Realizing the Dream of a Fast and Easy Equipment Profile

Gas Turbine

How convenient would it be to have a tool, which with a simple push of a button, would provide a complete, real-time lifecycle profile of your vehicle? Not only the big stuff; everything from the cables, spark plugs, A/C, heater core, and pistons, to power seats, wiper blades, and tires. This tool would clearly identify all current and outdated parts along with their suggested replacements and even provide support for ordering, installation and commissioning. No, I am not dreaming...

Of course, different methods and strategies are required when maintaining an '85 Mustang quickly approaching the junkyard, than for a brand new pickup truck. Upgrades and maintenance to older or obsolete parts can be a real challenge and quite costly in time and money, not to mention stress. Older parts are harder to come by, the installed hardware may not be as secure, and they may be susceptible to loose screws, bolts or wires, or burned-out relays and spark plugs. As our vehicles age, routine maintenance is becoming more commonplace. However sometimes, maintenance is a result of an unplanned event—like when your car leaves you stranded on the side of the road.

That’s what makes modern controls so exciting. They can make your asset run more reliably and more efficiently. Back to the car example—cars used to have a few switches on the dash that would turn things on and off. But today, a car has performance-enhancing features like economy mode and sport mode. They are changing fuel consumption, the suspension, and the car’s ability to respond to different conditions.

Let’s apply this analogy to the power industry. A gas turbine burns a millions of dollars of fuel in a very short period of time. With active controls, if you can save a half percentage of efficiency, you’re profiting off of your control system in a very short time. Proactive migration to a modern control system often pays for itself in performance, as well as the elimination of hidden costs associated with trying to maintain obsolete or outdated equipment.

To help you get started, GE has created what we call the application code translator. This tool provides a rapid, granular overview of system architecture and allows for a rapid transition to new technology with the simple push of a button. It produces a report that clearly identifies your entire control system architecture, including all active, matured and obsolete parts along with their suggested replacements.

OK, you’ve figured out what’s going on with your system. Now what? In the past, the time needed to retrofit the system would make an upgrade cost-prohibitive. Not anymore. This tool, combined with the plug-and-play nature of modern connections and precision network-based data management tools, make a comprehensive migration fast and easy. Now if it was only that easy to fix that old car.

Shauna Tarbert

As Controls Hardware Account Manager at GE's Automation & Controls business, Shauna’s goal is to help customers solve their greatest challenges, experience optimized performance and increase operation efficiency through their use of Automation & Controls Industrial Equipment. Here she blogs about her many years of experience working with the brightest minds and newest ideas in controls hardware.

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