T&D World Magazine

Florida Utilities Use GIS in the Field for Asset Optimization

Florida's Fort Pierce Utilities Authority (FPUA) is implementing Telvent’s ArcFM GIS Solution mobile technology for streamlined electric facilities maintenance. Equipped with ArcFM Viewer with Redliner and Telvent’s Geodatabase Replication, FPUA’s electric field crew can access the most recent enterprise data, easily mark map features, and send their updates back to the geodatabase quickly and accurately.

Community-owned FPUA provides electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas services to a combined 29,000 customers in the City of Fort Pierce and portions of St. Lucie County on the eastern coast of Florida. In 2004, multiple hurricanes inflicted extensive damage to the utility’s electric infrastructure; during the process of rebuilding assets, the utility realized it would benefit greatly from a streamlined means of updating field data. It was then that FPUA considered adding ArcFM Mobile tools to the ArcFM enterprise GIS (Geographic Information System) it had been using since 2002.

Now, FPUA linemen and other field personnel are equipped with ArcFM Viewer to search, query, and view multiple stored displays - without requiring the assistance of engineering technicians in the office. Utilizing the Geodatabase Replication built by Telvent, the field user receives only changes that have occurred since the previous update, resulting in a quick synchronization process. Using Redliner, field personnel not only can place elements as graphics on a map but also can make simple yet comprehensive markups and reconcile those field notes directly with the geodatabase back in the office.

“We have a lot of knowledgeable employees, with a lot of information in their heads,” said Tim Battle, GIS Analyst for FPUA. “These mobile GIS tools move us away from handwritten field notes and make the asset update process more accurate. In the future, we will more quickly assess storm damage and, as we continually upgrade our asset specifications, make network improvement more efficient.”

FPUA anticipates adding ArcFM Viewer with Inspector in the near future to give mobile clients the ability to edit existing feature attributes and manage related objects to support workflows. Along with ArcFM Mobile that allows full-feature edits in the field, the utility expects 15 or more users will be applying all or part of the full ArcFM mobile solution.

FPUA also is in the process of integrating Telvent’s Designer and Fiber Manager applications with its ArcFM GIS.

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