TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tucson Electric Power (TEP) received an international award for predictive maintenance at the Springerville Generating Station (SGS), where an innovative program helped the company to save more than $1.4 million in 2012 alone.
TEP was awarded the Emerson Process Experts 2013 Reliability Program of the Year award on Oct. 2 in Grapevine, Texas at a trade conference affiliated with Emerson, a diversified global manufacturing and technology company. Established in 1989, the award recognizes companies for use of effective reliability and maintenance practices. More than 60 programs from companies around the world were nominated this year. Previous winners include Allied Signal, E.I. Dupont, General Motors, Campbell’s Soup and the National Security Agency.
TEP was recognized for the Springerville Generating Station’s predictive maintenance program, which saved the company more than $1.4 million last year using technology to monitor and identify equipment in need of repair or replacement. This year, TEP began installation of a wireless vibration system throughout the plant’s coal handling facilities. The system automatically collects vibration data and sends it to system supervisors for analysis. For example, as gears deteriorate, vibration increases — a change that can be detected with the vibration system. Once installed, the system is expected to be among the largest wireless vibration networks of any power plant in the world and among the top five largest of any industry in the world.
“Because we are able to predict failures before they happen, the company is only paying the cost to replace parts instead of having to spend significantly more for new equipment, and we can schedule maintenance at our convenience rather than wait for a failure,” said Mark Mansfield, Vice President of Generation. “Ultimately, this program helps us to maintain reliable service and lower costs on behalf of our customers and co-owners.”
TEP employees Gary Gardner, Latigo Pate, Troy Burk and Kevin Lee have specialized equipment and training in fields such as vibration analysis, infrared thermography, oil analysis and electrical motor testing. These specialized tools and training are used to predict when bearings or other parts in motors, fans and pumps will go bad so that the parts can be replaced or fixed before the larger piece of equipment fails.
Tucson Electric Power provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 408,000 customers in southern Arizona. To learn more, visit tep.com. For more information about TEP’s parent company, UNS Energy (NYSE: UNS), visit uns.com.