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Hydro One Move to Mobile (M2M) Hits the Target

Background

Hydro One has a long history in the electricity services industry. Starting in 1906, Sir Adam Beck’s vision to supply electricity to southwest Ontario and Toronto led to creation of the 450 megawatt (MW) Queenston Chippawa station at  Niagara Falls. In its time, it was the largest power station in the world.

“Working with Critigen, we were able to tightly integrate GIS with SAP’s Work Manager, cutting the data updates from an upper end of 180 days to only 4 to 5 days.”

Tom Kydd, Vice President Operations, Hydro One

 

Today, Hydro One exports 6,270 MW of power—98% of Ontario’s transmission capacity—to over 1.4M people covering a large, diverse territory of lakes and rivers.

To keep homes warm and lights on, Hydro One manages 30,000 km (18,641 mi) of transmission lines, 123,000 km (76,429 mi) of distribution lines, and 1.8 million poles, and growing.

Challenge

The challenge for Hydro One was finding innovative ways to increase system performance and reduce costs, without sacrificing safety. The current processes were antiquated and not working well.

Completed work was also done on paper, requiring time consuming data entry. Data update time took months, and data input and integrity suffered. Up to 40% of report submissions required verification (e.g., emails, phone calls, and truck rolls).

Lineman only carried maps for their operational area. If an incident occurred near them, but in another area, the paper maps they had in  the truck wouldn’t be of any help.

Solution

The solution was the Move to Mobile (M2M) initiative, which involved the tight integration of SAP Enterprise Asset Manager (EAM) with Work Manager (WM), scheduling software, and Esri ArcGIS using Critigen’s Lemur™ product. Lemur™ acted as the glue, connecting systems and automating the update of map data to field crews’ tablets.

“From an SAP WM perspective, Critigen helped us put the GIS in the field,” said Tyler Towers, Business Solution Architect, and M2M Technical Lead at Hydro One.  “Every Monday, field crews  receive up-to-date cached map data for their region. If an incident occurs in another region, they can access that region’s data to respond.”

The move to digital also involved connecting the field to the back office. “As linemen complete their work in WM, our business processes are maintaining that asset information, both on the SAP side and in the enterprise GIS,” said Towers.

Results


By integrating best in class technologies, Hydro One replaced 40+ paper forms, modernized scheduling methods and gave linemen real-time access to up-to-date SAP data and GIS maps.

Linemen drive time was reduced each day, reducing costly windshield time.

“Schedulers now bring up a map and say, ‘show me all work activities in an area,’  they circle them, and  then assign to staff. “

“The efficiencies around scheduling and routing, and execution of work are improving thereby increasing our execution efficiencies.”

Tom Kydd, Vice President Operations,  Hydro One

 

There was a marked increase in the timeliness of data input and the integrity of field submissions, and data update time was significantly improved.

Truck locations are now visible to schedulers, and crews can now see defects in the power system on their tablets. They can report defects or address them on the spot.  “They’ve never had that visibility before, and they are taking ownership of the process,” said Towers.

Better data is also giving the finance department a much truer view of what’s happening in the field in near real-time, improving planning and capitalization efforts.

“We have successfully integrated both SAP Work Manager and GIS into one system,” said Kydd. “I’ve talked to other utilities that   didn’t go this route in one large step, and regret it. I’m glad we did.”

Read more at Esri Partners Share Data for Better Results