In the future, the public utility of VÃ¶lklingen, Germany, is going to document, plan and manage its supply network using latest GIS Software technology. The company is about to migrate from its former customized application to the ArcGISÂ®-based standard application ArcFM(tm) UT from AED-SICAD.
In June 2006, the contract for the products for the complete capture, network planning and Internet viewing with the AED-SICAD GIS Portal has been signed. Following the implementation and data integration, the evaluations for the "Federal Network Agency" are going to be generated with the new system as from January 2007. The close connection with commercial data and IT systems is significant for this utility GIS application. Priority for Core BusinessThe department for Geodata Processing acquired four full-blown editing work places for network data capture and update. In addition, five employees from the Technical Planning department are also using ArcFM UT View with the DESIGNER component for project planning purposes. By means of Internet viewing using ArcFM UT Web and the GIS Portal based on ArcIMSÂ®, up to 20 additional staff members of the Public Utility can benefit of the geoinformation in their daily business.For the migration, the utility chose AED-SICAD as a tried and tested partner, who will take care of the complete services including the in-house trainings. The entire project including implementation and data integration is scheduled to be completed in December 2006. AED-SICAD experts are currently evaluating the existing network data. The Multi Purpose ApplicationUntil now, the Public Utility has been working with a customized GIS application based on SICAD/open with an individual user interface. Now, the utility is moving towards a modern and comprehensive network information system. To get an overview of the different systems available, the utility made a market analysis. Following this comparison, the responsible managers opted for ArcFM UT.Martin Tabellion, Technical Director, explains the decision: "As a company, that offers the complete supply chain and at the same time has to economize with its resources, we have been looking for a comprehensive and practical solution. With ArcFM UT, we found a standard application, which offers more and costs less. That is why the decision is based not only on technical but also on financial advantages - which made it easy for us."The Public Utility of VÃ¶lklingen covers the sectors electricity, gas, water and district heating, thus offering the complete energy supply for the population and industry from one single source. The company operates a comprehensive network infrastructure to cover the vast supply region along the French border. With its 115 employees, the utility is mainly owned by the community, the gas supplier Saar Ferngas holding a minority share. Focus on IntegrationHowever, the Public Utility of VÃ¶lklingen acquired more than "only" a GIS for technical tasks. In fact, the new application combines the until now parallel system environments of the commercial and technical staff. Project manager Ralph Altmeyer explains: "As team leader, I am responsible for the entire IT, including geodata processing with surveying and network information as well as commercial applications of the Public Utility. Beyond mere documentation, we will also use the GIS information for network calculation. From this, we benefit in operational processes, like metering, statements of consumption and the valuation of assets." In addition, the utility is focusing on the integration of GIS and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Answers for the Federal Network Agency (BNA)Currently, all utilities and network operators have special need for action due to the evaluations requested by the Federal Network Agency.With ArcFM UT, VÃ¶lklingen pursues a straight strategy: The relevant network information has to be stored in the system by default and automatically available at any time. In the long run, a proper structure and the evaluation modules of the new standard application save workforce for the company and make it more flexible.The target of the project is, that already the first complete evaluations for the Federal Network Agency, scheduled for January 2007, should come from the integrated GIS.
Author: Andrea Schmitz
Bio.: International Communications
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