Do the results of the project justify the investment?
This is a key question before addressing any project or investment, the development of a business case in which a detailed definition and understanding of the costs and benefits associated with the project is made, helps us to find the answer.
Digital transformation is presented as a revolution that increases the efficiency of the processes, changing the way in which the work is carried out. Within this transformation, the execution of procedures through systems of computerized procedures is destined to be generalized in the daily operations of the power plants. Although this is a reality, there are still few implementations that have been carried out, but why is this? Sometimes this is due to the difficulty of quantifying the benefits that a computerized procedure system can generate for power plants.
Can we evaluate the benefits in the use of computerized procedures?
Tecnatom has methodology and experience for doing business cases for the implementation of its system of computerized procedures in power plants (TecOS PROCEED). The methodology followed consists on the following phases, in which progress is made jointly with the client:
- Detailed analysis of the life cycles of paper and computerized procedures.
- Identification of savings, classification and categories quantification. Based on the extensive experience of Tecnatom in the functioning and operation of the plants, in the computerized procedure system tests and in the knowledge of plant data.
- Analysis of the costs and risks of the implementation of the system, as well as the definition of the digitalization and risk mitigation strategy.
- Validation with the client.
The added value of Tecnatom in the definition of the business case is to have a multidisciplinary team composed of operation experts, process writers, human factors engineers, cybersecurity experts and software development engineers.
Can all benefits be quantified in the same way?
The answer is no, tools such as Tecnatom’s computerized procedure system are designed not only as a cost saving tool, but also as error prevention tools, which is why the benefits should be divided into tangibles and intangibles.
Tangible benefits are those that we are able to quantify in an objective way, as they are saving time or materials.
Intangible benefits are related to the reduction of human errors, with the ability to capture the best practices and with the potential to give value to the data generated in the system while optimizing the operation and maintenance of power plants and other industrial facilities. Although the benefit or cost avoided is not recognized in commercial cases as part of the return on investment, it is necessary to determine it to justify the value of it. In the case of a computerized procedure system (CPS), part of the avoided cost is related to the prevention of human errors that lead to plant events.