Western Power Distribution, the largest electric distribution network operator in the United Kingdom, deployed Bentley Map Mobile on over 3,000 iPads to quickly deliver the latest mapping and electrical network asset information to field crews.
Timely updates exceeding 5,000 asset changes a month are received via Wi-Fi or 3G in the field. The project implementation consisted of moving data from Western Power’s Electric Mapping Utility (EMU) to iPads for use by Western Power’s field personnel. Bentley provided the technology to identify the delta changes in the source EMU data and distribute these changes through a Bentley MANAGEservices solution to iPads running the Bentley Map Mobile app. The solution leverages the change sets capability of i-models, which delivers compact and fast data updates. Western Power’s Mapping Manager, Andrew Bennett stated, “The deployment of Bentley Map Mobile into Western Power will help us to get the latest and most current information to our field activity quickly and faster than we’ve ever achieved before.”
Western Power worked with Bentley to implement a full range of capabilities for field crews including network tracing, gazetteer search, and more. Previously, Western Power field crews had to travel into the office periodically and plug in their devices to upload the entire dataset in order to have access to the latest information. Now the updates happen in real time in the field on the iPad, eliminating the need for trips to the office to retrieve data. The accurate, up-to-date asset information also reduces the risk to the operational staff and the public and is essential for making repairs, connections, and upgrades to electric networks.
Western Power’s network is made up of approximately 220,000 kilometers of overhead lines and underground cables with 185,000 electricity substations across a geographic area of 55,500 square kilometers covering the East Midlands, West Midlands, and South West of England, and South Wales. Bentley Map Mobile allows operational staff access to the mapping and asset data they need for the part of the electricity network they are working on, anywhere in the Western Power footprint in a quick and simple way. Western Power’s tier one contractors also use this solution. The solution improves day-to-day operational efficiency, allows for quicker restoration and troubleshooting during outages, and also supports Western Power’s regulatory requirements for quick response to customers when incidents occur.