ElectraNet is the private owner, manager and operator of the South Australian high-voltage electricity transmission network. In 2011 Electranet established an Engineering Management System (EMS), which Nova Systems was engaged to review. Nova Systems conducted a scoping study and found that there was a systemic lack of design integrity associated with ElectraNet’s assets. The review highlighted multiple opportunities to address these issues, by leveraging best practice from a number of other safety critical industries.
The scoping study detailed a comprehensive, multiple phased review of ElectraNet’s EMS, which Nova Systems was engaged to perform. The first phase of the review was risk identification and gap assessment of the extant system. Interviews and workshops were conducted with non-engineering and engineering personnel to gain an understanding of the perceptions of the EMS and of the perceived engineering risks. The outcomes from this phase were detailed in a report which was used as input to define the Engineering Management Policy and provide a skeleton Engineering Methodology. The next phase was the development of the Engineering Methodology and a Design Control procedure to address drawing configuration management.
This methodology provided clear responsibility for the management of design integrity, and achieved ElectraNet’s objectives in an effective and efficient manner; whilst ensuring design integrity was acceptably managed. The 4th Phase addressed Process Validation & Refinement. This phase was undertaken within the bounds of the Engineering Services business unit to produce documentation to address key risks identified during previous phases. Nova Systems conducted a series of workshops with ElectraNet to identify implementation issues and a report was developed to deliver which detailed the EMS documentation and workshop outcomes.
The final phase was the development of a technical review and audit procedure to ensure ElectraNet would be able to perform self-assessment to ensure they are working in accordance with their EMS. This project highlighted the importance of understanding the EMS from the engineering and non-engineering personnel perspectives; as it is through their interactions and industries best practices that a comprehensive engineering methodology could be developed.