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Reflections on AWEA Windpower 2018

May saw the wind industry’s largest North American conference, AWEA’s Windpower 2018, take place in Chicago, and it was a great opportunity to meet with clients and colleagues old and new.

This month’s newsletter sets out some reflections on the event and outlines the key questions you need to be asking your predictive maintenance provider. In addition, we recap our recent Technical Seminars in Japan and Korea, and take an in-depth look at what’s become known as the ‘mystery of the missing planet gear crack’.

AWEA 2018 gave all of us at ONYX a chance to speak with a range of wind farm owners and operators to learn first-hand the challenges facing them, and discuss how advances in predictive maintenance can contribute to their O&M planning and delivery. However, what struck us was the degree of confusion over how predictive maintenance can and should work – and what it has to offer.

Many of the products and services on offer – including those displayed at the event – are highly digitalised and centre around the provision of complex datasets. Typically, they offer a high degree of customisation and are designed with a range of technological applications in mind.

But when it comes to wind turbines, are these one-size-fits-all options really what you need? How can you know what they are capable of, and how they can best be utilised to give you clarity and control over your operations?

We have previously highlighted the extent to which it’s important to strike a balance between sophisticated machine learning/ AI-driven approaches, and detailed engineering knowledge driven approaches to predictive analytics. At ONYX InSight, we take the view that combining these two approaches is essential to achieving a true understanding of long-term asset health.

No less important is the ability to get smart, easily installed and flexible solutions that are tailored to your needs, whether that be a fully integrated predictive maintenance system or one-off O&M decision support.

With this in mind, we’ve sought to outline some of the key questions that you should be asking any prospective predictive maintenance supplier, including the range of services on offer, how easily these methodologies can be incorporated within your existing O&M procedures, and how the data collected will be managed and deployed.

Getting answers to these questions should help you better determine the level of support needed – and better judge what you’re being offered – enabling you to make a fully informed decision when selecting a predictive maintenance partner.

This month’s newsletter also features a review of our latest Technical Seminars, hosted in conjunction with BP Castrol, which took place in Seoul and Tokyo last month. In addition, Ashley Crowther, our Group Vice-President, examines a recent case of a difficult-to-detect planet gear crack.

All the best,

Bryan Rabenau
Castrol innoVentures Territory Leader VP, Technology & Marketing

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