In the second edition of the Intelligent Transformer Podcast, Alan Ross of SDMyers speaks with Dan Smith, Vice President of Electric Service Delivery at Austin Energy, about conferences, machine learning, and the future of collaboration in the industry. Alan and Dan have both presented at the Comet Conference and the Electric Power Reliability Summit, among others, and talk about their experiences as presenters and facilitators. … Continue reading Intelligent Transformer Podcast #2: Alan Ross & Dan Smith
In the first edition of the Intelligent Transformer Podcast, Alan Ross of SDMyers speaks with Jon Trout, Manager of Transmission Design at FirstEnergy, about the value of conferences for communicating legacy knowledge and wisdom to the next generation of electric power reliability practitioners. Alan and Jon have both presented at the Comet Conference, and talk about their experiences at that event and what differentiates Comet … Continue reading Intelligent Transformer Podcast #1: Alan Ross & Jon Trout
I went to Washington recently to represent the SMRP Government Relations Smart Grid Committee, of which I am now the chair. I was there with other folks from SMRP to talk about the smart grid, and we ended up talking a lot about safety. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals—the fastest growing reliability organization in the world—is about to become an OSHA Alliance organization. … Continue reading Safety vs Reliability
As professionals in the field of electrical system reliability, we have a choice. We can follow the leaders, or we can follow the losers. Um… that isn’t quite what I meant by “loser.” It may seem harsh to say that there are “losers” out there, because that’s one of the words that nobody likes to hear. Well, I don’t mean “loser” in the same way kids do when they hold up an “L” on their … Continue reading Leaders & Losers
I had to learn a lot to become a transformer reliability leader. I have an engineering background and a transformer maintenance and testing background, but to be the practitioner I wanted to be I had to get educated. I sought out reliability knowledge. I found much of that knowledge through reading and research. It started with Google searches and Wikipedia articles, and it eventually led … Continue reading Why is Nobody Talking About This?
Once an ostrich sticks its head in the sand, any risk it might be facing is gone, right? Of course not! I believe we are living – relative to electric system reliability – with what we call the ostrich effect. Most of us have our heads stuck in the sand. But guess what? The sand is crumbling, and the ostrich is starting to see things; … Continue reading The Ostrich Effect
When you start to put a risk and reliability program together for high voltage electrical equipment—primarily transformers—you have to go through a cultural change. I’ve seen it repeatedly, both in the industrial marketplace and the utility marketplace. It’s never a one-person decision. Step #1: The Reliability Leader As a reliability leader, we can normally veto any project, but more often than not we cannot say … Continue reading 5 Steps to Securing Commitment for a Transformer Reliability Program
When you think about maintenance from a reliability perspective rather than an engineering perspective, it becomes clear that transformers are somewhat of a red-headed stepchild, even though they are the heart of the electrical system. Why? Let’s take a closer look. The reliability industry has grown out of the maintenance industry. At the very core of the maintenance industry is the Computerized Maintenance Management Systems … Continue reading Missing the mark: Why use CMMSs for Electrical Systems?
As VP of reliability at my company, I often meet customers when they are at the tyranny of the urgent. They’ll have a significant problem, multiple questions, and a big decision to make. Just recently I was with one of our customers as he was facing one of those big decisions. It was a tough one. This customer is responsible for a 14-plant steel mill. … Continue reading Data, Information, and Wisdom.
A few weeks ago I went to a customer site where they had a meeting of the minds for their reliability team. The host was a multi-site paper manufacturer with an intelligent approach to plant reliability. The reliability team included, of course, several reliability professionals, but there were procurement people there too. That’s not unusual. We’re finding more and more that procurement and reliability often … Continue reading 3 Lessons in Reliability from the Paper Manufacturing Industry