NATURKRAFT, a subsidiary of EAA-EnergieAllianz Austria, in which Energie Burgenland AG holds a ten-per cent stake, and EVN AG and Wien Energie GmbH each hold a 45-per cent stake, is one of the most environmentally-friendly electricity suppliers in Austria.
The company has set itself the goal of supplying electricity to customers exclusively from renewable energy sources (water, wind, biomass, geothermal energy, solar, etc.). The origin of its electrical energy as well as the associated environmental impacts is checked annually by TUV AUSTRIA and confirmed by means of a certificate.
TUV AUSTRIA checks NATURKRAFT’s supply sources to provide consumers, companies, cities and municipalities with the assurance that the green electricity they purchase is produced in a sustainable manner in Austria. NATURKRAFT receives a relevant confirmation from TUV AUSTRIA if it is established that the electricity comes from the renewable sources that customers have been assured of.
When the facilities are stopped in a six-year cycle at the OMV refinery in Schwechat, there is a reason for it: legally prescribed cleaning, maintenance, and inspection work. To be able to service and inspect a plant of this size, the shutdowns are split into two-year periods. After the crude oil processing section last year, this year it is the turn of the petrochemical area. TUV AUSTRIA has been a safety services partner for OMV for a long time.
A large team of authorized experts will be on-site until mid-June. Every pressure vessel, every new welded joint, and every flange connection is inspected with the utmost meticulousness by TUV AUSTRIA technicians – a substantial contribution to ensuring the plant’s safety and environmentally sound operation for the coming years. For TUV AUSTRIA’s experts, however, the focus is not only on the technical safety of the plant, but just as important is the issue of occupational safety within the scope of the inspection. Correct behaviour in any danger scenario is practised in numerous training sessions. This is to make sure nothing happens if anything should ever happen.
Systematic assessment from planning to commissioning
Safety technology has developed greatly over the last few years. Although safety devices for pressure equipment and systems are today still being realized with mechanical safety equipment, such as safety valves and rupture discs, a trend towards electronic safety devices is becoming increasingly apparent.
The normative and safety requirements for such so-called MCR protection systems (measurement, control, and regulation devices, including, for example, overfill protection for containers and safety chains for steam boilers) are very high and require a systematic assessment from planning to risk analysis and all the way to execution and commissioning.
Being a safety services partner of OMV’s for many years, TUV AUSTRIA invests a great deal of time and training to ensure its specialists have top-of-the-line qualifications. All departments within the large team of refinery inspectors consequently have the necessary expertise for such safety equipment.
The preparatory work for testing the MCR protection systems had already started a few months before the refinery was shut down. While the plant is stopped, all the safety equipment will be subjected to appropriate tests, examinations, and assessments until mid-June, so as to allow the systems to continue to be operated safely and reliably in the future too.
Efficient test methods, safe facilities
By developing its own test methods, the TUV AUSTRIA materials technology unit has achieved a high reputation both domestically and abroad in non-destructive testing of materials. These are methods for assessing the internal condition of materials and welded seams, containers and pipelines, without having to cut open the container or the pipeline. Physical, optical, and chemical parameters allow an accurate assessment of a material’s state, making, for example, even the finest cracks visible.
Acoustic emission is also included in non-destructive testing. This method can be used to determine the condition of a container or pipeline with regard to cracks and corrosion. Depending on the application, this examination can even be performed during the ongoing operation of the systems. Acoustic emission is therefore a time- and money-saving method to examine plants to be sure they are in a safe condition.
In addition to the classical methods of non-destructive testing, modern imaging methods are also used in inspecting the OMV refinery in Schwechat to determine the current condition of the systems. Depending on the results of these tests, specific repairs are made or, if necessary, components are replaced.
The digital transformation is rapidly gaining momentum. This applies to all areas of information and communication technologies, mobile communication, cloud computing, Industry 4.0, automated networks of machines (or Internet of Things), and the issue of data. All digitization opportunities must be taken advantage of in order to make your company more efficient, improve customer benefits, and develop new products.
The issue of security is interdisciplinary and will impact companies of any size and throughout all of their sectors. Data and information traffic requires safety measures and corresponding testing concepts because the number of attacks on server structures and applications is increasing in intensity.
TUV AUSTRIA supports customers with a precisely defined portfolio of standards-based, methodical services in the identification of informational values. The group also helps define an economically viable security level via security analyses, the conception and implementation of suitable processes, right through to documenting the achieved status.
With the introduction of an information security management system (ISMS) in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001:2013, processes are established to protect informational confidentiality, integrity, availability, and authenticity. With ‘Trusted Industry 4.0” IT solutions, companies with communicating devices and large amounts of data and information can achieve an appropriate level of security. Individual Solutions for Companies and Government Agencies TUV AUSTRIA advises in the fields of information security, technical security, data protection, IT compliance, and mobile and cloud security.
The IT specialists are also assisting companies in the development of apps, and support with safety tests, training courses, and certifications. With a specially developed App-Checker, companies will be able to protect their mobile infrastructure from malicious apps. Apps from official app stores for all major platforms and operating systems can be analyzed. In view of the ever-increasing and more diverse requirements of companies and government agencies regarding informational security, TUV AUSTRIA has expanded its services in the area of IT security by acquiring a majority stake in Systemhaus SPP. SPP offers individually tailored services as well as a comprehensive product portfolio for the optimization of security in companies and public institutions.
The company has over 25 years of experience in the IT sector and maintains excellent relationships with international manufacturers in the core areas of its service portfolio. In addition to improved market penetration through integrated solutions, the acquisition also furthers the internationalization of the Group.
TUV AUSTRIA provides guidance and support in setting up test environments. In the next three years, TUV AUSTRIA will be a strategic setup partner of ALP.Lab, the Austrian Light Vehicle Proving Region for Automated Driving. With the project partners AVL, Magna, TU Graz, Joanneum Research, ASFINAG, AIT, TTTech, and Siemens, testing will be carried out on how highly automated vehicles can prevent traffic accidents, which are caused by human error in over 90 percent of cases.
Digitrans, an exploratory project to establish a test region for automated and connected driving in freight transport, is supported by AIT, Automobile Cluster Upper Austria (Automobilcluster Oberösterreich), ASFINAG, Rosenbauer, Hodlmayer, Kapsch, and MAN. TUV AUSTRIA is involved as an associate project partner. TUV AUSTRIA also participates in the innovative project auto. bus – Seestadt with safety- & IT-security for systems used in highly automated driving. In Vienna’s new district, technologies are to be tested for autonomous driving in public passenger transport and local public transport. In this three-year project, TUV AUSTRIA is a partner of Wiener Linien, Wiener Stadtwerk, Kuratorium für Verkehrssicherheit, AIT, Siemens and nauva.
New vehicle system architectures with redundancies will be necessary for the near future which transfers control to the human driver in a defined manner in driving modes that are no longer controllable. The functional safety of automated vehicles is ensured by fail-operational systems. These have a host of sensors (camera, radar, light detection, and ranging – LiDAR) for the redundancies required. New high-performance steering units are in the planning to manage the fusion of incoming data with its associated processing.
High requirements are naturally posed for safety-related actuators, like brakes and steering. As in all technical fields, TUV AUSTRIA provides guidance and support for ongoing development, with analyses of scenarios and situations to enable automated and connected driving functions.