Getting strategic about substation spare parts

Published: Tue 25 Mar 2014
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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Spare parts are a key aspect of keeping any system running -- including electricity distribution networks. But often it isn't easy for network operators to manage their inventory of spare parts -- especially the high- and medium-voltage switchgear equipment used in substations.

When utilities don't have enough of the correct spare switchgear parts -- or when these spares aren't stored in the right places or loaded onto the right field service trucks; or when manufacturer lead times are too long; or when utilities carry too much spare parts inventory -- maintaining substation reliability can get surprisingly expensive

Also, it's not always simple to figure out how to efficiently manage spare parts inventory. Usually the data needed to make sound strategic decisions is not all in one place; nor is it easy to view and understand.

For decades, Siemens has helped utilities all over the world understand how to manage all of their resources efficiently -- including substation spare parts. Siemens experts can help your utility save money while enhancing operational reliability and efficiency through the Strategic Spare Parts Solution (SSPS).

The Siemens SSPS consulting service provides utilities with tailored recommendations for spare parts management, based on detailed assessments and analysis.

Our SSPS experts guide utilities through an assessment and planning process that can include any combination of these steps:

1. Installed base inventory, including maintenance status info and spare parts availability from manufacturers. This data supports reliable decisions regarding substations and other assets.

2. Inspection of spare parts storage. This helps spot common problems, such as parts which have deteriorated in storage, or which have become obsolete (such as the 8D2 double-pressure circuit breaker pictured above).

3. Spare parts recommendations. By assessing the likelihood that certain spare parts in your inventory might fail, as well as delivery lead times and general parts availability, we can help minimize the risk of failure and its many possible negative impacts.

4. Substation condition assessment. Toward the end of the SSPS process, Siemens can generate a detailed report of the status of equipment in your substations -- with short, medium and long-term recommendations.

5. Strategic Spares Solution. Based on the results of the previous steps, Siemens can generate a customized offer for strategic spare parts, ready to purchase. Additionally, Siemens can offer optional warehouse storage.

...Regardless of which vendor ultimately supplies your substation switchgear spare parts, the SSPS process can help your utility gain a comprehensive understanding of your long-term needs spare parts -- as well as a concrete plan for meeting those needs cost effectively.

Need more information about SSPS? See the SSPS fact sheet. Questions, please comment below or contact us to get directly in touch with our experts.

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