Combining Spatially Contextualized Assets and Real-World Building Spaces Enables a Vertical Asset Management Program
Raleigh Water provides water and sanitary sewer services to about 198,000 metered customers and a service population of about 600,000 across a service area of 277 square miles. Raleigh Water's mission is to provide safe, sustainable water services for its customers while protecting public health and contributing to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of the utility's communities. Raleigh Water's system is made up of over 2,500 miles of sewer mains and over 2,350 miles of water mains. Raleigh Water operates two water treatment facilities with a maximum capacity to treat 106 million gallons per day, and three wastewater treatment facilities with a maximum capacity to treat 80.2 million gallons per day.
Raleigh Water was looking to implement a vertical asset management program for the water and wastewater treatment facilities; the program would need to be focused on preventative maintenance and reactive work activities that integrated with the utility's existing geographic information system (GIS)-centric computer maintenance management software (CMMS) (Cityworks). Raleigh Water's technical teams were tasked with delivering a solution that would standardize the end user experience across Raleigh Water's operating divisions. This meant delivering a solution that would allow the assignment and tracking of work activities—including inspections, preventive maintenance, and reactive work orders—to individual assets throughout the treatment facilities. In addition to identifying individual assets, the solution would need to make them available as points on the map in their correct locations. This would ensure that the end user experience at the treatment facilities matched the existing experience of the water distribution and sewer collection operators working on assets that make up the water distribution and sewer collection linear systems. Within the linear systems, maintenance staff and system operators can select a manhole, main, hydrant, system valve, and so forth, from the map and assign work activities to the individual asset. The department's goal of replicating this experience within the facilities presented several challenges that required the technical teams to leverage new technologies.
The first challenge was addressing the lack of an existing GIS inventory of vertical assets within the treatment facilities. In addition, none of the indoor spaces within the facilities had been mapped. The next challenge was identifying a solution that would allow the asset inventory to be integrated with the indoor spaces.
To address the first challenge, members of the technology teams, utility analysts, maintenance program staff, and plant operators worked together to identify the necessary data schema to begin building the asset inventory in GIS. From there, Raleigh Water worked with the City of Raleigh IT GIS team to develop a web form utilizing REST services. This web form was deployed and allowed Raleigh Water to rapidly collect assets in the field and build out the GIS asset inventory.
Raleigh Water next looked for a solution for mapping the interior spaces of the facilities. ArcGIS Indoors emerged as the best solution to meet the demands of mapping out detailed interior spaces. The CAD drawings of the facilities were processed through the ArcGIS Indoors tools in ArcGIS Pro to generate 2D and 3D representations of the interior spaces.
ArcGIS Indoors was the ideal choice for Raleigh Water because it supported the integration of the GIS vertical asset inventory. During the vertical assets data collection effort, location attributes—including site, facility, floor, and unit (room)—were collected for each asset. This allowed Raleigh Water to assign the x,y,z coordinates of the units (rooms) that were generated using the ArcGIS Indoors tools to the tabular records and convert them to point features. The assets were then moved to the correct locations within the rooms by using web apps and are now supported using ArcGIS Field Maps. The ArcGIS Indoors application also integrates with the CMMS and allows the work activities to be generated directly through the Indoors application. The work activities generated in the utility's CMMS can also be displayed within the ArcGIS Indoors app, allowing maintenance staff and facility operators a real-time view into the ongoing maintenance activities. The routing function within the ArcGIS Indoors application also aids in getting staff to the correct location within the facilities.
ArcGIS Indoors helps Raleigh Water save time and money by enabling staff to quickly locate assets throughout the facilities by leveraging indoor maps as well as the routing functions within the Indoors application. Staff and facility operators now have a real-time view into ongoing maintenance activities and the assets' condition statuses by integrating CMMS-generated work activities within the ArcGIS Indoors application. Accurate CAD representations of structures have resulted in greater knowledge and improved visualization of space utilization, asset locations, and staffing. By leveraging Esri solutions, Raleigh Water was able to shift away from a tabular inventory of asset types and move to a detailed inventory of individual assets that are spatially contextualized. New insights—gained from ArcGIS Indoors—into the operations of the utility's facilities are now supporting budgeting decisions for maintenance and capital improvements.
"ArcGIS Indoors is an exciting solution that allows users to experience and develop [one of] the next advancements of GIS—indoor mapping. This powerful solution will allow Raleigh Water to maximize the potential of GIS by combining spatially [contextualized] assets and real-world building spaces."—Charles Lee Kimmel, Technology Analyst, Raleigh Water
Raleigh Water is continuing to explore new opportunities to leverage ArcGIS Indoors, including implementing space management of the operational support and administration facilities and developing more detailed 3D representations of them.
ArcGIS Indoors provides a solution that allows us to standardize how we manage the assets throughout our organization and provides real-time insights into the status of our operational and maintenance activities within our facilities.