"ArcGIS allows our staff to be smarter in how they design, analyze, and visualize the electric network. The implemented geospatial digital solutions moved the risk assessments away from opinion, towards evidence-based practice at SEC."
SEC's Smart Digital Utility Platform
Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is the sole company managing electricity from generation to distribution in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). SEC serves over 10 million customers. It owns and manages nearly 70,000 kilometers of electric transmission lines and over half a million kilometers of distribution lines. It is one of the largest companies in the KSA. SEC's digital geospatial utility platform provides support and services to its various end users. The platform has increased the reach of geographic information system (GIS) technology within the organization, improved access to network information, and streamlined key business processes.
Cumbersome paper-based design and construction processes with months' worth of backlog have burdened SEC. Hard-copy drawings and documents caused significant inefficiencies and redundant design work. Users couldn't easily access the information to design, analyze, schedule, and build changes in the network. Planning teams needed to access siloed information about network configurations and environmental impacts. Engineers and designers did not have accurate location-based information to share confidently with consultants and contractors. As-built information and proper collaboration between office and field teams were also lacking. These fragmented processes at SEC were prone to data degradation, which affected projects' safety, quality, timeliness, and costs.
SEC leveraged Esri's ArcGIS and Schneider Electric's ArcFM to establish an intelligent and digital engineering platform that is highly adaptable to SEC's business processes. ArcFM Designer, a GIS-based design solution that is part of the ArcFM suite, was implemented with the latest ArcGIS Desktop software. It facilitated advanced workflows on web and mobile clients, using the latest versions of ArcFM Web and ArcGIS Enterprise. This provided an integrated environment for the design and construction processes, including network analysis, approvals, plotting, automated billing, cost estimation, and reporting. In addition, the geospatial system was integrated with SEC's workforce management system to receive tasks and work requests completed with a workflow manager to administer the work queue.
Khatib & Alami (K&A), an Esri Platinum tier partner, and Schneider Electric implemented, operated, and maintained SEC's ArcFM-based GIS platform in Riyadh and later in the remaining parts of the KSA. Services included enhanced data modeling and the migration of SEC data in most of the regions into ArcFM. In addition, several desktop, web, and mobile solutions were developed and deployed to expand GIS reach and usability at SEC.
The digital transformation and ITC at SEC, in collaboration with K&A's energy and utilities team, supported the project throughout.
The geospatial digital utility platform supports the daily business of all sectors of the company. It has modernized the entire design life cycle and accelerated the tasks of design and planning engineers by more than 50 percent using an intuitive and user-friendly interface instead of manual, paper-based design. It provided a built-in commissioning workflow that converts design sketches to enterprise GIS data with a few clicks, reducing backlog data conversion by 60 percent. Users noticed a significant increase in productivity on the new system since they could now share GIS information easily over web-based and mobile platforms. The system will also significantly impact the agility and availability of resources, allowing SEC engineers and technicians to keep up with the pace of new development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
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