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Case Studies

Drawing Management in Public Utilities

ElectraNet SA Electricity use Dv TDM to manage their assets

In December 1998 the South Australian Government moved to privatise its Electricity Assets. The day to day running of the high voltage electricity network throughout the state (consisting of almost 6000 circuit kilometres of transmission line, 66 substations and a state of the art monitoring, controlling and switching operation) was given to a new business entity initially called ETSA Transmission which then became ElectraNet SA. ElectraNet SA was given its own identity and moved to its own location.

The problem

The birth of this new entity generated a few headaches. All technical drawings and manuals needed to maintain the network were now controlled and stored by the old organisation some 8 kilometres away. When you're responsible for power to a million people and something goes wrong you obviously need to fix it as soon as possible. This is very difficult to do if you don't have access to one of your primary resources. Such was the problem faced by ElectraNet SA.

Copies of some drawings were available within the new organisation but their status could not be assured and the most recent revision of a drawing is required for engineering investigations etc. The latest revision of a drawing could be ordered from the drawing office but a wait of 2 to 3 days was to be expected. In urgent cases staff from ElectraNet could go and collect the drawings but even this took one and half to two hours. Searching for the correct drawing could take hours in itself.

The old paper system was cumbersome and fraught with problems. Obviously only one person at a time could have access to a drawing. Drawings became damaged or lost and if multiple copies were made there were multiple points where annotations or notes could be made. There was no one central definitive record.

The solution: Dv TDM

The decision to improve their operational efficiency was “born from necessity” said Mr Geof Gammon, Substation Operations Support and System Officer. But the solution was an easy choice, ElectraNet SA sought the help of Acumen Data whose product Dv TDM was to revolutionise the way ElectraNet SA handled information.

First of all, Scan Conversion Services the parent company of Acumen Data, converted some 26,000 drawings into a digital format and created a number of databases in their data capture program, DataCollection, for them.

Now with Dv TDM anyone on the ElectraNet SA Computer network can have access to any of the drawings. Finding the right document now takes seconds and not hours. Access is immediate. Everybody gets to see the latest version and can review any annotations. Uncertainty during investigations has been reduced.

As well as being able to see the appropriate drawing quickly there are many other benefits from using Dv TDM. For example the users being able to zoom into and only print off the part of the plan that they required.

The future

The use of Dv TDM proved so successful that as well as scanning all drawings ElectraNet SA has scanned all their technical manuals a total of 56,000 drawings and manuals are now accessible through the Dv TDM. It's proposed that all documents, such as manufacturer's specifications, be scanned to give a complete digital record.

Hyper linking in Dv TDM will give ElectraNet SA the option to connect manuals and photos with drawings giving everyone in the organisation immediate access to all technical documentation as well as a comprehensive view of any related assets.

Currently 55 of 160 people employed at ElectraNet use Dv TDM. This will shortly increase to 80, that is everyone involved in the day to day hands on operation of the network. “We're proposing to make access available to remote site users via dial up networking or placing a CD at each substation which contains all relevant information for the site said Mr Gammon.

“We intend to change from our original database to Oracle, enabling Intranet access for off site workers, as well as linking it with our existing maintenance program Maxio. Dv TDM's ability to have direct links with a variety of databases, offers us a great solution that we can be sure will meet our future needs.”

Mr Gammon went on to say, “the level of assistance from Scan Conversion Services and Acumen Data has been excellent in getting us up to speed. The choice of using Dv TDM over several other Document Management Solutions was easy. The product sold itself. Its ease of use, the ability to locate any drawing on the system and its low administrative and maintenance costs have proved to be the three major benefits for ElectraNet SA.

We're waiting for the mid-year release of the digital signatures and workflow modules to complete the picture. We're proposing that all external contractors be required to access its information with Dv TDM in the future.”

ElectraNet's operations are a lot more efficient now, and will continue to be in the future, thanks to Dv TDM.

About Acumen Data

Acumen Data was established in 1998 with the intention of providing “state of the art” image handling software. Dv TDM and DataCollection are its two main products, both of which are winning rave reviews from customers who have found easy to use, power software at an affordable price.

The benefits of Dv TDM

Dv TDM is Australia's premier Viewing and Drawing management software. It supports over 200 file formats that can be zoomed, panned, rotated and printed as the user requires. With its in-built database engine it's possible to search for your drawings on specific words, drawings numbers or descriptions. Because no two people's requirements are the same, it's very easy to customize Dv TDM to your individual requirements.

Dv TDM has all the functionality of a document management system including revision control, mark up and high speed viewing and printing.


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