Rolls-Royce, the aero-engine group, wants to expand its footprint in the civil nuclear services market by using data analytics to predict when power stations will break down. The move comes as the world’s nuclear industry is under pressure to reduce operating costs as it faces stiff competition amid rising gas-fired and renewable energy capacity. “Our vision is to get to where aerospace is, to emulate the ‘live tracking’ of the health of different components,” said Rob Fletcher, head of civil nuclear at Rolls-Royce. The FTSE 100 group is keen to use its expertise in “predictive” maintenance, where data generated from sensors gives an unprecedented insight into the performance of engines and other products, allowing customers to predict equipment issues and maintenance requirements. Much of the world’s nuclear reactors are more than 20 years old and the costs of maintaining these and holding “just in case” inventory are significant. Being able to predict when certain components require maintenance can enable an operator to cut down on the downtime of a reactor and help with purchasing costs.
FT 27th Aug 2018 read more »