A major order from Preußen Elektra for the then AEG got the ball rolling 30 years ago. A substation with the associated creation of the complete wiring manuals was to be created. To accomplish this, the AEG subsidiary Debis Systemhaus, which is responsible for project planning, founded a committee of plant planners, operators, and software professionals. The aim was to exchange and discuss ways of developing efficiency-enhancing standards for the EVU sector with know-how and fresh ideas.
The first step towards uniform standards was a module developed by Debis for the CAD system RUPLAN, which took into account the special needs of energy supply companies (EVU). "Even then it was clear that the entire energy sector would benefit from uniform standards," explains Michaela Imbusch, Power Product Manager at AUCOTEC and host and moderator of the EVU working group for many years.
Helping to shape change
Within the past 30 years, the working group has brought about a number of developments. Starting with the arrival of digital technology in the substations. Everything was revised, analogue devices were replaced by digital technology. Standards and guidelines became all the more important so that all future substations would be developed in the same way.
In 1997, AUCOTEC finally took over RUPLAN and thus also the working group. "Since 2010, we have also been dealing with our Engineering Base platform in the meetings because more and more users are now using EB," says Imbusch. "Since 2015, a separate EB-EVU working group has met twice a year, while the RUPLAN experts meet once a year.
From attendee to organiser
One who regularly attends the meetings is Sascha Wagner. "I was on the working group for about four years representing my employer at the time, Euro Engineering," Wagner explains. He is now a Senior Application Consultant at AUCOTEC – and knows the working group not only as a member, but also as an organiser. "At that time, I was there as a power user of EB. So the contact to Ms Imbusch and AUCOTEC was already there through my work. And that's how I also got to know the working group". As a group member, he very much appreciates the atmosphere and the mutual understanding and emphasizes: "The organization was always great, also how Ms Imbusch was able to create a relaxed and respectful environment with up to 50 attendees was and still is just great." As an organizer, he now sees a different side to the meetings. "At the moment it is totally exciting to see in which direction the working group is developing."
Focus on data
Not only have the topics developed and changed over the course of the year, but so have the members. "The group has changed quite a bit," Wagner explains. "In the past, more classical engineering was represented. Today we also see completely different disciplines such as protection and control technology, the involvement of project managers and primary technology. And new questions keep coming up as well". "It is becoming increasingly important for all parties involved to understand how they can really make data usable and how to get even more data out of EB." AUCOTEC remains in close communication with its customers here in order to be able to continue working together on new solutions – and at a high level. "We and the customers are mainly interested in practical experience and not so much in basic questions."
Since the working group's goal is a uniform understanding and working methods that benefit all EVU professionals, new members are welcome at any time: "Anyone from the EVU sector who wants to share broad-based knowledge and contribute is welcome," says Product Manager Imbusch. "Because this working group is really something special. It's just pure networking!"
And Sascha Wagner also looks back fondly on the meetings as a member. "At the EVU working group you can always have an open discussion, the atmosphere is really pleasant and relaxed. Everyone is dealing with the same topics. And my network has also expanded significantly." At the moment, the working group is aimed at companies from the DACH region. "But it need not stop there," says Wagner. "Our vision for the future is an international working group, preparations are already underway."