Increasing the reliability of the systems and reducing the cost of downtime at EON

In order for the organisation to work more effectively according to industrial standards, a process-based approach was required for E.ON’s coal-fired power plant on the Maasvlakte industrial site. Having been implemented in all factories, what started out as a project on Maasvlakte has now evolved into a continuous process within the worldwide E.ON-organisation. Management focuses on continuous implementation striving to achieve an even higher level of quality.

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The power company E.ON Benelux, a part of the German E.ON, registered at the stock exchange, produces and distributes electricity and heat to energy-intensive business customers, to distribution companies and to private individuals. Moreover, E.ON Benelux distributes gas, purchased on the world market, to private individuals and business customers. Currently, E.ON Benelux in the Netherlands possesses 6 natural gas/coal-fired power stations with a joint capacity of approximately 2,000 MW electrical power. These 2,000 MW do not include the 1,100 MW of the coal-fired power station currently under construction on the Maasvlakte and the takeover of 2 power stations in Belgium with a joint capacity of approx. 1,000 MW.

Roel van der Stok
Manager Asset & Maintenance Management, E.ON

Aside from this, we provide 700 MW of heat to city utilities in the cities of Rotterdam, Leiden and The Hague.

Challenge

Increasing the reliability of the systems and reducing the costs of downtime was PDM's challenge. In order to achieve this, PDM started by mapping out the status of the 3 main processes at the coal red power station on Maasvlakte, namely:

  • Ordering
  • Daily Maintenance
  • Trouble Analysis

Once an inventory had been made of the existing approach, we described per individual process what the ideal situation should look like. Next, we started on the implementation thereof. Since the implementation of the required changes in an existing process is a quite time-consuming and complex affair, all parties concerned first need to be convinced of the usefulness of the changes. This is apart from the fact that the processes do not always immediately run as they should. So such processes require our constant supervision.

As soon as the above-mentioned 3 processes had been successfully completed, we proceeded by describing the power station’s other core processes and incorporated these in the quality system as well in the following years.

After some time, the Maasvlakte project was expanded to the other E.ON. production locations. By early 2009 the twenty core processes were all described in a quality system and so, as such, they are secured within the organisation. Lloyds, the independent certification organisation subsequently certified this quality system according to PAS55.

Roel van der Stok
Manager Asset & Maintenance Management, E.ON

By receiving this certification we are the third production firm in Europe that meets this quality norm. However, we fully realize that the certification is not the be all and end all.

Cooperation

For sound reasons, the focus is presently on ‘granting more attention to collaboration’ and on ‘really doing the things as agreed upon’. The E.ON project of old in the meantime has developed into a continuous process. The process has the management’s uninterrupted attention for the implementation of more improvements, in order to even further raise the quality level. Turning a process of continuous improvement, as described above, into a success requires good mutual communication, clear explanations on possibly implemented actions for improvement, as well as the performance of regular checks.

It is worth mentioning that the objectives have become much clearer and the reports more orderly, such as, for example the Dashboard software for redirecting projects towards the objective.

Worldwide

In line with the above mentioned project, E.ON initiated their worldwide assets management to achieve a single uniform approach based on the ‘best practices’.
Per process the best approach is selected and then implemented at all E.ON's plants worldwide.


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