New software detects substation problems before they become failures

CORVALLIS, Ore., March 4, 2005 — Digital Inspections has announced a new software module to help utilities better utilize data for detecting equipment problems in advance. The Cascade Algorithm & Rules Engine (CARE) module is available to Cascade users and users of other maintenance management databases.

“By constructing and scheduling algorithms based on nameplate data, inspection data, realtime data from SCADA, diagnostic results from dissolved gas analysis, power factor tests, breaker timing, and other test equipment, utilities can potentially see problems in equipment before they actually manifest themselves as failures,” said C.C. Wilson, president of Digital Inspections. “Although CARE integrates cleanly with Cascade, CARE can be configured as an independent tool. Organizations that use another product for their maintenance or work management can still use CARE for monitoring real-time data flows, sending alerts to specified users as desired.”

As the control center for a variety of information, CARE allows integration of real time data from sources like PI (OSIsoft) as well as data from Transformer Oil Analyst (from DeltaX Research), Doble Test Assistant (Doble Engineering) and other critical equipment data directly into mathematical calculations designed to identify equipment with potential impending problems. With CARE, utilities can construct their own formulas combining both manually collected and automated data that define formula-based events for CARE. These algorithms then act as a “watcher” for the data flowing in, allowing users to focus on the important events rather than spending their time trying to sort through the flood of data they have. When an event occurs (because an algorithm reaches its threshold) users can then choose how to react: send an alert, create a maintenance order, or dispatch a crew.

“CARE allows users to take ‘snapshots’ of data at specified times, creating what amounts to an “automated inspection” capability,” Wilson said. “CARE gives utilities for the first time the knowledge needed to optimize trade-offs between financial performance, operational performance and risk exposure. It is a logical extension of our focus on equipment health and improving utilities’ ability to ward off equipment failure with solid useable data. It takes utilities as close to the future as is currently possible.”

The Digital Inspections Cascade system was designed to provide electric utilities with the finest asset management and maintenance system available for substation, transmission, distribution, system protection, and generation maintenance and operations. The features contained in Cascade are based on Digital Inspection’s 20 years experience with its utility customer base.

About Digital Inspections
Digital Inspections, a KEMA company, creates field and office-based equipment health systems exclusively for utility maintenance and reliability management. www.DigitalInspections.com

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