Streamlined maintenance processes for wind farms

Wind farm maintenance is becoming more and more complex. Operations managers should use new technologies to ensure smooth operations more simply. The Lufthansa Industry Solutions product suite Windpulse simplifies documentation, streamlines maintenance processes and improves process quality.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions was recognized as a relevant player in the digital factory in the three use case clusters “Predictive Analytics & Maintenance”, “Traceability” and “Asset & Plant Performance Monitoring” by teknowlogy. According to teknowlogy, the leading independent European market analysis and consulting company for the IT industry, LHIND has proven to be able to address all related use cases in these categories.

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Age-related malfunctions of wind turbine components and growing installed capacity – by 2020, the German government wants to have roughly 6.5 gigawatts (twice as much as in 2015) from offshore wind farms connected to the grid – are increasing the complexity of maintenance. However, in the face of growing competitive pressure, it is becoming more and more important that wind farms operate smoothly. This is the only way that operations managers can ensure that operations are profitable and meet the demands being placed on quality and security as well as mounting documentation requirements.

One of the largest impediments to quick, efficient processes in the area of maintenance is documentation. The causes for this are, on the one hand, mounting documentation requirements on the part of the EU and the need to fulfil other industry norms. On the other hand, the information necessary for carrying out maintenance is still frequently stored in paper form in various file cabinets and has to be laboriously compiled.

Accessing all of the necessary maintenance documents on the go

New technologies can immensely simplify the work of the maintenance technician. The mobile solution of the product suite Windpulse compiles all of the documentation necessary for maintenance – including data sheets, reports and operating instructions – and supports various formats and industry standards. This means that service teams can electronically receive the most up-to-date information about their maintenance orders at any time and, in addition to this, can edit and document orders directly, on the go, using their tablets and smartphones on site.

This mobile solution by Lufthansa Industry Solutions documents inspections in a significantly more streamlined fashion. In addition to this, documentation is saved on a cloud platform, so that operations managers and manufacturers can access the necessary information any time at the touch of a button. This increases their reaction speeds if problems arise.

Solving problems more quickly with new transparency

Alongside the mobile solution, Windpulse includes a back office solution. Information from the mobile solution flows directly into the back office solution so that staff in the office can see the results of the service team working on site at the wind farm in real time. The transparency generated also helps to swiftly provide maintenance technicians with information at short notice if problems arise. These problems can then be solved much more quickly on site. The product suite Windpulse also makes it easier to prepare work assignments. Staff in the office can compile all of the information necessary for a maintenance assignment and send it to the service team using the mobile solution.

With its product suite Windpulse, Lufthansa Industry Solutions helps the operations managers of wind farms to streamline their processes as part of a new maintenance concept. Besides efficient workflows and cost reductions, this leads to increased process security. And this is precisely what is important for complex maintenance processes in the wind energy sector – which is similar to the aviation industry in this respect – in order to ensure smooth operations.