Efficiency through mobile solutions

"The tablet is as important as the screwdriver". So says Thomas Winge of Hafslund Nett, owner and operator of the power grid in 40 Norwegian municipalities. His comment may be a slight exaggeration, but a day on the job with Winge and his colleague Erik Olsen shows that there is indeed some truth to his statement.

The fog hangs heavy above Oslo as we set out for a day with Olsen and Winge, who control and repair faults on the power grid, from transforming stations to cables. The brand new car is filled with equipment, a lot more than just a tablet and a screwdriver. Snow shoes, binoculars, chainsaw and all sorts of tools. Today is a quiet day at work, we are told, as they share stories of more hectic days. No day is ever the same.

Once customers lose their power and everyone is pushing for the fault to be fixed as soon as possible, you need both the right tools for the job and a correct overview of the situation. In Oslo, large parts of the grid are underground. Often, the fault location given is not the correct one, and the installers use Powel iAM mobile solutions to locate the right component.

We drive to a new intersection, recently reopened after several years of reconstruction. Shortly before it reopened a few weeks ago, Olsen inspected the new transforming stations. He proudly shows us a brand new modern substation, built according to Hafslund’s high requirements. It is Olsen’s responsibility to ensure that the contractors have done the work as planned, down to the very last detail.

It is important that the contractor’s documentation is correct. He has access to iAM Editor on his tablet, and he uses it to check that objects are correctly placed and named, according to plan. In addition, Hafslund also has its own defined checklists on the tablet. The checklists support Olsen in his detailed quality control of new facilities. As he can enter all of the information into the tablet, there is no need for time consuming writing of documentation afterwards, easing his workload.

In the shadow of a large transforming station, one of Hafslund’s sub-contractors is laying cables. From here, power is distributed to one of Oslo’s fastest growing areas. With his tablet, Olsen can make sure the job is done correctly, in real time. One thing he might verify is that the cables are dug down in the correct type of sand. Trond Magne Pettersen tells us that iAM Editor is a useful tool for oversight of ongoing projects also, for instance by ensuring mechanical diggers do not accidentally dig up high voltage power cables. He explains that they save a lot of time by getting the information directly from the tablet. They zoom in on the place in question and have immediate access to the relevant documentation.

Underneath the ground, there is a complicated web of cables. During a previous construction project, someone ripped up a cable. This situation required quick access to information on where they had been digging. Once a Hafslund employee arrived on the site with his tablet, he had the necessary documentation available in iAM Editor and was immediately able to show the contractor the spot where he needed to dig.

Another benefit of this solution is the ease of fault reporting should there be discrepancies between the program and reality. The person working in the field can draw the actual network into iAM Editor and send that as new documentation to the people working with NIS.

Having the tablet out in the field means that observed faults can be reported and documented quicker than previously. Thomas Winge showed us examples of photos taken in the field: A car crashed into a small substation, causing a fault. Winge tells us that with pictures and a short text he has a simple and efficient way of reporting the fault.

Inside Hafslund’s offices, everyone is in good spirits. Olsen tells us that iAM Editor was first used by a test group, who afterwards were able to support users when needed. Olsen got his password, played around a bit with the various features and started using the solution in his daily work. Winge says that it was a benefit to have a few colleagues testing the solution in advance. They all agree that the tablet is here to stay.  

About iAM Editor

The iAM Editor solution helps turn strategic goals for efficiency into reality. At all times the installer has access to the network information he needs through the tablet. This saves time and resources and contributes to a higher quality of data.