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Drax Power Case Study – £1M of Annual Savings Through Digitisation of Their Non-Destructive Testing Process

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In January 2019, eviFile was successful in securing a contract with Drax Power LTD (DPL), following a rapid tender process that started at the end of November 2018. The aim of the Drax project was to deliver a solution for the Non-Destructive Testing (NDT’s) Inspection Management of Outages at Drax power station in Selby, North Yorkshire.

During an outage between 3000 and 8000 Non-Destructive Test are completed on different fittings, pipework and machinery involved in the electricity generation process.

Drax required a digital cloud-based solution that allowed them to not only manage each stage of the testing process, but also to ensure that they capture evidence to support each test — so that they could start to track trends over a number of outages.

Following the success of this tender, we are currently working in partnership with Drax to enhance and improve the solution via an agile methodology designed to deliver 100% of the solution in eviFile, ensuring that each of their outage contractors – who ultimately will use eviFile – are involved in the building of the digital solution.

Digital Asset Sharing in Real Time

The real need was to create a digital asset sharing platform across DPL and 3 sub-contractor networks providing a single version of the truth in real time. This includes real time transfer of digital evidence and documents as well as encrypted and secure cloud based storage accredited to CREST and critical infrastructure levels.

Although the solution was very much focussed on visibility, one of the more complex aspects of the solution was configuration of complex roles and permissions to ensure that all users only get the information that are meant to view at the right time in the workflow.

This enabled the teams to work on their priorities more simply and also for system administrators to pick up on where the chain of evidence had broken down, or simply needed to be moved along with more haste.

Maximising Inspection Efficiency Through Instant Access

We understand that if the technology isn’t adopted by the engineers and site workers on the ground, then the significant efficiency, cost reduction and instant reporting benefits will not be maximised. As such we involve both managers, engineers and site workers into our workshops to get their input and more importantly engagement in how the technology will make their job easier.

With thousands of NDT’s in play, it was essential a powerful, yet intuitive search capability was implemented – making all records and evidence instantly locatable regardless of source.

This includes the photographs, video and documents included – this was a key requirement from Drax and one that eviFile supports out of the box with Tags, custom search fields driven by AWS’ powerful elastic search components

All meta data can be clearly tagged and managed through eviFile’s flexible control panel, enabling new tags to be added or amended on the fly (by those with the relevant privileges) and applied to media in bulk.

Linked with the powerful search engine within eviFile, this made the location and distribution of inspections and their associated media a tasks that can be done in seconds, with all information linking back to eviFile’s truly scalable AWS setup.

Drax required linkages through a number of different systems (Such as Oracle Maximo) and a custom solution such as Weld Eye. These were achieved through the customisation of eviFile’s powerful import capability which can accept custom CSV and Excel files as well as can be connected to such applications and API’s as Primavera P6.

Secure Data Storage

Every action on every inspection record needed to be included in a real time report, enabling a full audit trail to be viewed or exported at any stage, providing full digital progressive assurance of every inspection or repair, and across every digital file held in the solution.

All eviFile’s data storage is also heavily encrypted and is only accessible through the platform ensuring that all reports were tamper free and fit for distribution to Drax’s insurers.

All of the data needed to be reported in real time, so a number of custom reports displaying the exact status of every inspection were configured and the data from these reports was available on platform or through an export/API call for inclusion in other solutions such as Power BI or Tableau.

This provided a robust mechanism to move data into the platform and to also make it available for any wider reporting needs.

The end to end NDT testing process is highly complex, with many different tiers of management, sub-contractors and insurers being involved at various stages of the outage process. As part of the professional services layer we provide with eviFile, we have reviewed the existing process to ensure they are as “lean” as possible before we digitise them.

We understand that moving from a primarily paper-based environment means that processes can be stripped back to ensure they are as efficient as possible when we move them to be managed in eviFile.

eviFile’s Implementation Approach

For DPL, it was critical put an implementation framework to enable us to roll out across the organisation in a rapid timeframe. eviFile also invested additional time in ensuring that the software implementation has a specific project configuration that has ultimate flexibility and user self-management capability.

All future eviFile features on the roadmap will be provided as part of DPL’s subscription. Any further requirements that we receive and are accepted onto our roadmap will be delivered free of charge. Anything we don’t agree to add to the roadmap will be prioritised but at a fee agreed as per eviFile standard development rates.

Anything that will be mutually beneficial for the product will be discounted accordingly.

Service Desk

For all service desk needs, eviFile implemented Jira service desk from Atlassian. Jira service desk allows users to log issues directly from the device that they are working from quickly and efficiently.

The Service Desk will be used to manage serviced project setup, issue management and self-service project setup support.

All support is included in our license costs and is uncapped. The main benefits of using the service desk are:

Enhanced Efficiency

The service desk for DPL enhanced our efficiency. It serves as a centralised location for all of our customer service communications.

Our service desk is a customer service hub that allows the inflowing activity to come into one place, this makes our workflow more efficient.

Seamless Experience

DPL required a seamless experience when they interact with us. Customers are met with consistency wherever or however they contact the business, a business response is uniform across all platforms, and business response time is predictable allowing for SLAs. When all of these factors work together, it creates a seamless experience.

Here’s what Drax said about working with us:

“After an extensive procurement process, eviFile was deemed to be the best-fit solution due to its handling of complex processes and impressive level of configurability. We are confident this technology will make an immediate impact and bring a clear commercial benefit.

“Drax Power Station is the biggest decarbonisation project in Europe. We are replacing our coal units, which will extend the life of the plant, protect jobs and deliver cleaner, more reliable energy for millions of homes and business. The efficiency savings through eviFile will allow us to focus as much attention as possible to our cleaner energy vision.”

Michelle Desmond, Outage Programme Lead, Drax Power Group (DPL LTD)

The Company

Drax is enabling a zero carbon, lower cost energy future. Our ambition is to become carbon negative by 2030. Being carbon negative means that we will be removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than we produce, throughout our operations – creating a negative carbon footprint for the company.Towards carbon negativeOur strategic aims- We will be the leading provider of power system stability: through a portfolio of dispatchable flexible assets – ours and our customers – we will support the system to decarbonise through the growth of intermittent renewable energy - We will give all our customers control of their energy: through the provision of insight and digitisation we provide control over energy and access to markets to optimise energy use and lower costs - We will build a long term future for biomass: building on our world class expertise, we believe biomass can deliver carbon negative dispatchable renewable energy

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