The latest in GE’s outage services offerings, our digital outage platform is a weatherproof, touchscreen-based, digitized platform that replaces a more antiquated, paper-based approach. This not only reduces the risk of mistakes or rework, it also speeds up the outage process for customers, helping them get back in business more quickly.
Digital outage pilots successfully completed at power plants to help ensure flawless operation
digital outages planned for '23/24
tablets and two large kiosks used at each site
The digital outage platform combines GE’s proprietary outage procedures and processes with mobile digital technology, replacing the former paper-based field execution method. This new approach includes:
Before the digital outage platform, outage execution was reliant on an onsite trailer, filled with piles of paper procedures and drawings. Now, instead of maintaining historical, paper-based documentation, the knowledge is fully digitized and enables real-time feedback and improvement with progress tracking.
The digital outage platform is shifting lean to the front lines of Gas Power. We’re implementing the digital outage platform to:
The digital outage platform is being rolled out globally, starting with 7F gas turbines. We added 9F at the beginning of this year, and will be adding 7E, 6F, and D11 later this year. Looking ahead, we will be including 9E, 6B, H-class and legacy Alstom (GT24) units sometime next year.
We are seeing a reduction in outage time of about 20%—and sometimes as much as 40%—as a result of our standard outage scope (open, clean, and close). For example, we went live with 7F in January 2022, and focusing on standard scope, we removed 24% of the total outage time. We are looking to increase that number, and throughout 2023 our goal is to expand the total outage scope beyond the standard scope.
The digital outage platform is web-based. Customers and field service engineers can access the digital outage platform through a web interface, and all the data is stored on the cloud. When onsite, the site team accesses the the digital outage platform application on dedicated devices that are connected to the Internet. The digital outage platform was custom-made for GE, and we have made a substantial investment in security architecture to make sure the system is protected and performs well.
The digital outage platform is not connected to any customer system. As part of our connectivity system the digital outage platform includes an entire separate, cell-based system that connects to the towers, so our system is an island from the customer’s power plant.
The only site requirement for the digital outage platform is internet access.
Our best results on a hot gas path (HGP) in NAM was 13-14 shifts LOTO-to-LOTO, and the average is about 16 shifts. For a major inspection, best in class is about 23 shifts with the average still quite a bit higher.
The digital outage platform currently focuses on HGPs, major inspections, and C-inspections, but we intend to apply it to callouts as well. The digital outage platform will apply to both transactional (TX) customers and those who have long-term service agreements (LTSA) with us. There is no additional fee for the digital outage platform, as it’s our new standard for outages going forward.
The digital outage platform process includes shift turnover notes, so it could eventually take the place of that daily review / update for the customer and site team.
We can provide customers with access to certain reporting information, real time schedule statuses, customer-related stop work events, suggested improvements, and approved data sheets.
The digital outage platform isn’t tied to HMI or the operating system of a power plant, but it can help us to understand the quality and safety failures that occurred during an outage that may have led to the fault occurrence.
The tool allows us to know:
Armed with this information, we have the opportunity to diagnose the fault and prevent it from happening in the future.
No, we are introducing the digital outage platform to bring added value to our customers—efficiently, safely and with high quality, all while keeping the customer informed. There is no charge for this additional offering, as it’s part of our continuous improvement efforts.
Introducing Live Outage
With GE’s Live Outage digital platform, field technicians are getting more of what they need at their fingertips—resulting in smoother, quicker outages.
Live Outage: See it for yourself
Get a hands-on look at how Live Outage works throughout the outage process and hear from our field teams about the outage transformation.
GE Reports investigates how lean management is helping GE field crews improve power plant outages.
Find out how multiple teams joined efforts to make Live Outage a reality and learn more about the unique features of this groundbreaking tool.
faster than the average HGP
A customer in the Midwest turned to GE to manage a complex outage to restore its 7FA.03 gas turbines to their previous efficiency and output. GE and the customer worked together to complete an extensive outage to help the utility continue providing power to local residents.
The utility’s four 7FA.03 gas turbines, which are used as peaker units in simple cycle mode, were about to reach their 900 starts limit and needed to be serviced before they could be put back online. The customer provides electricity to close to 7 million residents, so it was crucial to complete the outage quickly—and effectively.
The GE team employed a new outage enhancement called “Live Outage”, which replaces a previously manual process with a more modern one to help improve the safety, quality and efficiency of onsite field execution. As a result of these process and technology improvements, the team was able to complete the outage in just 8 days—6 days faster than the average HGP, with no safety incidents.