United Utilities is a FTSE-100 company with an annual turnover of over £2 billion, employing 9,000 people and providing utility services to over 20 million people in the UK and worldwide. It operates water, waste water, electricity and gas networks in the UK and is investing £2.9 billion between 2005–2010 to improve utility infrastructure and the environment in the North West of England.
United Utilities Asset Management Programme (AMP)is approved and monitored by industry regulator OFWAT, which has defined stringent best practice guidelines and requirements for Asset Management Programmes. The company has more than 600 company sites and uses a variety of equipment from more than forty vendors.
It was a challenge for United Utilities engineers to work efficiently across all their sites and to ensure that consistent standards and controls were applied. United Utilities wanted to engage a Control System Integration framework partner to create a standardised and optimised implementation approach.
Control System Integration framework known as the AX4 Systems Integration framework; carried out by TCS, covers the design, development and implementation of control systems to meet the requirements of delivery of the programme approved by OFWAT and being monitored by OFWAT, DWI (Drinking Water Inspectorate) and Environment Agencies.
TCS formulated the strategy for delivery and executed the projects with a single-point programme management system. TCS is providing an end-to-end design and implementation service including putting the solution into production and training the relevant local engineers.
As part of its work on the programme, TCS implemented a standard module development approach that has reduced the cost and rollout time for more the projects under the AX4 programme. While cost and time are major constraints on the programme, there is also considerable pressure to
maintain very high quality standards. Some of the benefits achieved include:
- Higher re-use of assets due to standardisation, structured documentation, creation of a knowledge base (IP) for future implementations, and offshoring (currently up to 60% of the total project
effort being is being executed offshore).