In this age of “always-on,” it seems strange to talk about an organization that deliberately shuts down for days or even weeks at a time – and even stranger when that organization is a power station serving a large community of business and residential customers. Yet in the domain of nuclear power generation, such outages are a must. Nuclear power stations need this time in order to replace nuclear fuel, and perform any other operations that cannot be done while the station is generating electricity.
Critical Path, Logistics, Timing… Outages Need Excellent Project Management
Duke Energy has outage requirements for its McGuire Nuclear Station in Huntersville, North Carolina. To lessen the impact, the outages are planned ahead so that they fall in “outage season”, the time of the year (Spring or Fall, for instance), when overall demands for electricity are lower. Operations like replacing depleted nuclear fuel rods require not only precision timing, but also logistics management for temporary influxes of workers to get the job done quickly and safely. In other words, they are complex and need suitable project management solutions to be successful.
Taking the Worry Factor Out of the Equation
At McGuire Nuclear Station, the choice of project management software is Oracle Primavera and the choice of the Cloud Project Management partner is LoadSpring™. As you might imagine, in an area where nothing can be left to chance, Duke Energy’s choice of LoadSpring was carefully determined. A big factor was LoadSpring’s ability to reliably and efficiently cloud-enable and support Primavera software. As Charlie Dunn of the Project Controls Group at McGuire Nuclear Station points out, the last thing a project team wants to worry about during an outage is whether their tools are working. Add to that his estimate of a value of $150,000 per outage critical path hour, and it becomes clear that time is indeed money, and not to be wasted.
Replacing Waste with Added Value
And talking of waste – or rather, how to avoid it – Dunn also uses the platform tools that LoadSpring uses to perform lean schedule analysis. By making the most of LoadSpring’s services, Dunn can eliminate what he considers to be “waste” activities from the project schedule of his own team. Examples are chasing down patches for the project management software, troubleshooting tables that get locked, and any other technical issues that must be solved to keep the back end of the project running correctly. As a result, after partnering with LoadSpring, Dunn and his team have been able to focus on value-added activities like making better schedules, optimizing resource allocations, and identifying areas in which to better control or monitor costs.
Planning Ahead for Maximum Productivity
In a sense, even in outage season, the station is “always on”, due to the other precisely planned and executed maintenance and refueling activities. With Primavera software hosted from LoadSpring’s powerful cloud portal SpringBoard, Dunn can plan ahead for the upgrade window and also do user acceptance testing and beta testing in parallel with the outage season, making sure his team is ready to take the next step as soon as these activities are over.
Want to Know More?
With deep expertise in Oracle Primavera and over 200 other project management applications, LoadSpring is the only cloud project management company that provides complete solutions to its partners, whether in power, engineering, construction, aerospace, or other industry sectors. LoadSpring is the only reliable partner that will adapt to your company’s needs and handle the IT tasks, enabling you to focus again on the activities that add value to your projects. Don’t wait for your next outage (planned or otherwise), but contact us now to find out more!