Challenges Involving Aging Equipment

Utility companies continue to face challenges involving future outlook, governmental regulations all while providing safe, secure, reliable and reasonably cost electricity to consumers.  Aging equipment used in the distribution of electricity is faced with a unique set of challenges including: population growth, technological advancements, personnel reductions and becoming obsolete.

Proper reinvestment strategies need to be in place to facilitate the challenges that are faced in making sure that equipment remains effective for the increasing consumer demands.  Operation and maintenance budgets should consider creating a comprehensive plan involving repairing, refurbishing and replacing equipment as it progresses through its life cycle.

Each piece of equipment used in the distribution of electricity deteriorates at its own pace.   Strategic planning needs to be put in place considering where the current equipment in place is within its own life cycle.    For instance, a piece that is fairly new may only need to be budgeted for general maintenance where as mid life cycle equipment should include budgeting for refurbished parts and labor to repair it.  While pieces at the end or nearing the end should budget for complete replacement or refurbishment.

Electrical distribution performed with underperforming, unreliable or faulty equipment puts the entire operation and distribution process at risk.  Without a detailed maintenance plan in place, in regards to continued equipment care companies risk employee safety, expense equipment damage, untimely equipment repairs or replacements and/or facility downtime.

Facilities of all sizes, including electrical utility companies must detail for their facility staff an action plan assessing and monitoring current equipment performance.  A thorough proposal must include a plan that takes into consideration modifications and corrective actions.

The INPO, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, set in place a structure to help ensure equipment dependability.  This is known as AP-913.  Six major areas involving equipment consistency create the AP-913 including:

1)      Essential Component Identification

2)      Performance Monitoring

3)      Remedial Actions

4)      Continued Equipment Consistency Development

5)      Life Cycle Management and Long Term Planning

6)      Preventative Maintenance Implementation

Many companies, not just electrical utility companies, are putting actions in place to follow AP-913.  It is a common belief that predictions can be made by analyzing historical data kept on manufacturing equipment.  Using this information can help companies gather information on when to perform general maintenance.  Predictions help prevent equipment failure and downtime as well.  If certain parts fail during the same time frame in the equipments life cycle companies can decide ahead of time the best course of action to provide minimal downtime.   Should the part that fails be sent in to be refurbished, should it be replaced with a new surplus or refurbished component or should the equipment be replaced all together.

Equipment replacement is usually a last resort because it tends to be cost prohibitive.  Repairing equipment is most often the likely option.  Certain equipment, because of new technology can become obsolete.  If this dies occur new surplus parts are difficult to find. Refurbished electrical components help conquer this dilemma.

With proper planning and systems in place companies will be able to minimize the impact of equipment failure.  Proper maintenance and preventative repairs are a huge element in keeping companies properly functioning while operating within the given budget.

J&P Electrical is a full service electrical equipment company.  At J&P, we supply contractors, end users and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned and obsolete electrical equipment. Contact us today at https://jpelectricalcompany.com for all of your bus plug, circuit breaker, switchboard, fuses, disconnects and more.