Implementation Journey of CTIS 2.0 at TNB Malaysia

IPS Journey with TNB first started in 2018 with a successful implementation of the Asset Performance Management System (APMS) for the Transmission and Distribution networks. In 2019, TNB Grid approached us again with a clear expectation to upgrade their processes for Outage Management.

TNB Grid, a division of TNB Group responsible for Outage Management, is the operator of a high voltage network in peninsular Malaysia. With 462 substations, 25 000 kilometers of overhead lines, and 1321 power transformers in the system, the explicit goal is to become the leading grid entity, leveraging innovation, technology, expertise, and growing new business.


How the Implementation Journey of CTIS v2.0 started?

TNB has been using the CTIS (Centralized Tripping Information System) at TNB Grid Division since 2001, mainly to record tripping information, track tripping action plans, and do performance analysis. At the end of 2017, they received information that the existing system will not be supported anymore. That was the trigger to start searching for a new system that would replace an old system and an upgrade for it.


Project Kick-off with IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management

And that’s how TNB selected IPS to provide an enhanced solution for managing outages. TNB’s main goal was to cover all significant assets and their history (especially those that carry loads) where tripping can happen. Whether it was a defect on the transformer, failure of a circuit breaker, tripping on Overhead line, Cable interruptions, or replacement previously done due to poor manufacture, they wanted to have all of it recorded in the system for better understanding. TNB subscribed 100 user licenses for engineers in Grid Asset Management and Grid Maintenance, System Operators, and Grid Solution Expertise to address that needs.

At the beginning of the journey, three main objectives were defined. Firstly, capture and record all root causes of the tripping and ensure rectification action is executed accordingly. Next, to incorporate with the current best work practice by utilizing technology and integrate to relevant available software platform and lastly, to address the gap and limitation of old CTIS system due to software obsolescence. They set out two major teams to meet the goals: the business side and a project team from the ICT side.

How TNB handles tripping management?

The first person who acknowledges outage through SCADA or the grid system operator starts the outage investigation and restoration cycle. The maintenance team receives a Work Order with all relevant information, and they proceed with the restoration procedure on the field. Once it is normalized, information is updated to the CTIS system. It is shared with all departments to investigate further why an outage happened, what was done, and provide an expert view if they discover anything that needs further clarifications. On the other side, a Tripping Committee, responsible for identifying root cause and discussing action plans to make sure tripping can be further reduced and how they can further improve their system, is evaluating a bigger perspective of the issue.


IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management as a solution

IPS®LUNA is a new version web-based platform of IPS®ENERGY, built using advanced web technologies to keep at the forefront of the Global Electricity Industry’s fast-changing needs, and IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management module is part of it. TNB was one of the first customers that started using a newly developed system for Unplanned Outage management and played an important role in improving the system. The main advantages that TNB highlighted about the IPS®LUNA are quick search and filtering options, which allows them to find the desired tripping information and details quickly. TNB has integrated IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management with several systems such as Data Lake (Cloudera), SOE (Sequence of Events) from SCADA, CAPE (directory connection to CAPE, where field workers can be immediately directed to a specific relay and its settings), ICOMS (TNB internal system for planned outages) and SAP (Locations, Assets, and Work Orders). Within integration with GIS system and lighting detection system TNB can plot, using the lightning map from TNB Research department and lightning points correlated to the geographical assets of their towers, whether lightning did cause tripping on the overhead line or at the point of overhead line tripping is due to foreign interference or just because a tree fall, or any other reason. TNB also took advantage of Work Order Management to help them execute work orders directly in their SAP system. Field workers can immediately respond to outages following the work order assigned to them. It contains a direct link from CTIS (IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management) to APMS, where CTIS is one of the backend inputs to the health score of the APMS system.


Challenges during project implementation

All through the implementation of the project, we have faced several challenges. One of the most important and well-known is the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic was a disruption for the entire project, especially during the testing and commissioning phase. But it was a positive disruption for everyone. We have shifted all activities to remote sessions, basically overnight, where time difference posed an additional challenge. Besides cost saving due to limited traveling options, it was an important step to a greener way of doing business and a shortcut towards digitalization.
Another challenge for IPS was off-the-shelve vs. customization of the solution. TNB has used some features in their old system that they wanted to retain, but they have also followed IPS recommendations, following best practices and experience. IPS and TNB challenged each other to pick up whatever is best for users using the improvement of existing features and developing new ones. Lastly, TNB had to face another challenge within project implementation. In the past, they have been using Waterfall practice for implementing projects, while IPS is using innovative Hybrid Agile (SCRUM)/Lean Project Management Methodology. The focus is on delivering an efficient solution in the shortest time, under the planned budget. The methodology reduces unnecessary project tasks, documentation, and tremendously shortening meetings and focuses on delivering beneficial functionalities with an appropriate generous knowledge transfer to the end-user.


The journey continues…

TNB is using IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management in day-to-day activities and successfully reducing its down-times, and it is currently working on CTIS 2.0 enhancements, which are results of feedback that they are constantly receiving from employees that are using IPS®OMS Unplanned Outage Management. Their main goal for the future is to improve user experience based on feedback and find all the shortcuts to maximize user licenses.
IPS is on the mission to create an immediate digital future for Global Energy Supply, thus we are participating in the further tender for APMS Phase B. We are looking forward to new challenges and the continuation of TNB’s digital transformation.