GE expands Live Outage approach to Europe, M.E.
By Jack Burke01 December 2022
Available for GE 9F gas turbines
GE, which introduced a “lean” approach to outages in the U.S. last year, has expanded the offering to GE 9F gas turbines in Europe and the Middle East.
The approach, called Live Outage, has been used at more than 80 power plants powered by GE 7F gas turbines. The system was developed with input from experts from the field and experts in lean methodology to improve the field execution experience. (Read an earlier story about the approach here.)
Live Outage is a system of digital applications, tools, sequencing, and other initiatives to transform outages through lean methodology. The Live Outage application hosts the critical content and standard procedures that field crews need, all at the point of work. The weatherproof, touchscreen-based, digitized platform replaces a more antiquated, paper-based approach and makes best practices scalable and reproducible at sites around the world. Further, the app tracks project progress in real time, with status bars for each of the hundreds of tasks that need to be completed, and, in the future, it will automatically generate daily project reports for teams and power plant operators.
“GE’s top priority is to safely conduct our operations and keep our employees and those who do work on our behalf safe. In addition to our strong safety culture and detailed environmental health and safety (EHS) programs across the organization, we used lean approaches to enable operational accountability and implement learnings faster,” said Steven Miller, Services Leader for GE Gas Power in Europe.
Gas turbines can weigh hundreds of tons and are comprised of a myriad of parts and fittings. Some components operate in hot and harsh conditions. At the same time, they must fit together like clockwork, with gaps between moving parts sometimes measuring less than the width of a human hair. Hundreds of tasks need to be completed during an outage while maintaining the integrity of the units and the safety of the field service personnel.
“By using lean management and simplifying our procedures, we put information in the hands of those doing the work, with an increased focus on safety and quality. This marked a massive shift from previous field practices, leading to continuous improvements in safety, quality, delivery, and cycle time,” said Jeremiah Smedra, Value Stream Program Leader at FieldCore, GE’s owned field services company. “A faster outage means the interval between shutting down a power plant for maintenance work and bringing it back online is shorter and the power plant can go back to producing and selling power more quickly, which benefits our customers. Today, Live Outage is available in Europe and in the Middle East, and we will expand implementation across additional gas turbine technologies worldwide.”