water Operations, utilities can easily document processes, transfer institutional knowledge and drive critical consistency and predictability into the plant. The solution allows digitization of manual and automated processes with one tool across the entire facility – from plant operators and maintenance teams to field crews and leadership. Operators want the right information to do their jobs. With documented processes and electronic Standard Operating Procedures (eSOPs), every operator is an expert with step-by-step instructions guiding the right actions.
“Optimizing operations requires a work process management system to define, model and coordinate each utility’s workflows and resources,” said Matt Wells, general manager, Work Process Management Solutions. “A WPM system digitizes procedures to guide operators, track actions for reporting and align plant processes for rapid response to normal and unusual events. Proficy Workflow applications drive proper notification and action by triggering corrective workflows and tasks through integrated real-time transactions.”
With GE’s Water Operations solution, utility operators can also bridge the gap between operations and maintenance – finally achieving real-time, condition-based asset management. When an out-of-spec event takes place in the SCADA, water operations can trigger a work process to interface with the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), secure a work order number, send specific instructions including GIS location information to an operator, and facilitate the corrective action to remediate a problem. Water Operations can then close out the work order with the CMMS, whether plant or GIS centric, and record the actions taken for historical records. This reduces the need for operators making scheduled rounds and device readings – and automates the process of moving from condition detected to creating work requests and the right corrective action. The result: less downtime, maintenance and risk and lower costs.
Furthermore, utilities around the world can benefit from GE’s growing library of water/wastewater eSOPs – which speeds digitization and implementation. The library includes digitized eSOPs such as turbidity, filter operation, security, caustic chemical feed and more.
“Proficy Workflow allows us to make every operator an expert with interactive, step-by-step instructions,” said Frank Fisher, DPW Information Systems administrator for Waterford Township, Mich. “In turn, we can decrease downtime, maintenance and costs across operations, reduce troubleshooting time and risk, and capture knowledge of our best operators before they retire. We can also record and track work processes for compliance.
“If you have an operational process, it can most certainly benefit from a Workflow designed to monitor abstract and varied functionality to ensure proper operation and efficiency. No doubt it takes work at the beginning to develop them, but when they are in place, hundreds of DPW staff hours are saved and effective and consistent operations are ensured,” said Fisher.