Improved As-Built Asset Data Collection at Peoples Natural Gas
Peoples Natural Gas is the largest natural gas distribution company in Pennsylvania. It provides reliable, low-cost natural gas service to approximately 740,000 customers in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
To meet proposed Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration requirements, Peoples Natural Gas needed to improve the tracking of gas assets as they are being installed and mitigate system risk by improving the identification and location of pipeline components for reporting, and by locating defective materials. Peoples Natural Gas has leveraged mobile geographic information system (GIS) technology with the field workforce to gather this information with bar code scanners and Global Positioning System (GPS) units to improve the utility's business processes.
Industry—Electric and Gas
Peoples Natural Gas delivers natural gas to approximately 740,000 customers in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
For regulatory and business purposes, the utility needed to improve the tracking of gas assets as they are installed.
Peoples Natural Gas, with the assistance of RAMTeCH, developed an iOS mobile app for capturing as-built assets data.
The utility now can capture needed as-built assets data in a more timely and intuitive manner.
Peoples Natural Gas leveraged the Esri platform and a RAMTeCH-developed iOS app for the utility's mobile as-built assets data collection functionality. The application was implemented as an iPad application built with the Esri ArcGIS Runtime SDKs. The app accesses existing enterprise data and services based on the Esri Utility and Pipeline Data Model, ArcGIS Online, and Portal for ArcGIS. A bar code scanner and a GPS unit are paired with the iPad, which automates the capture of asset and location information as well as pertinent land base data. Field data is synchronized with the enterprise seamlessly, and the app provides online and offline data access capabilities.
Peoples Natural Gas decided to leverage Esri for its GIS platform to maximize the value of the utility's existing ArcGIS license. The utility chose RAMTeCH for its experience and expertise in managing data and deploying mobile solutions that are intuitive and scalable. RAMTeCH started by providing consultation and development services to clearly understand the needs and deliver a quality solution.
Scott Ewart, Peoples Natural Gas GIS team lead, is very happy that the RAMTeCH-developed mobile solution leverages the utility's existing investment in Esri technology and will improve the accuracy of newly constructed assets represented in GIS. "Having accurate information about what was actually constructed has been a huge benefit to validating our design process and reporting capabilities," he said. "The training process is more efficient with the GIS mobile app. The app is very intuitive and easy to train, allowing our fieldworkers to begin using the app in production the next day."
The Esri platform and mobile and data synchronization solutions developed by RAMTeCH have greatly improved the attribute and spatial accuracy of installed assets to enhance all future reporting and asset management needs. The intuitive user interface of the app has made training much easier.