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Title: Gain Reduces Automation And Business Costs
Author: William F. Rush, Jr.
Source: American Gas Association 2000
Year Published: 2000
Abstract: The Gas Automation Integration Network (GAIN) was formed by Brooklyn Union, Southern California Gas Company, and Consolidated Edison to facilitate the emergence of interoperable automated equipment. GAINs long-range objective is to reduce the cost of all utility automation systems by about 30% in 3 to 5 years. This is being achieved by -- Creating a competitive market for integrated automated equipment Reducing the cost of linking automated systems Transferring the burden and cost of interoperability development and assurance to the equipment manufacturers, and Facilitating the production and deployment of equipment that uses open architecture standards. GAIN is developing a consensus on the most appropriate open architecture standards and articulating this position to manufacturers and standards groups. GAIN members gather and share intelligence on nearly 20 standards groups, in order to anticipate which standards will emerge and when. Consequently, GAIN members have up-to-date, reliable, and neutral information on which to base their purchase decisions. To simplify buying interoperable equipment, GAIN members are developing and sharing purchasing specification language that incorporates the current and developing standards, thus reducing the risk of premature obsolescence. GAIN members are also developing a strategy to make the transition from proprietary protocols to an open architecture environment. GAIN Is A Group Of Gas Utilities Seeking To Save Money With Automation Brooklyn Union and SoCal Gas formed the Gas Automation Integration Network (GAIN) in 1997 to help them save money with automation. Current members of GAIN are Brooklyn Union, Consolidated Edison, and Southern California Gas Company. Much of the drive for the formation came from top management and was focused on developing a common utility industry position on automation. GAIN also works with the electric and water industries to assure that all utility automated systems are compatible. The Institute of Gas Technology (IGT) is the contractor and is responsible for monitoring developments in the area, analyzing the results, and presenting GAIN positions. The goals of the group are -- Lower operating costs Lower automation costs, and Lower restructuring costs. Achieving these goals offers utilities significant financial benefits. The Gas Research Institute (GRI) estimates total industry savings from integrated automation at 180,000,000. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has found similar results for the electric industry. The potential returns are so large that integrated automation is the largest item in GRIs program. Broadly, the method of realizing these savings is to integrate ALL automated utility systems together using Open Architecture interfaces.

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