Vegetation Management with DataSplice Mobile for MaximoTrimming Costs on Electrical Power

The largest power outage in U.S. history was caused by just one tree encountering a transmission line in Ohio. The outage in 2003 affected 55 million people in eight U.S. states and in Canada. One electric power company in Arizona is being proactive to prevent any trees from causing that type of calamity in their community. To meet their mission, they identified a need to streamline their process for tree trimming with a mobile solution.

This power company’s goals include keeping 10 feet between trees and electrical equipment, while managing the costs for resources to do so at an effective level. They also wanted to increase the number of circuits, or designated zones, inspections per year. They identified that their paper-driven process was expensive and slow. The Vegetation Management inspectors and crews routinely had to retrieve paper maps of the city and stacks of work orders. They kept notes on paper and scribbled on maps while in the field. Eventually information made its way from paper into their IBM Maximo® asset management system, sometimes one or two weeks later. Managers frequently struggled to know what the issues were, how old they were or where they were.

Implementing a mobile solution allowed this power company to address these issues. In addition to meeting specific operational requirements, they had three main criteria for their new mobile solution: it had to be fast, it had to be easy and it had to be bulletproof. 

OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

The company required a highly configurable, mobile solution for Maximo. It also needed to meet the following requirements:

  • A mobile vegetation management application deployed through Microsoft Windows® tablets.
  • A view of the work for field inspectors to capture data and upload it to Maximo for work prioritization and planning.
  • A view of tree trim orders that contractors could download from Maximo to their devices for updating and reporting in the field.
  • The capability of working disconnected from the network. 

SOLUTION

After just five months, DataSplice delivered the solution to field inspectors and the contracted tree trimming company. The application design utilizes Esri’s GIS mapping features and data from Maximo to create an easy-to-use and interactive map of the circuits and trees requiring attention. All information is stored on ruggedized tablets, allowing for inspectors and crews to view, complete and add new work and work details while disconnected from the network.

As part of their daily routine, the field inspectors and trimming crews (a contracted tree trimming company) arrive in the morning, grab their devices, synchronize their information and depart for the day to complete their work.  At the end of each day, the teams return to the office and upload their work from DataSplice to Maximo.

The field inspectors now have the capability to view, add and modify all data in the field. The application is flexible and allows field inspectors to include important notes for the tree trimming company like, “Caution: There’s a dog in the yard.”  The trimming crews use the mobile application to drive to the location, perform the work required and then update the work orders through their devices.

BENEFIT HIGHLIGHTS

  • A list the inspectors can upload to their devices that directs them to the circuit that needs inspecting.
  • Easy to follow forms the inspectors use to communicate which trees need trimming.
  • Important notices about the job site such as dogs, locked gates or other concerns.
  • A touch-screen map highlighting the route, circuit and trees requiring trimming.
  • Color-coding to identify teams and projects.
  • Identifies what equipment is required (bucket, climbing) and the number of tree trimmers required.
  • Reports for management on key metrics to continue process improvements.
  • Work is done in the field, offline, but uploaded to Maximo when the teams return to the facility. 

Through the implementation of DataSplice, this power company has significantly improved field personnel efficiency, has current data for management to review, and is realizing their goals of providing a mobile solution to their employees and contractors – and one that is fast, easy, and bulletproof. This power company promotes the DataSplice mobile solution as a win for customer service, for improving safety and for providing reliable electricity for their community. 

PROJECT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Deployment Type: On-premise
  • Implementation Team: DataSplice
  • Integrated Systems: Maximo, ESRI
  • Use Case Type: Mobile Work Management and Inspection
  • Departments: Distribution Vegetation Mapping Management