|By Marketwired .||
|May 1, 2014 05:49 PM EDT||
NEW ORLEANS, LA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/01/14 -- Year after year, power plants come out of their outage seasons looking for ways to strengthen their planning and scheduling tools and strategies. Technology, communication, and a management approach are some of the factors that affect how power generation professionals achieve the best possible outage results.
Mike Crosson, Director of Planning & Scheduling at Calpine Corporation recently spoke with marcus evans about key topics to be discussed at their upcoming 13th Annual Outage Management for Power Plants (OMPP) Conference, July 29-31, 2014 at the Astor Crowne Plaza in New Orleans, LA.
What does your Planning/Scheduling group look like at the corporate level?
MC: The planning and scheduling efforts at the corporate level are similar to at the plant level only multiplied. Outage Services has responsibility for the turbine and generator major maintenance portions of the outages or most work on the turbine and generator proper. The plants are responsible for the HRSGs and other equipment or auxiliary systems. Most plants have some type of outage every few months. Some are very short and require little corporate involvement except to track the events. Some require extensive planning and coordination between the turbine and other site work. A large combined cycle plant has a turbine outage once or maybe twice a year and a smaller or peaking type plant may have a turbine outage every 2-5 years.
At the fleet level, there are 60+ forecasted outages per year. Our fleet consists of 30+ makes and models and as many different configurations as there are plants. The magnitude of volume and variability make managing the fleet a different exercise than that faced by a plant team managing only their own facility. The main difference between a plant planning project and corporate planning project is the intimacy factor. A plant becomes very familiar with the issues and details of their facility. Corporate planning is much more dependent on others and system information.
Cost efficiency for outage management is a major topic of discussion in the industry. Do you incorporate real-time budget tracking into your planning/scheduling system? If so, what does the process look like?
MC: Tracking in and of itself does not lead to efficiency during an outage. However, tracking repeatable scopes can lead to efficiency improvements. I've found tracking costs are primarily for a control function or after-the-fact accounting function -- both are needed, but tracking is not typically used effectively to reduce costs. If effort does not reduce outage cost or increase sales, then by definition it is not a high value activity. To estimate the level of tracking to be effective, it should be set to the minimal amount to meet regulations and increased proportional to the level of opportunity of making cost or sales improvements.
A corporate-based outage group deals with multiple plants that are managed by different entities. How do you go about collaborating with plant employees who answer to a different authority?
MC: Both the corporate and plant outage teams have the same ultimate goal of getting the unit operating quickly and well. There are budgetary concerns that sometimes arise, but Calpine has internal Divisions of Responsibility (DOR) that address most of these concerns. Also the turbine work is typically critical path for the plant so this helps us to focus on the issues and resolutions with minimal consternation.
How has new software and other technology affected your planning process?
MC: There are a couple aspects to this that apply to planning as well as business in general. I'll speak to the use of technology such as texting & e-mails. Electronic messaging has replaced conversation and traditional meetings with agendas, notes and summary action items. It has made the passing of information much easier but in many ways it has hindered communication.
- A single issue can generate 20 or more e-mails with different conversation lines. The time to read, understand, file and comment via typing either on the computer or smart phone is time-consuming and singularly effective.
- High volume electronic traffic leads to some e-mails not being read in a timely manner, if at all.
- Facial and body language is missing and leads to misunderstanding a situation, intent or instruction.
- Long e-mail trains can have buried details that can be missed.
- Finally, there are the always present errors caused by poor typing, auto correction features, and texting language creeping into business applications.
All of these can lead to errors in scoping and other planning functions that can be avoided with meetings or even conference calls (provided that people are not multi-tasking during the conversation).
Once outage season ends each year, what is your process to plan for the next year? From past outage seasons, what are some takeaways that have been implemented into your strategy for the following year?
MC: At the fleet level, there are two outage seasons a year, the spring and fall. Therefore, Calpine is in constant planning mode. Calpine is organized with an Outage Operations group and Planning & Scheduling group. The Planning and Scheduling group is focused on the next season and the 5-year forecast, while the Outage Operations group is focused on executing the immediate season's work. Both groups work closely together throughout the year and this has led to multiple improvement initiatives.
The Operations group conducts post-season reviews of selected outages in order to perform a "deep dive" into the project's performance including resources, tools, parts, finance, schedule and quality. Calpine recently initiated a customer feedback loop to understand the customer's perspective more thoroughly. With a couple hundred events being performed annually, it is difficult to improve every shortcoming. Therefore, this data is being captured, categorized, assessed for value/impact and used to develop improvement projects that will have the highest impact to the company.
Michael has been in the turbine/generator maintenance industry for 16 years with both Siemens and Calpine Corporation starting as a Field Engineer, Project Manager, Service Manager and now Director. His experience has involved Nuclear, Coal and Gas Turbine outages both domestically and abroad. Calpine Corporation is a power producer with approximately 29 Gigawatt portfolio of operating plants throughout the US. Michael is responsible for the tools, processes and people who perform outage forecasting, scheduling and planning for approximately 50 major maintenance outages annually as well as various outage related fleet programs.
For more information regarding the highly anticipated marcus evans 13th Annual OMPP Conference, please check out the conference website or contact Tyler Kelch, Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR, marcus evans at 312-894-6310 or [email protected].
About marcus evans
Marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.
Join fellow Power Generation Professionals in the marcus evans Energy LinkedIn Group!
Marketing Coordinator, Media & PR
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jan. 19, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 6,313
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:30 PM EST Reads: 3,624
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,288
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Jan. 19, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 3,099
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,754
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Jan. 19, 2017 04:45 PM EST Reads: 3,470
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jan. 19, 2017 04:15 PM EST Reads: 5,402
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Jan. 19, 2017 04:00 PM EST Reads: 5,427
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,790
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
Jan. 19, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,031
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
Jan. 19, 2017 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,055
@ThingsExpo has been named the ‘Top WebRTC Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @ThingsExpo ranked as the number one ‘WebRTC Influencer' followed by @DevOpsSummit at 55th.
Jan. 19, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 4,780
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,669
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 5,162
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Jan. 19, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 3,532