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The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has reduced its yearly operational costs by 20% and improved customer service by upgrading its maintenance capabilities with inspection equipment from Fluke, the global technology leader in professional electronic test and measurement tools and software  

Image 2Saudi Electricity Company improves service and reduces costs with Fluke inspection equipment. (Image source: Fluke)

SEC's value-based maintenance strategy has transformed its maintenance routines with the use of Fluke Ti32 definition thermal imaging cameras and Ti400/Ti450 portable infrared cameras, leading to a reduction in power outages.

Thermal imaging capability

Infrared cameras are invaluable for detecting small temperature differentials and can demonstrate progressive heat changes over time, allowing maintenance professionals to detect critical issues before they become failures. Fluke has recently relaunched its popular range of thermal imaging cameras, Ti300+, Ti401PRO and TiX501, which allows users to get the images they require in focus every time. Designed with field use in mind, the cameras are rugged and able to be used with one hand for simple and easy operation. The built-in laser distance meter calculates and displays the distance to the designated target on the camera screen and snaps the image in focus.

Transition from CBM to value-based maintenance

With the implementation of Fluke equipment, the SEC has been able to transform its maintenance routines and improve the reliability of its networks. The thermal cameras have been instrumental in identifying hot spots and detecting temperature differences between phases, which have helped in reducing the number of unplanned outages. The use of ii910 precision acoustic imagers for corona discharge detection is expected to further enhance the company's predictive maintenance strategy and help it achieve its goal of providing an uninterrupted power supply to its customers.

Increased reliability

Zakaria Al-Ramadhan, distribution engineering specialist at SEC commented, “Reliability is the key issue when supplying power. Customers pay the company to supply power with no outages, which is why minimising disruption to supply is the most important focus for us.”

As a result of the successful implementation of Fluke equipment, the SEC is planning to purchase more corona cameras and deliver training to more of its technicians.

In addition to the thermal imaging equipment, the SEC has also taken on a range of rugged hand-held maintenance tools, which have increased the efficiency of its maintenance teams and reduced downtime. These include 49 Fluke 1736 three-phase power loggers alongside nearly 1000 Fluke 376 AC/DC clampmeters, 470 Fluke 1507 insulation testers and 600 1ACII non-contact voltage detectors. The move from condition-based maintenance to value-based maintenance has not only resulted in significant cost savings, but it has also improved the sustainability of the company's networks.

The SEC's successful implementation of predictive maintenance has set an example for other utility companies both locally and around the world.