ABSTRACT:

The ever-increasing need to reduce pipeline management costs entails the need to exploit more unmanned stations and to reduce the activities of patrollers for inspections along the pipeline. This need must not, however, jeopardise safety, environmental protection and the quality of processes and services delivered. Technology today, i.e. Information Technology and Communication (IT&C), has reached such levels that it enables part of human activities to be replaced by said technology to meet above requirements. To this end, during the past years, many companies are striving to introduce Tele-maintenance activities, techniques and systems within their plants. Standardisation bodies are also aware of these needs and are working on possible standards. This paper will define the fundamental concepts of Tele-maintenance, with reference to studies in progress in Maintenance Commissions for Standards and will suggest how Tele-maintenance may be exploited in gas transportation networks. A specific case will be illustrated, that is, how the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA S.A.) has, with the use of SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system introduced Tele-maintenance practice.

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