The AUD design tool integrated with ArcGIS has already made a big impact on our design process, and we look forward to extending the tool to further improve efficiencies."—
Kaukauna Utility Transforms Design with AUD and ArcGIS Utility Network
Kaukauna Utilities (KU) is a customer-driven, community-minded, and environmentally responsible electric and water utility. KU serves 16,000 customers in the Kaukauna, Wisconsin, area. KU transitioned to ArcGIS Utility Network in 2021 and was looking for technology to help improve its electric design process.
Prior to this project, KU utilized a paper-based design process. The designers would often start a design by printing out the area of interest and then proceed to manually add their design using colored pens and highlighters. While this was effective, it made making changes cumbersome and required a lot of writing to include all the necessary compatible units for each work location. In addition to the challenges of changing the work process, the solution chosen also needed to work with the new Utility Network and allow the designs to be easily incorporated into it so that network changes could be quickly extracted for use in Milsoft, an Esri software partner and the dataVoice outage management system (OMS).
KU decided to implement Automated Utility Design (AUD) and Utility Data Hub (UDH) products from Spatial Business Systems. AUD was selected in part because KU was already an AutoCAD user. AUD was also selected for its overhead design capabilities and its ability to integrate with ArcGIS Utility Network. The project started with a knowledge transfer session so that KU could become familiar with the AUD and the Utility Network functionality. Next, design standards and practices were reviewed and incorporated into AUD in an incremental fashion. Each week a new AUD delivery was provided to KU team members for their review and comment. Data import from the Utility Network was configured, as was exporting to the Utility Network for playback into a version that is validated and energized via the standard update subnetwork process.
POWER Engineers, Incorporated guided KU at all stages of the project including conceptual design, data migration, rollout, training, and go-live operations. POWER provides a full suite of geospatial and asset management solutions for electric and gas utilities. POWER specializes in implementing Esri's ArcGIS Utility Network and developed numerous tools to support utilities in this process. POWER is also a business partner with Spatial Business Systems and can implement and support its AUD and UDH solutions.
The new design software has greatly improved the efficiency and overall design quality. AUD rules are helping to ensure proper pole framing and line tensioning. The task of creating a material list for the design is now accomplished literally at the push of a button—faster and with more accuracy than the previous process. The new designs that played back into the GIS honor the Utility Network validation rules, resulting in very few manual spatial and attribute data manipulations. All attachment, containment, and connectivity associations are made automatically in the playback process as well as the automatic creation of all related records including electric device wire units.