Nuon Digitizes Asset Information Management with Hexagon PPM

Nuon – an energy company based in the Netherlands, Belgium – had a project goal to implement an asset information management system for the Nuon Epe Gasspeicher GmbH that operates a plant for storing gas into underground salt caverns.

The Challenge

Nuon is a utility company that provides electricity, gas, and heat in the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. The goal of this project was to implement an asset information management system for the Nuon Epe Gasspeicher GmbH that operates a plant for storing gas into underground salt caverns. The Nuon Epe plant consists of seven gas caverns of an average depth of 1,200 meters and total gas volume of 400 million nm3.

One of the key challenges was that the new gas storage plant had no existing software in place and as it was Nuon’s first plant of this type, the company was searching for a solution that would support the operational and maintenance team in executing their daily work efficiently. The ultimate goal was to ensure that all the engineers could find and update data enabling Nuon to fulfil the safety, environmental and availability requirements of an operational plant, and to keep the license to operate in any situation. 

Nuon chose Hexagon PPM as the solution provider because of the need to avoid losing any intelligent data during the transition. During this project the plant was extended twice by two different contractors supplying together approximately another 12,000 files. At that time, the structure of the data management system made efficient integration of these files possible. 

The Solution

The first step of the project was to implement SmartPlant® Foundation (SPF) as a document management system for all the technical, inspection, and non-technical documentation. During the first phase, Nuon received approximately 35,000 files on paper or electronically, and after analyzing and consolidation, the final amount was decreased to approximately 25,000 files. The Phase 1 was executed with no additional programming as SPF can be customized via .Net API’s.

During the second phase, when the plant was already operational, the SPF-based Master System was connected with a direct interface with the SAP PM System in order to update and extend tags and assets. The last part of the project was the integration of SmartPlant P&ID and the as-built R&I drawings.

The key benefits Nuon realized using Hexagon PPM solutions include:

• A good overview of the digital twin of the facility enables assessment of which changes in the plant are urgent, or include operational risks and cost
• 50 percent time savings in locating technical documentation
• The capability to quickly react if questions regarding compliancy are raised by other engineering companies or the government

Robert Neve, Asset Manager at Nuon, commented: “Having a centralized asset information management solution in place has multiple benefits from securing the license to operate to significant improvement in operations due to enhanced efficiency. With the help of Hexagon PPM, we can find our technical documentation in half the time than before.”

You can read the complete case study here