Influence of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems on plant maintenance a case of Seven Forks power Stations in Kengen, Kenya
Karanja, Monicah W
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The purpose of this research project was to establish influence of SCADA system on plant maintenance. SCADA is an acronym of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System. This system is used in various industries for example utility companies, oil and gas industry and manufacturing industry. The system is used to capture and display process data in real time and also automates the process to reduce on human intervention during execution of the process. Plant maintenance in this context is both preventive and corrective measures taken to restore electricity generating machine to a productive condition. The study was aimed at analyzing the influence of SCADA system on plant maintenance. The study was carried out at Seven forks power stations of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) as SCADA system was recently installed in these power stations. The research project sought to find out whether real time monitoring of plant parameters, training on SCADA system, attitude of plant maintenance staff to SCADA system, event logging and parameter trending and plant remote control influenced plant maintenance. The design of this research was descriptive correlation survey. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 60 plant maintenance staff that was selected using stratified random sampling technique. Collected data was analyzed using descriptive statistics by means of the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The data analysis is in form of frequency and percentages to determine the relationship of the variables. The study established that SCADA system has an influence on plant maintenance in form of reduction in time taken to carry out plant maintenance from 14days to 8days. The research also found out that there was incorporation of condition based maintenance in plant maintenance after installation of SCADA system. The study revealed that 85% of plant maintenance staff were trained on SCADA system and 100% of the plant maintenance staff are familiar with real time monitoring parameters. The study also revealed that 85% of maintenance staff have a positive attitude towards SCADA system. The study recommends that it is imperative to carry out training on new systems, this culminates to acceptance and full utilization of the system in an organization. It is also important to capture key plant parameters in the event log and parameter trending to ensure all key aspects of the plant are monitored, this plant information should be accessible to all plant maintenance staff.