NPU Gets Asset Management in the Field
The background: NPU provides four utilities to the City of Norwich – natural gas, electricity, water and wastewater collection. Established in 1904, NPU is municipally-owned and governed by a five member Board of Commissions and Sewer Authority, who represent the best interest of the citizens they represent.
There's always a need and a desire to maintain transformer information throughout a transformer's full lifecycle, even when it is not installed in the field. Utilities are often backed into the corner of building their own system to manage this information properly.
After a while, though, it can move far away from simplicity. More and more requirements are needed, data is not always accurate, and there's no guarantee that it matches what's in the geodatabase.
SSP Innovations has seen this problem a fair amount of times over the years, and soon compiled this knowledge and experience into a product called Transformer Manager. Recently, SSP Innovations worked with Norwich Public Utilities to implement a standalone implementation of Transformer Manager to replace NPU's legacy system.
Developers at NPU built the legacy system that stood stalwart until the day that AssetLife (formerly known as "SSP Transformer Manager") was unveiled. Its landing form was a switchboard, and various forms, queries and reports could be accessed throughout the application.
The Access system itself presented some issues, since it only allowed single-user access and could not be used in the field. It functioned as designed, though, and worked for NPU for quite a while.
As time passed, the original developers retired. Needs evolved, and the application became difficult to change. Data risked becoming unreliable, as it was not validated, nor was it tied into GIS. There are financial, regulatory, and environmental reasons why this data must be correct.
Aware of the potential pitfalls of staying with the current application, NPU reached out for a suitable replacement.
AssetLife mirrors WFM functionality in several ways, as well. For example, transformers are given full, configurable lifecycles that can stop and wait for GIS edits if desired.
The application is also very configurable and customizable, supporting a variety of application hooks for custom-developed functionality, and a variety of configuration options to keep maintenance easy.
GIS integration works by validating with AssetLife that a transformer can be installed, removed, or transferred, allowing access if so, and sending all updates back to the application nightly once posted.