The Global Wind Service Group of Brüel & Kjær Vibro has just been successfully audited by DNV-GL
Wind turbine monitoring is vital for optimizing healthcare, but if it is not implemented correctly, it could actually negatively affect what was expected to be achieved. This is because a condition based maintenance strategy involves a lot of technology and expertise, and there are a lot of different solutions to work with or choose from. This can be challenging for the owners and operators, and can lead to errors if there isn’t proper guidance and knowledge backing this up.
What is needed is some kind of regulatory compliance organization for wind turbine condition monitoring system (CMS) and service providers, similar to ISO 9001, to ensure support to the user. These regulations should strive to help the user to get maximum benefits from the monitoring solution with minimal risk of their assets, while at the same time still promoting improvement, innovation and competition within the industry.
Who is regulating this industry?
Originally it was Germanischer Lloyd (GL) who provided technical consultancy and supervisory to the wind turbine monitoring systems but since 2013, when GL merged with Det Norske Veritas (DNV), it has become the worlds largest technical consultancy and supervisory to a number of industries, including wind turbine construction. The wind turbine monitoring solution of Brüel & Kjær Vibro (B&K Vibro) has been audited and successfully complied with the GL and DNV standards every year since 2004 for both the system and remote monitoring services.
This has been important for BKV because this compliance provides high-quality assurance of B&K Vibro’s current dedicated condition monitoring solution. Moreover, it also helps gain confidence and trust from wind turbine owners and operators for future long-term contracts for remote monitoring business.
Who is involved in the audit, and what is it like?
Basically, all business functions for the front-end (hardware) and back-end (software and services) of the Wind Service Group (WSG) at B&K Vibro are audited. This includes the service and administration for diagnostics, projects and site surveys, warranty and logistics, IT-setup/security, quality assurance and management. Within each of these functions all procedures, documents, organization, staff (e.g. levels of skills and training plans) will be evaluated and therefore should be accessible and transparent at all times.
What are the challenges, and what are we good at?
From a quality assurance and operational perspective, it is important that documentation in all areas be complete and be up-to-date. Monitoring strategies and system configurations should also be fully operational and functional at all times as described in our procedures and processes. Although very important to the success of our monitoring solution, it goes without saying that these functions can also be a very comprehensive and time-intensive task for auditing. It normally requires the participation of several employees and departments to show that we systematically keep focus on our high quality, high value solution and to ensure optimal customer support.
Despite the wide scope of the audit and the number of people who are involved, we have quite a lot of experience here (both in DNV-GL and ISO audits) and we have a very good track record. This is also point of pride in the company because this compliance is further confirmation of our value-adding monitoring solution to wind customers, as well as a sign of good teamwork that had made this certification happen and is sustainable.