ENMAX Deploys Asset Management Best Practices to Keep the Lights on for Calgary Residents

A wholly owned subsidiary of the City of Calgary, the ENMAX group of companies (“ENMAX”) safely generates, transmits, distributes, and sells energy to Albertans. More than 1,800 employees help bring electricity, natural gas and renewable energy to more than 900,000 metered sites across Alberta. ENMAX Power Corporation (EPC) owns, operates, and maintains the electricity transmission and distribution system in and around Calgary.

When your mission is to provide Calgarians with safe and reliable power, it goes without saying that avoiding downtime is mission-critical. Among comparable Canadian utility companies, ENMAX Power Corporation is consistently in the top quartile for reliability. Over the past 11 years, ENMAX Power estimates it has avoided 30 million minutes of customer outage time. This has been accomplished through operating procedures and distribution automation technology that restores power to customers quickly in the event of an outage.

With 299 km of transmission lines and 8,301 km of distribution lines, EPC needs to support Calgary's growth and invest in modernizing its infrastructure where required. This includes repairing or retrofitting current assets as well as building, acquiring or developing facilities that meet customer and marketplace demand. In 2015, the director of Transmission and Distribution Asset Management identified the recently established
ISO 55000 set of standards for asset management as a potential tool to improve the reliability of EPC’s assets and service level to the region. A Life Cycle Institute public class introducing the ISO 55000 Standard to asset management professionals served as the starting point for ENMAX to determine the next steps on its continuous improvement journey. The next step was for Life Cycle Engineering reliability experts to conduct two workshops at ENMAX offices to increase the knowledge of best practices in these areas:

  • Root Cause Analysis, covering the discipline of resolving failures and sustaining performance
  • Risk-based Asset Management, covering the fundamental building blocks for implementing a
    cradle-to-grave asset management program

EPC’s goal, following the ISO 55000 course and Risk-based Asset Management workshop, was for four teams to write asset management plans (AMPs) for wooden poles, underground cables, breakers and transformers. To provide the teams with expert coaching, EPC engaged the support of one of LCE’s senior consultants to meet with each team in Calgary, review the AMPs, and provide constructive feedback.

As EPC continued to build its use of risk-based asset management practices, it reached out again for help with developing an asset criticality process that would support prioritizing reliability efforts on critical equipment and failures that could impact its operation. As part of this effort LCE’s subject matter expert
(SME) worked with EPC’s asset management team on three occasions, with time allowed in-between visits to allow the ENMAX team to secure the needed sharing and approvals to move on to the next development stage.

The SME worked with the ENMAX team to develop a criticality process, review and discuss the concept of asset management control strategies, and develop a criticality assessment tool and criteria. He facilitated meetings with the ENMAX cross-functional teams to review assets against the approved criteria, identify the most critical systems, and calculate asset criticality.

The project scope included asset classifications which are part of the four primary asset systems within the ENMAX power distribution network. The methodology included three steps:

  1. Evaluating the four asset systems: transmission system, substation system, distribution systems and network system
  2. Establishing the asset classification evaluation criteria: public safety, spare lead time / availability, single point failure, reputation impact, asset replacement value, regulatory impact, planned utilization and environmental impact
  3. Calculating criticality: establishing the criticality formula, determining criticality ranking and loading discrete data.

Once the ENMAX teams had socialized the criticality results with key stakeholders and secured the required approvals of the rankings, LCE’s SME returned to Calgary to facilitate development of a Preventive Maintenance Optimization process. This improved process ensured that maintenance would be appropriately focused on the most critical assets.

Having reliable power requires having reliable assets to generate, transmit and distribute that power. Life Cycle Engineering is proud to have helped ENMAX meet its commitment to keep the lights on for the residents and business of Calgary.

To learn more about LCE's ongoing naval support,
visit the Asset Management Systems web page.

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