Vattenfall – An efficiency improvement solution created by LGBS Software programmers to support operational work for field infrastructure, stock taking and the inspection of electric energy supply terminals.  It works by registering defects at high-voltage stations. This system is currently entrusted and utilized by Polish power market leaders.

Technologies:

  • .NET Compact Framework 3.5
  • SQL Server Compact 3.5 

As more and more people spend more time online, the result is a massive increase of activities being transferred to digital platforms.  The company Vattenfall Distribution Poland is the pioneer that helps Poland’s power engineering system manage the change.  

"Vattenfall deals with the distribution of electric power, so it has a very complex and dispersed field infrastructure. Not only do we require very accurate technical documentation of the infrastructure, but we also need to know its exact location. Initially, this was accomplished through maps or paper documents. But the implementation of the GIS system in 2002 allowed us to move to the digital platform. Thanks to that, our technical knowledge is much more extensive and accessible." – says Piotr Rafalski, Project Manager in the Documentation Department of Vattenfall Distribution Poland.

However, it soon became apparent that the digitalization of all data was not sufficient. Efficient management of the dispersed property also required regular stocktaking or inventory field work. In spite of the digital capabilities of the GIS system, the field work was still being done with a pen and piece of paper.

Piotr Rafalski: "The system was printing certain forms which would be filled out manually, then re-entered into the computer. Of course this was an arduous and bothersome job, which is why we decided to eliminate the time-consuming stage of transferring data from paper back into the digital system. The solution was accomplished together with Gliwice LGBS."

Background:

Vattenfall is one of the largest European power engineering concerns. It has been operating in seven countries, including Poland since the year 2000. In 2001 the concern acquired stock of Upper Silesia Power Engineering Plant (Górnośląski Zakład Energetyczny) with the seat in the city of Gliwice. At present, the group consists of several active Polish companies, including Vattenfall Distribution Poland, which deals with the distribution of electric energy in the region of Upper Silesia in south central Poland. Their operations cover 4,221 square kilometers, providing services for 1,128, 301 customers. The company owns 26, 757 kilometers of power lines,  supplying 11% of the total electric energy being sold in Poland.

Considering the size and scope of their operations, field data collection and processing would involve a considerable amount of work. Just entering the written data into the system alone would be a massively time-consuming task. Maintaining data quality was another difficult issue. was also an issue. It required additional verification of their accuracy. One more problem, pointed out by the representatives of Vattenfall Distribution Poland, wasA third problem was the lack of standardization in data collection. Frequently, the data was impossible to read due to messy handwriting, rain-soaked paper, as well as omitted or simply erroneous information..

Solution:

These problems were solved thanks to ERAMIS (Electronic Reporting and Mobile Inspection System) developed by Gliwice LGBS programers. 

"It seemed only natural to us that we should apply mobile electronic devices to eliminate the extraneous step of transferring the data from paper into the computer. And so it began." – says Łukasz Przepióra, the LGBS man in charge of the project. 

The project, dubbed Vattenfall Mobile, consisted of a series of vector maps which enabled users to find infrastructure objects. It also enabled dynamic generation of the forms describing objects surveyed in the field. 

The Web Service - Vattenfall Mobile – enabled system integration with the planning of operational orders within Vattenfall Distribution Poland. The applications were further improved by adding remote updating capabilities. This allowed the updating of applications without bringing the actual devices to the central office.  

Łukasz Przepióra: "We are planning more integration, including with SCADA systems, in the future. This will allow us to manage the dynamics of our maps, enabling switching the status of objects and installations depicted on the map. This is the right direction for our future success." 

The system has been installed on 100 devices, but this number will soon be doubled.

Benefits:

Piotr Rafalski: ”The efficiency of the survey has increased greatly. It has eliminated whole series of errors made in the process of rewriting data from the forms into the computer. Answers are now selected from a thesaurus, which eliminates spelling mistakes and vague wording”  

One more big advantage is that you can download digital maps into ERAMIS mobile devices and take them with you to do your field work.  

Łukasz Przepióra: "In addition to that, the software enables you to describe the infrastructure and also make immediate updates. You make a visual survey of a certain object, estimate its condition and properties – type, location, etc. That data can be updated in the central system dynamically.”

Piotr Rafalski: “As we get further into mobile solutions we will use them for more dynamic functions to facilitate the network management processes. This is the area connected with issuing orders and instructions, switching, teamwork in the field and management of the teams. Soon we will be able to issue orders and instructions orally and relay them remotely to our devices. We will be able to make a remote inventory or introduce changes in the network operation. These is where we will be in the future."