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Digitalisation helps take utility infrastructure optimisation to the next level

Implementing digital technologies can lead to new business opportunities and improved profitability.

Smart utility infrastructure management is a mixture of digitalisation, automation and human intelligence – the key is to find the right combination to meet individual business needs and take operations to the next level.

Implementing digital technologies – like data analytics to optimise operations and reduce costs, and machine learning to analyse and respond to trends – can lead to new business opportunities and improved profitability.

A sophisticated digital operations and maintenance platform gives an opportunity to digitalise production and offsite operations. Based on centralised data and analytics, the digital operations and maintenance platform gathers all data needed to support business decisions, bringing significant synergy benefits and direct cost savings.

The digital operations and maintenance platform gathers all needed data to support better business decisions, bringing direct cost savings.

Nevel Insight Interview

Through our automation system, we can access data from multiple sites to compare, benchmark and optimise operations.

Antti Salmi, Manager,
Automation and Analytics, Nevel

Read the Interview

Data transparency for improved business insight

A key enabler for efficiency is data transparency. When raw process data is sent to a cloud-based monitoring platform it can be analysed, filtered and enriched with the help of machine learning to enable decision making based on agreed KPIs. This facilitates improved production planning and streamlining as well as higher-quality reporting. Once refined, the data enables improved management and control. With better access to information, energy and material flows can be optimised for reduced emissions and reduction of residual products and waste.

When automation is controlled by machine-learning models and machine intelligence, human error and performance variations between shifts are eliminated. And since data is constantly being collected and analysed, operators have a much better understanding of what’s going on, leading to better decisions and improved efficiency. Potential problems can also be spotted in advance and preventive maintenance undertaken to avoid expensive downtime. The result is less ad-hoc maintenance and more time for planning and development.

The importance of data security

As the importance of data and automation grows, data security is vital to ensuring business continuity. Malicious cyber-attacks are a risk that need to be planned for in order to minimise any disruptions to business.

With industrial infrastructure, no personal data is handled. Nevertheless, site data needs to be handled confidentially and in a way that ensures the availability of all services. This requires a redundant server platform and backup components and systems as well as continuous risk analysis and mitigation efforts.


Increased efficiency based on digital operations

The Nevel Remote operation service was fully implemented at one of our own plants in Forssa, Finland, in 2017. The combined heat and power generation capacity of the power plant is 66 MW. We have fully implemented the digital operations and maintenance platform with the most sophisticated available digital technology. The site is operated from our remote operation centre 24/7 and we use machine learning to optimise plant operations. Employees at the plant work normal working hours and are primarily focused on preventive maintenance work. With the Nevel Remote operations and maintenance platform we have been able to optimise the combustion process based on data and reduce residual oxygen levels, CO2 and NOX emissions. Higher energy efficiency and changes in operational model have enabled annual opex savings of EUR 600,000.

Read more about the results in Forssa plant case

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We are your next-level industrial infrastructure partner

Nevel provides industrial customers with expertise and experience on material, information and energy flows and their management to help make smart infrastructure investments and optimise operations. We offer energy solutions including steam and heat, industrial scale cooling and heat recovery, and side stream and material efficiency solutions such as waste recovery and utilisation. We also offer industrial water treatment solutions such as demiwater and nutrient recovery.

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