AES Performance Excellence - Improving Lives with APEX

Message from the COO

“Over the past 10 years, improvements made with APEX tools and methodologies have made us a more resilient and sustainable company by sharing best practices, taking our operational performance to new highs, minimizing our impact on the environment and strengthening our focus on our customers.”

Bernerd Da Santos
AES Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO)

APEX tools and methodologies help us improve our operations.

By improving our operations, we can better deliver on our mission of improving lives.

Since 2006, our people have used a common way to approach continuous improvement from identifying issues to finding solutions and taking action with the AES Performance Excellence (APEX) program. Over the last ten years, APEX tools and methodologies have helped us accomplish our goal of continuous improvement by enabling us to innovate based on data-driven decision making.

Projects that utilize APEX tools and methodologies leverage the knowledge we have within AES, develop our people through problem solving experiences, allow us to better manage our business and ultimately help us better serve our customers.

What is APEX?

APEX is a continuous improvement program with a set of consistent, common and rigorous tools and methodologies, such as Lean and Six Sigma, to improve our business processes while taking our operational excellence to the next level.

Our people are trained to develop skills related to project management and business performance improvement, and participate in regional and global sessions to share experiences so others can replicate best practices. As our people improve business processes, they in turn, create real benefits, including savings, for the company and our customers while growing their own skillset.

Today, people from all over our various markets utilize APEX to grow their skillsets and to deliver on our mission of improving lives to provide safe, reliable and sustainable energy solutions.

APEX in Action

AES El Salvador, MCAC SBU

Improving Reliability and Increasing Customer Satisfaction

AES El Salvador and its four distribution companies, CAESS, CLESA, EEO and DEUSEM, serve the energy needs of 84 percent of El Salvador. To provide a safe and reliable electric supply to all of its customers, the company constantly upgrades the electrical network to meet future demand, to ensure the quality of supply, to connect new customers and to execute planned maintenance which minimizes the risk of unplanned outages. It is necessary to interrupt the power supply in designated work areas for a specific period of time referred to as a planned outage to perform these activities safely. By utilizing APEX tools and methodologies, the team at AES El Salvador improved the process for planned outages reducing the average time of an outage by nearly 50 percent and improving their customer satisfaction index by 8 percent.

AES Argentina, Andes SBU
AES India, Asia SBU

Reducing Energy Consumption

At AES, our people strive for operational excellence and two businesses found ways to turn simple energy conservation techniques into real savings for the company while also reducing emissions. In India, the OPGC plant incurred losses due to increasing auxiliary power consumption. A local team utilized APEX tools to fine-tune their operational and maintenance practices and developed an energy conservation program with funding from the India State Energy Department. Similarly, a team at AES Argentina utilized APEX tools to successfully reduce their internal consumption and energy purchases from the external grid resulting in a 13 percent decrease in overall energy costs.

AES Gener, Andes SBU

Replicating Good Ideas

As a global company, we like to take the best ideas implemented in one market and replicate our successes in other markets. Sometimes though, even good ideas need tweaking in varying environments. For example, in Chile, our run-of-the river hydro plant utilizing Alfalfal’s tunnels along two rivers has long been an extreme challenge. There were high safety risks, high costs and business interruption of more than 28 days due to the emptying of tunnels of rocks and sediment. Using ideas from other AES plants in Chile and Panama, the local team began using Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) for inspections. This was a great idea, however the ROV batteries would deplete halfway through the inspection. Instead of giving up on the idea, the team utilized APEX tools to find an innovative way to transport the ROVs inside the tunnels using controlled water flow. This new inspection method has reduced business interruption from 28 days to two days and reduced frequency of tunnel emptying from every 10 years to every 40 years.

View Infographic

Our 10-Year Journey to a World-Class Safety Culture

We put safety first and have worked over the last 10 years to take specific actions to transform our safety culture. Utilizing APEX tools to help us on our journey, we and our businesses created 32 Safety Standards, have avoided 646 serious incidents since 2006, involved 929 people in protocol-based safety audits and our 92 percent reduction in LTIs at our businesses since 2005 is reflective of top 10 percent performance compared to US utility industry peers. We were even recognized with an honorary mention PEX (Process Excellence) award in the Most Innovative Approach to Driving Culture Change category. We also received recognition as a finalist in the international category of the 2015 Edison Awards from EEI for our achievements.