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  MORE than a supplier     HV Power Customer Newsletter June 2020    
           
        New Business System    
 

    In this issue:

Photo - Warwick Beech

 Commentary

I appreciated those who noticed the lack of newsletters from HV Power over the last few months. We are alive and well! As you will see in this newsletter, my focus has been getting our new business system up and running. We are now past the critical milestone, so I now have time to devote to being more prompt in my responses to customers, and getting this newsletter out. Hopefully, this issue will give you an insight as to what has been happening during lockdown, and what to look forward to..

Regards

Warwick Beech

 

Photo - Mike Strong

 Commentary

I would like to thank everyone for their strong continued support during the lockdown and post-lockdown period. This is definitely uncharted territory as we feel our way through the changing times and adapting to the new ways of working.

On the positive side, the lockdown did allow some time to reflect on what the future holds and what is important for our customers. One of the hot topics has been around Automation/Remote control of equipment. Over the last few years, we have developed a range of products where we can handle almost any customer requirements. I do look forward to being given some more challenges where we can test these developments out!

 

 

Regards

Mike Strong

 

   

HV Power has installed a new business system – a process that has been a few years in the planning, several months in the preparation, a few months in the implementation, and now several weeks of bedding-in. The implementation phase occurred during lockdown, which was a challenge in itself.

The new integrated system covers our entire sales, production, and finance needs. From a customer perspective you will see this in new-looking quotes, order confirmation, packing slips and invoices, and hopefully an overall improvement in service.

The system is the biggest investment by far in the 25-year-plus history of the company. This decision was made by the Directors with our firm belief in the great long-term opportunities for HV Power as a supplier to the generation, transmission, and distribution networks.

The new system (MYOB Greentree) was desperately needed to support our growing and more diverse and complex business. With the inefficiencies of our old paper-based and disparate systems, we were starting to struggle with paying attention to the specific customisation details of each customer order. Our new system gets us back to where we want to be – with the ability to be able to handle much larger volumes with better attention to detail. For our Switchgear Division, the system delivers a much-needed integrated inventory, bill of materials, and job-costing system.

We are delighted to be already experiencing some of the new efficiencies, and having better visibility on the flow of customer orders, inventory, and jobs.  Our sales staff now have at their fingertips up-to-date pricing, inventory levels and full visibility of each customer order as it progresses through our system.

Admittedly it took us longer than expected during the cutover between systems where we could not transact. We thank the patience of those customers who were affected during that time.

 

   
      Lockdown    
     

Many of our staff continued to work on the factory floor to support our essential service customers, with the rest of the staff working from home. At the start of lockdown our technical staff each took a product, with the intent of being able to spend some of the expected ‘quiet time’ getting deeply familiar with it. However, most were kept fully busy with normal day-to-day support.

During the lockdown, the Directors elected to keep all staff employed and on their full pay. We believe business should be back at pre-lockdown levels soon. As our staff have a specialist knowledge years in the making, it would have been counterproductive to take short-term staff actions. Our staff are key to our success, so the Directors have accepted the short-term financial pain of maintaining staffing, for the benefit of the long term. The Government assistance package was gratefully appreciated.

Life for our sales staff is different without face-to-face meetings. However, we are now well-versed in Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp and TeamViewer! We were encouraged to see a different type of discussion with customers and consultants over the lockdown – one that was around discussing longer term and bigger picture technology strategies. We also received great feedback from those who attended the Siemens webinars (which jumped to the heart of some very technical subjects) giving great confidence in those standing ‘behind the product’.

In addition to the business system, we dedicated a full-time internal resource to further developing our quality system. Lockdown for Rob Knight was spent developing a new quality template to help ongoing improvements in that area.

 

   
      New Business Offerings from HV Power    
     

We have two new services for you.

FAT testing primary network equipment

We are now using our test facility, test equipment and skilled staff to undertake pre-commissioning testing for our customers. In addition to the equipment we sell, we are now doing this for other manufacturers’ equipment. Customers are dropping off their RMUs and Reclosers (etc) for us to fit customer radios/modems/antenna etc, to load the settings and do various current/voltage/resistance/insulation and systems/functional testing. For devices with built-in radios we undertake point testing to their SCADA, allowing the units to be sent direct to site for trouble-free site commissioning. This frees our customer’s technicians for other jobs. We can efficiently undertake this work in our large weather-protected testing bay, with all the test equipment on hand – eliminating the need for you to pull staff and equipment back from your site jobs.  

Omicron secondary relay testing

Relays such as Siemens SIPROTEC 5 are incredibly powerful, with the typical manual being 1000+  pages. We have found the simulation tools within DIGSI 5 and those within the relay themselves are invaluable in helping to understand the relay and the settings. However, there is no substitute for external secondary testing to be truly confident in the end design. So HV Power have purchased a state-of-the-art Omicron test set and are now working towards installing a permanent and purpose-built relay test facility.

We are offering for hire the capability (in Auckland) to undertake secondary injection on Siemens (and others) protection relays. The facility, with a skilled Omicron operator, will be available to:

  • Secondary inject relays to prove effectiveness of settings and validity of scheme logic
  • Secondary inject relays to aid understanding of relay response to specific fault conditions

This service will help customers and consultants to deliver more robust standard designs, and to reduce the workload on field commissioning technicians when issues are found at the last moments during commissioning.

Customers and consultants can bring your relays (or use ours) and setting files etc and work with our skilled operator. This may be for the peace-of-mind in having a scheme tested, or as part of an independent FAT. This facility is in its infancy, so talk to us now if you have any idea of how we may be able to help you.

HV Power's CMC 356 Omicron tester

 

Spares Management

This is not a new service, but something we have been doing for a while. For one of our customers, when sites are upgraded, the old equipment is delivered to us. We sort out the items they wish to retain, test, package and deliver them back to their ‘spares’ store.

Also, if you hold spares of relays, keep in mind they should be powered for at least 48 hours at least every two years. We can help with that and replace batteries, upgrade firmware etc at the same time.

 

   
      Suppliers    
     

In general, all our suppliers are up and running, with lead times returning to normal. The major impact we’ve seen is huge increases in freight rates (due to less planes in the air), and longer freight times (as non-perishable items get bumped off flights).  We expect to see some upward movement in prices as freight costs affect component and finished goods delivery.

Tekron International Tekron. The Tekron manufacturing facility is fully operational, with pre-lockdown lead times back in place
Siemens Siemens. Siemens delivery times are back to just about normal, but freight to New Zealand is unpredictable, sometimes adding an extra week or two. (This applies to all our suppliers except New Zealand-based Tekron.)
A. Eberle A.Eberle. Production times are back to normal, but freight to New Zealand is unpredictable. The one exception is the PQI-DA smart power quality meter – there is a specialist component shortage that is going to take a few months to resolve.
RMS RMS – Mors Smitt (Auxiliary relays). Production capacity is at about 80%, so delivery times are heading back to normal.
MTE-HYDROCAL MTE (HYDROCAL DGA). Delivery times are back to normal
MV Technology Horstmann Fault Passage Indicators. Delivery times are back to normal for fault passage indicators.
Electro Industries Electro Industries (Shark power meters). We have struck a new deal with our supplier. These check meters with DNP interfaces now have better pricing and delivery!

 

   
      Our facilities    
     

Post-lock down the door signs were delivered for our Onehunga facility. With the proper reception sign now on the front door – it looks like we are fully ‘at home’ in our new premises. 

Our facilities in Level 1 are open to our customers with the (new) normal sign-in for contact tracing and hand-sanitising routines.

 

   
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