Lawrenceburg Power, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lightstone Generation, and Lightstone Generation in turn is a joint venture of the Blackstone Group LP and ArcLight Capital Partners LLC. The Lawrenceburg facility which began commercial operation in 2004, is a combined cycle 4X2 (Four GE 7FA Combustion Turbines and Two GE D11 Steam Turbines) nominal 1,186MW gas-fired power plant located in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
Our program was a mess. We were still using paper and pen. Everyone completed the process differently. It was a huge problem that could cost the company money. With the permission of the plant manager, I purchased Beamex MC6 documenting calibrators, modules and CMX software. And the rest is how legends begin.Ron Cash, Senior Combined Cycle Tech, Lawrenceburg Energy Facility, US
The amount of equipment required to perform calibrations has dropped from an average of 5 to 1, and 80 standards have been retired due to the multifunction capabilities of the MC6. No matter who uses the system, the work is performed in the same manner in CMX, which creates a more reliable system and high data confidence.Ron Cash, Senior Combined Cycle Tech, Lawrenceburg Energy Facility, US
Too much equipment
Prior to implementing the Beamex integrated calibration solution the plant’s labor-intensive calibration process began with paper-based procedures from a simple Microsoft Access database. Based on a manual review and assessment of the calibrations to be completed, a tool set would then be assembled from the vast inventory of test equipment the plant maintained such as gauges, meters, decade boxes, etc.
Execution of the calibration required the technician to manage the multiple pieces of equipment while referring to the printed calibration procedures, determining pass/fail status, and recording the results on the hard copy document. The documents served as the permanent record and were eventually stored in a physical filing cabinet.
Although this system worked, Ron noticed several problems. User controls were non-existent leading to questionable data integrity, a lack of standardization caused inconsistent work results, and there were clerical errors associated with hand-written records and the paper-based workflow.
The work was also very time consuming and introduced the opportunity for many process uncertainties. The final straw was a costly delay on unit start-up when they did not have the resources to competently calibrate multivariable transmitters which proved to be particularly challenging to calibrate.
Read the full Lawrenceburg Power customer case story
Ease of use
Like Ron, the technicians in the maintenance department are all multi-craft and responsible for a wide responsibility of daily tasks, including instrument calibration. For this reason and the sheer amount of instrumentation they manage, comprised of approximately 3,600 pieces of instrumentation, 300 of which that are critical calibrations during outages, they needed a data management system that was easy to use and implement. As Ron explains, “It’s like the Geico commercial. I wanted a system that was so easy – even Ron Cash could do it.”
Ron was able to integrate some of his existing standards with the Beamex technology, for instance a HART Scientific temperature dry-block that he used with the MC6 to automate temperature calibrations. From using a more accurate system, they found that many of their switches and drum levels were out of tolerance, which could have caused an emergency outage and cost the plant at a minimum, thousands of dollars and into the millions, if not resolved quickly.
Finally, the inability to calibrate multivariable transmitters, which proved to be extremely costly previously, was completely resolved with the capability to make all the required measurements with the multifunctionality of the MC6.