volume 65 - issue 7 - july 2015
Chapel Mapping taking inventory of field assets
SMECO is working with Chapel Mapping to create a detailed inventory of cooperative assets in Southern Maryland.
SMECO currently uses the Geographic Information System (GIS) to electronically map its facilities, which include power lines, poles, transformers, etc. With GIS, SMECO can view plant assets on a computer in the office or on a laptop in a line truck. While the data currently available in the GIS are accurate, they don't show the whole picture. In order to improve our intelligence and have a complete inventory of all of SMECO's facilities, we need accurate details.
Chapel Mapping began mapping the cooperative's plant assets in late April. Chapel's crews start at a substation feeder to collect GPS coordinates for each utility pole, tag the pole with a number, collect birthmark information* from the pole (if it is available), identify all the construction units (material, devices, etc.) on the pole, and take photos.
Every piece of equipment will be inventoried in a database, and SMECO will have detailed records of where every piece of equipment's location—in GIS and in the field.
It will take Chapel Mapping approximately two years to document all of the cooperative's assets. From that point on, SMECO will continue to document inventory carefully and consistently. When a SMECO crew completes a repair job in the middle of the night, the correct data will be recorded in the GIS and every completed work order will be verified.
SMECO crews will also complete an inventory of padmount transformers (the boxes you see in yards) throughout the service territory. Each transformer will have a detailed maintenance inspection as part of the asset collection process.
Superior customer service is SMECO's main objective and this project will position SMECO to improve reliability and response time, and
decrease outage time.
*Birthmark information is the marking on a utility pole that shows the manufacturer, pole height, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) strength class, wood species, original preservative, and year manufactured.