Flexible service solutions

2014-03-12 - ABB offers a complete portfolio of flexible service solutions that meets the diverse requirements of customers, their plants and the market conditions in which they operate.

Flexibility is key in today’s power generation industry, where the effects of the global economic slowdown, the uncertainty surrounding the future of nuclear power generation, and the escalating growth of renewables are transforming many electricity markets.

There are other drivers of market change at work as well. In developed economies, power generators are extending the operating life of their plants longer than originally planned. Many of these plants were designed to operate constantly at full load; now their output has to be frequently adapted in response to the fluctuating production of wind and solar power. In many countries the workforce is getting older and their expertise difficult to replace; this puts a strain on maintenance staff and reduces the in-house knowledge they have to draw on. And the need to improve plant efficiency to counter the effects of new regulations, tariff restrictions or competition from new high-efficiency power plants is always present, regardless of region, fuel type or plant age.

As a result of these and other factors, power generation companies are under constant pressure to adapt to changing market conditions. They have to be flexible, and their power plants have to operate with flexibility as well.

ABB recognizes the need for flexibility. Our service portfolio is geared to providing customers with service products that meet their needs for flexibility.

More than ever before, service is a principal contributor to a company’s balance sheet. By improving plant performance, we help our customers to improve their investment and plant returns.

Plant evolution packages

The strengths of our service portfolio are outlined on the adjoining page. They are based on our long history as an industry leader and service provider in power plant instrumentation, control and electrical systems.

Our offering is structured to meet the different needs of individual customers and individual plants, so that they can thrive in the markets in which they operate. It consists of flexible plant evolution service packages, with which we service and evolve the plant’s electrical and automation assets as the customer’s needs and budget dictate.

One example of these packages is ServiceGrid, which we recently launched in North America and China, where it is proving a great success. ServiceGrid is a comprehensive program of service products that enables customers to choose the number of products and level of support that best meets their requirements. These range from basic services like spare parts and repairs to advanced products like power plant tuning and software evolution.

New service products

Our service offering is never static. We are constantly developing and releasing new products. Recently we have enhanced our offering for combustion instruments,
generator control, migration and optimization, variable speed drive applications, plant energy efficiency audits, cyber security, and operations and maintenance services for renewable energy plants.

Our philosophy of flexibility is well illustrated by our Symphony Plus total plant automation platform. Symphony Plus is the latest of several generations of the Symphony family of control systems. Each generation is backwardly compatible with its predecessors. This unique capability allows us to protect and enhance a customer’s previous investments in hardware, software and operator expertise, whenever we upgrade a Symphony control system to Symphony Plus. Many of the stories in this issue of In Control describe how we have saved customers the expense of investing in a new DCS by upgrading their aging Symphony or Infi 90 systems to Symphony Plus.

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In Control 1-2014: "Flexible Service Solutions"