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Are you prepared in case of power cable failure?

Feb 27, 2019

NKT Insight - Documentation is seldom a priority in power link management. But it can be directly business critical! Because access to the right documentation can help dramatically reduce downtime in case of cable failure.

Pile of files
Downtime is every power cable operator’s nightmare. Breakdowns are fortunately rare, but when they do occur, they soon become extremely costly. In fact, a cable breakdown can cost operators up to hundreds of thousands of euros every day.

Documentation is mission-critical

Should your cable break down, fast access to relevant and updated cable documentation is key to having the cable up and running again fast. There is no doubt that documentation is mission-critical in power cable operation.
A power cable project may generate thousands of pages of documentation, covering everything from technical data to legal details. Procedures how to locate and mobilize people and equipment may be crucial to reduce stoppage time.

Skip the floppy discs

Based on my experience, documentation is often managed half-heartedly, with unclear responsibilities. Documents “disappear” when new computer systems are implemented. Key personnel quit or retire, leaving data forever inaccessible. I recently had to retrieve information from old floppy discs, while a fully mobilized repair team was waiting for a go.

Be prepared in advance

The last you want is to look for documentation during a standstill. That should have been taken care of well in advance. For example, discovering in the middle of a project that the necessary permits are missing may stop a repair project for weeks.
A typical project may begin with the service provider asking key operator personnel questions to assess the company’s preparedness. Any existing documentation is located, assembled and analyzed to evaluate what needs to be produced or updated. 
NKT has a long experience helping customers review and update cable link documentation. We believe that many cable operators could improve their documentation management substantially – and thus also their preparedness to reduce downtime in case of failure.