NO MORE PAPER LOGBOOKS?
CASE STUDY – AMEA-Sylacauga Plant
Learn how the AMEA Sylacauga Power Generation Plant is moving from paper log books and spreadsheets to a more efficient and more robust system for capturing Operational log data.
Company Name: AMEA Sylacauga Plant
Industry: Energy Production
Location: Sylacauga, AL
AMEA’s Paving The Way
In 2004, AMEA became the first organization in Alabama in more than 80 years to build a power generation plant owned by a municipality. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant, which is owned collectively by the 11 municipal electric systems that comprise AMEA, utilizes two aeroderivative General Electric (GE) combustion turbine-generating units fueled by natural gas with a net generating capacity of 95,000 kilowatts. The GE LM 6000 gas turbine is a stationary gas turbine that is derived from the family of jet engines. The aircraft version of the engine is used to drive several types of commercial aircrafts like the Boeing 747-400. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant is capable of being started and brought to full load operations in less than 15 minutes. This capability makes the plant cost effective for peaking operations. The AMEA-Sylacauga Plant plays a critical role in the economic generating mix required to supply the dynamic hourly energy demand. Peaking facilities, like the AMEA-Sylacauga Plant, are usually dispatched on a short notice to operate during extreme conditions when the demand is greater than the current on-line generation, for example, the hottest or coldest hours. Also, a peaking facility may be dispatched to generate if a large facility, such as a nuclear plant, unexpectedly trips off-line.
A More Efficient Logging System
With the AMEA’s Sylacauga Plant being on-call, it is important that the facility is in tip top shape and ready at all times. Until recently, the plant had collected operational log data on paper logbooks and spreadsheets. This had been the standard operating procedure for decades and had served them well. With the advancement in technology, more efficient ways have emerged. Ten months ago, plant manager Tim Foster, implemented LogBook. an electronic log system created by Doozer Software. Doozer has worked with energy companies for over 20 years and used that knowledge to build a robust yet easy to use platform to collect and house operational log and shift note data. Since implementation, Tim and his team have been reaping the benefits of this new system.
“LogBook has transformed our operational logging. Before LogBook, we were using paper logbooks that were cumbersome, took too much time to write-up and resulted in inconsistent entries and a horrible waste of time to search. We love LogBook here at the plant.”
Tim Foster – Operations Manager AMEA Sylacauga Plant
Easy to Implement – Oftentimes, organizations are hesitant to implement new software due to the fear of downtime and employee adoption. With LogBook, implementation was quick and painless. Implementation was complete within an hour and the AMEA crew was able to begin capturing data almost immediately. Both Managers and operators found it to be user friendly and more efficient in recording log activity.
Consistency of Entries – Tim has been able to control the consistency of data entries more effectively with the use of LogBook. This in turn produces better communication among the operators. Common terms and tags can make searching through past notes a breeze.
Overall, LogBook has made data collection and shift communication more cohesive throughout the plant.
Audit trails and Compliance – LogBook provides audit trails to ensure that, if an incident occurs, data can be tracked throughout the entire process to help determine causes and provide information needed for future prevention. In the energy industry, compliance should always be top of mind. LogBook helps plants provide compliance officers a clear picture on how the plant is operating and where improvements to safety processes may be needed.
Team Adoption – There is always a concern that the team will not embrace any new system that is implemented within an organization. AMEA has seen their team adopt LogBook and make it their own. This has resulted in better note taking as well as better collaboration between shifts. The ease of use and intuitive interface are just a few of the highlights mentioned by the AMEA team.
NERC Compliance – The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) sets standards that all energy production facilities must comply with. From Transmission operations to physical security and on to Operational reliability records must be kept and made accessible in the case of an audit. More and more is the need for an efficient way to collect, store and manage these records. Digital/Electronic logs like LogBook streamline this process and provide a more effective way to provide compliance evidence to NERC when requested.