Exelon, the nation’s largest private operator of nuclear power plants, has collaborated with Accenture to implement a mobile technology solution to enhance the productivity of its workforce and increase efficiencies in plant operations and maintenance.

The Electronic Work Package (eWP), based on software from DataGlance and deployed using Apple iPads distributed to plant maintenance crews, represents the first transition of a commercial nuclear power plant from paper-based work packages to a completely digital solution, from planning through closeout.

In 2013, Exelon performed a study with Accenture’s assistance to determine whether a move to a mobile tablet solution would provide performance improvement opportunities while meeting stringent regulatory and safety requirements, which have previously deterred the nuclear industry from taking this step. The findings showed a compelling opportunity to better manage various work streams while improving data accuracy and reducing costs.

“The new eWP system has generated efficiencies by transforming the work cycle and the productivity of hundreds of employees, from planners and maintenance supervisors to plant workers and those responsible for data entry and reporting,” said Dave Rhoades, Exelon’s senior vice president of operations support. “The eWP improves the resources available to our maintenance workers and eliminates latency in capture and transfer of critical maintenance information.”

The deployment of the eWP solution required seamless integration of enterprise IT systems with operational technologies in the field and the mobile devices, to ensure safety, standardization and accuracy of information.

“Embracing digital technology has been a challenge for asset-intensive and highly regulated industries, but the future of a nuclear plant is digital – the digital worker solution shows how innovation at Exelon continues to position the company as a leader in nuclear operations performance and safety,” said Terry Maxey, managing director in Accenture’s utilities industry group. “Exelon nuclear workers, utilizing mobile technology in place of the legacy paper-based packages, now have the ability to use real-time information and apply advanced analytics to improve reliability and maintenance effectiveness.”