Digitalization. The term is almost a buzzword. So, what does it really mean and how can renewable energy companies benefit from it?
Digital technology and digitalization are key enablers of the clean energy transition, their transformative potential is enormous. Yet, to realize that potential companies in the energy sector have to start treating digitalization like any vital business process.
“Excel spreadsheets are not really digitalization, they are just digital forms of paper documents, and they are not really structured” says Richard Distl, Solution Support Engineer and Business Partner of BaxEnergy.
The widespread presence in Austria allows our partner to work closely with BaxEnergy’s customers, receiving precious insights about the needs and the problems they face every day.
“95% of our customers in Austria are using Energy Studio Pro® and AssetStack® combined, because they understand they are complementary tools which allow to have a complete vision of what is going on in the assets both from a data analysis and an organizational point of view” continues Richard Distl.
Digitalization and O&M
The correct operation and maintenance of a power plant is complex and requires the coordination of decentralized activities performed by internal teams and external suppliers, as well as the exchange of documents. Information is scattered across people and systems, and depend on many external inputs, applications and templates which may result in losing time and precious information. So, if companies really want to invest in a growth strategy, they have to digitize their processes first.
“I think digital transformation is a goal every company in the world should set and different companies are at different stages in that path” says Richard Distl. “More and more companies are starting to think about the right structure to move data into databases. They are suddenly aiming to transform their organization into a digital one”.
“Companies can either adapt their processes or use a solution which is customizable around their needs”
There are two ways for companies to look at operations: they can either adapt their processes to the products offered by the market or they can use a solution which is completely customizablearound their needs. AssetStack® is open enough to do both. Richard Distl explains that “companies don’t have to change their organizations, we combine our strengths with their strengths and even make additional processes. This is BaxEnergy’s philosophy behind it.”
“AssetStack is open enough to cover any missing piece in the digitalization process”
The workload of an operator is approximately only 40% data analysis and reporting duties but the bigger part of 60% is taking care of assets and small infrastructures. As trivial as it may sound, grass is constantly growing around turbines and it is necessary to know when to cut it or to plan when to do it. With an asset management tool like AssetStack®, operators can benefit of a ticketing system which reminds them that “grass has to be cut” and even allows them to take picture to report the task has been completed. Or they can keep track of gear part exchanges.
“Digitalization is process thinking and in each step of the process companies need to decide what master tool they want to use. This can be different from company to company but it’s important to have a tool which automatically interacts with other specialist tools. AssetStack® is open enough to cover whatever missing piece in this process: it is easy to use, easy to configure and easy to adapt to almost any use-case and it plays a very important role for companies to be at the forefront of digitalization” concludes Richard Distl.