Technology and Digitalization
As globally recognized experts and technological frontrunners in the energy and utilities industry, we have been supporting our clients in the strategic evaluation and integration of new technologies for over 100 years.
⇨ How can global, national and regional climate protection goals be effectively achieved through the targeted use of new technologies?
⇨ What new business models are opened up by the use of new technologies?
⇨ To what extent can and must existing business models be adapted due to technological developments?
⇨ How can the use of new technologies contribute to operational excellence?
⇨ What impact do new technologies have on the operating model, required competencies and interaction with clients?...
Technology and Digitalization – More Than Physical Assets and IT
Our industry-specific technology and digitization expertise enables us to develop viable concepts and solutions for our clients, which we implement and guide to success in collaboration with the client.
- Concept development for the use of new technologies in energy generation, distribution and utilization (decentralized generation from renewable energies, cross-sector interconnected solutions, community concepts, climate-neutral heat supply, virtual power plants, use of hydrogen in the energy industry, etc.)
- Investment strategies for new technologies and determination of the appropriate technology mix including transformation path
- Development of technological capabilities, partner networks and cooperation structures
- Set up of innovation and technology management
- Conceptual design of digitalization strategies
- Development of new digital business models and digitization of existing physical business models
- Operational excellence through process digitization, data analytics and AI
References for typical projects
- Development of a digitalization strategy and definition of implementation measures
Development of a digitalization strategy and definition of implementation measures
A joint digitalization strategy was developed during workshops together with the heads of the technical departments and the management of the Water Production department at RheinEnergie. Based on benchmarking of the degree of digitalization and a survey of key areas for digitalization, the latter were operationalized in specific action areas. Taking account of Fichtner best practices, prioritized action areas were verified and further developed in a moderated experience sharing context together with representatives of leading water utility companies. Finally, concrete measures for implementation were specified in detail and an action plan defined.
- Digitalization strategy
- Development of implementation measures
ClientRheinenergie / nicht confidential
- Identification of necessary IT capabilities and development of an IT target vision
Identification of necessary IT capabilities and development of an IT target vision
The client, a regional energy provider, was confronted with the increasing complexity and speed of IT-specific requirements and changes. The objective of the project was to assess the current situation in terms of capabilities, governance, interaction with the department, committee structure and IT landscape, and to identify potential for optimization as well as to describe a future IT role profile and define governance (including procedures for IT portfolio management and requirements management). An assessment was conducted to determine relevant roles and the current situation at the start of the project as well as to identify current and future IT capabilities.
Following that assessment, a high-level IT architecture diagram was created in a workshop, enabling the client to quickly gain an overview of the overall system in the event of specific system adaptations.
In another project stream, a process was developed for the coordination of IT-specific requirements and for IT portfolio management including release gates, templates and role model.
- Analysis of the actual situation
- Identification of deficiencies regarding IT capabilities required in the future
- Development of high-level IT architecture
- Development of a role profile for IT requirements management and IT portfolio management
- Conceptual design of a requirements management process and IT portfolio management process (including templates and release gates)
Clienterdgas schwaben; schwaben netz
- Introduction of an operations management system & IT organization
Introduction of an operations management system & IT organization
A system decision for an operations management system (BFS) will be taken by SE Hannover, the Hanover municipal waste water utility, in 2022. The target system will be selected taking account of the existing systems as well as the applicable standards and guidelines on operations management systems.
The new system will serve as the basis for digitalizing maintenance and servicing processes. Manual switching between media will thus be avoided in the underlying IT systems. The operations management system will then be successively expanded as the central system for other tasks (e.g. task planning, resource management, materials management). Fichtner is supervising the preparation of a requirements specification and tendering as well as the introduction of an operations management system.
- Requirements analysis for the operations management system and preparation of a requirements specification
- Supervision of the tendering process for the operations management system
- Implementation support and process digitalization
- Introduction of an IT organization
ClientHanover municipal waste water utility
- Representation of new technologies in the future physical data system for stations
Representation of new technologies in the future physical data system for stations
The construction and operation of new technologies such as HVDC converters, RPSA and STATCOM means the client needs to represent these plants in a physical data system, in particular to support maintenance and asset management. The company therefore decided to fundamentally modernize their existing physical data system for stations, which was developed in-house, and to extend it to include new technologies. Fichtner was contracted to strengthen the client’s requirements team focusing on new technologies.
Fichtner is heading a “New Technologies” working group representing all of the relevant technical departments, and is responsible for thematic structuring and the coordination of specialist concepts. User stories will be created based on these concepts and presented to the team of developers during the refinement and sprint planning phases. Fichtner is assuming the role of technical supervisor on behalf of the working group up to and including acceptance.
- Requirements management, i.e. technical coordination of requirements for representing new technologies (RPSA, STATCOM, HVDC plants) in the future physical data system
- Heading the client’s internal working group
- Creation of user stories
- Acceptance of implemented requirements
- Data modeling and preparation
- Preparation of maintenance checklists
- Value management study for the conceptual design of heat generation and the development of a campus site
Value management study for the conceptual design of heat generation and the development of a campus site
A German energy provider was planning to switch its energy supply from coal-fired to renewable heat supply. In this context, one production site also needed to be examined regarding the potential for technical optimization as well as future viability as part of the energy transition. Fichtner was contracted to carry out a value management study to enable a techno-economically optimized energy supply concept to be identified for the site. The project involved two approaches. First, a large section of the heat network was analyzed with a renewable production concept in mind. Second, a concept needed to be developed for the future heat supply of one selected site. A value management study focusing on the overall heat concept for the network was conducted for this purpose together with technical experts.
Parallel to this, the technical feasibility of converting the existing firing plant to other energy sources was examined by an external contractor. In addition to the technical calculation, a BoFiT calculation was performed in collaboration with the customer, to identify the technically and economically optimum option for the overall concept.
- Technical analysis of the existing heat generation facility regarding potential for optimization
- Execution of a value management study for the conceptual design of the heat network, incl. techno-economic oversight
- Assistance with a plant deployment calculation (BoFiT)
- Calculation and design of the base, intermediate and peak heat generation loads and recommendation of the preferred option
- Preparation, execution and follow-up of workshops as well as steering committees and committee meetings
- Digitalization Strategy
The raw data collection system that has been used for 30 years in various technical generations by the forest ranger service at the offices of the Baden-Württemberg State Department for Forestry (ForstBW) is to be replaced in the medium term by a mobile information system based on tablet computers.
ForstBW requires consulting and project support, including during the tendering procedure, for the upcoming project phases. The core of the project entails the blanket introduction of tablet PCs that are suitable for outdoor use in forests. They will replace the mobile IT technology that ForstBW has been using for the past two decades at more than a thousand different sites. The innovative software architecture will facilitate online and offline use. The mobile IT systems and their operational data are closely integrated into the extensive database and processes of ForstBW’s central ERP systems.
- Ascertainment of requirements as well as support during the tendering procedure
- Project management
ClientBaden-Württemberg State Department for Forestry (ForstBW)