GE Digital’s Remote Operations Software Ensures Continuity Of Operations For The Power Generation Sector During COVID-19 Uncertainty
As working situations continue to evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site staffing must be carefully managed, with contingency plans for changes in the number of employees who can work in close proximity with one another. Governments will be forced to rapidly increase restrictions if infection rates continue to climb, evidenced in the last few months as countries across Europe have reinstated lockdowns in COVID-19 hotspots. GE Digital’s Remote Operations software provides the necessary flexibility during these uncertain times, allowing for a leaner and more mobile workforce, without disruption to plant operations.
Remote Operations is a turnkey solution which provides remote workers or power generation operators out-of-the-box access to on-site plant monitoring and control functions. With the Remote Operations ‘Response’ package, users can be up and running in a single working day with remote support from GE Digital, without the need to interrupt plant operations.
To maintain a secure connection between the control room and external users, Remote Operations is secured on a Zero Trust architecture, which includes multi-factor authentication and complies with NERC-CIP, ISA 99/62443 and NIST 800-53 standards. Local control room operators can grant temporary or permanent permissions to remote operators such that they can access visualisations and operational controls using mobile devices. Visualisations appear as read-only dashboards until access is granted and to reduce cross-training issues, GE Digital maintained a consistent visual aesthetic across the platform for both control room users and remote operators. With mobile access to monitoring and control functions, remote users can perform checks on assets while viewing them in person. GE Digital also offers integration for several optional modules, including the Remote Operations Communications Platform, which allows for one-to-one or group messaging with voice, video and text across mobile devices.
Although initially aimed at the power generation sector, GE has signalled that the Remote Operations software could be industry agnostic. Moving forward, firms within power generation and across all industries will continually monitor COVID-19 restrictions; tools like Remote Operations ensure operational reliability while protecting workers from potential infection scenarios.
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