T&D World Magazine

Itron Expands Popular Distribution Design Software

Itron, Inc. has released new enhancement modules for its Distribution Design Studio (DDS) software for the design of overhead and underground utility lines. DDS provides electric and gas utilities with a powerful suite of line design and utility process automation tools that optimize and streamline distribution design, while giving utilities more control over how and where they implement DDS’s flexible software and hardware options.

Modular software architecture is the key to Distribution Design Studio’s flexibility. DDS consists of a base design application, Distribution Staker, and a set of enhancement modules that can plug in seamlessly to build the specific functionality a utility requires. Using DDS on desktop, laptop, tablet or handheld computers, designers can work in the office or in the field.

“Distribution Design Studio is the ultimate in accuracy and flexibility,” said Philip Mezey, senior vice president of Itron’s software solutions group. “DDS allows distribution designers to work connected in the office or disconnected in the field with everything they need at their fingertips. It’s a major improvement over the large, unwieldy dedicated systems that keep designers anchored to their desks and dependent on the manual work of field crews and IT groups.”

Itron’s easy-to-use Distribution Staker software offers line designers robust CAD/GIS rendering and editing capabilities with intuitive design and efficiency tools. Using Distribution Staker, designers create layouts and construction drawings using the embedded efficiency tools, while the application automatically generates complete and consistent construction packets including material lists, customer estimates, utility cost estimates, staking sheets, and more.

The optional DDS enhancement modules provide advanced functionality that takes advantage of the latest developments in communications and business process automation:

· GPS brings the power of global positioning to the distribution designer in the field. Real-world coordinates help eliminate the time and cost associated with traditional survey crews or other manual methods.

· Mobile Asset View adds full access to utility asset, infrastructure and land base information to the Distribution Design Studio. With data from the GIS and/or mapping system seamlessly integrated into the design application, designers can create more accurate designs with greater efficiency, as well as update the GIS/mapping system with design data.

· Process Management automates the approvals and hand-offs that are traditionally the most manual and time-consuming aspect of design projects. This web-based module routes design projects and provides status visibility to stakeholders in the distribution design process throughout the utility.

“Itron plans to release additional modules in the future. We’re continuously evolving our software solutions to meet the changing needs of our customers,” said Mezey. “As communications and IT technologies evolve, it’s important for utilities to realize the enormous benefits that can be achieved by leveraging these new technologies in the area of distribution system design.”

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