by July 4, 2009 0 comments



For an electricity distribution organization, the Operations & Maintenance
dept requires data exchange and communication with related support functions
like Stores & Meter Management. Unless updated data is available online, there
is always a tendency of glitches in operations which leads to delay in fault
restoration, long outages resulting in poor customer service and other negative
cascading effects. Further the O&M department should also have a structured data
source available for manpower & other resource planning.

OMS (Outage Management System) is the main O&M (Operations and Maintenance)
module used for monitoring the electricity supply through grids, sub-stations,
transformers, feeders and cables, etc. The module was developed in-house to make
all the activities of Outage Management automated & transparent with the
technology. The system tackles the complaints of consumers regarding the
electricity supply, breakdowns, shutdowns etc & the supervision of the equipment
used for the same in the minimum time frame as per the guidelines of DERC
(Regulatory). Further it has an automated SMS escalation of faults and
breakdowns.

K B Singh
VP – IT

Q What were the challenges and business problems that led to this
project’s implementation?

The main challenge of the project was to handle the complaints of consumers
regarding the electricity supply, Breakdowns, Shutdowns etc. & the
supervision of the equipment used for the same in the minimum time frame as
per the guidelines of DERC (Regulatory). Further, we wanted an automated
escalation of faults and breakdowns at all levels. Unless updated data is
available online, there is always a tendency of glitches in the operations
which leads to delay in fault restoration, long outages resulting in poor
customer service and other negative cascading effects. Further the O&M
department should also have a structured data source available for manpower
& other resource planning.

Q What were the key benefits gained after having deployed this
project?

As all the different functional applications are synced online with CORE
engine, management reporting is fast and accurate.Transfer of jobs related
to complaints of consumers are now automated and do not have any human
interference hence the whole process is less time consuming.Due to very less
faults and outages business targets are met. Further a satisfied customer
brings in more business. Mapping all assets in GIS gives the exact location
of the fault, which minimizes unnecessary digging resulting in lesser soil
erosion, decrease in vehicular pollution and environmental imbalance.As
fault rectification time is less and consumer’s time is saved, hence
performance figures are better.

The OMS has been seamlessly integrated with SAP R/3 to make the operations
efficient. The integration was done on the equipment such as transformers,
cables, etc and all equipment have been assigned a SAP Code. The OMS was also
integrated with GIS so that the equipment used in O&M could be tagged in GIS to
find out the fault locations and hence save time in resolution of the fault by
sending the restoration team to the exact location. Hence automating O&M,
implementing SAP R/3 for stores and meter management, implementing GIS for
network visibility and integrating all these was the need identified and the key
challenge. Converged Operational and Relational Engine (CORE) integrates data
from OMS, SAP, SCADA and GIS using multi-platform technologies. Further the CMS
(Complaint Management System), used for monitoring customer complaints, has also
been plugged into CORE. Through this implementation 1450 (vehicles and Line
manpower) have been managed, 8800 assets (transformers and cables, etc) tagged,
with a total 57 sq. km network mapped in GIS.

Deployment challenges
The major challenge was live integration of the various functional components
(SAP, OMS, GIS, etc.) without having any downtime in the network. Further
matching of meter & distribution transformer codes with SAP codes & updating &
cleansing of meter database was other key issue. The database of Metering Group
was very old & size very huge, hence integrating it was which was complicated by
the high risk involved in updating & cleansing the database. Another challenge
was to verify the data in the meter database according to actual data in field &
to authenticate the same. Moreover, with different functional modules working on
different platforms, integrating them for seamless data connectivity was a major
technical challenge.

 Technologies used
The project is based on n-tier architecture. The first tier is the front-end
where HTML and ASP are being used, the second is the middle-tier which has IIS,
the third tier is the Application Layer which uses business logic for
integration, while the last tier is the database layer which points towards the
different functional databases like SAP, OMS & GIS.

Scenario
Before Deployment
  • Delays in resolution of customer queries.
  • Data spread across various independent platforms.
  • Various assets (transformers, cables, etc) were spread across a vast
    area, causing maintenance issues.
After Deployment
  • 304 offices connected across 950 sq km.
  • 1500 stakeholders have access to unified data at any moment.
  • 90% customer complaints attended in less than 2 hours; power outages
    decreased by 98%.

It’s an in-house deployment with a total team size of 40 and included
engineers from Information Technology, Meter Management, SAP, GIS and Operations
& Maintenance depts.

Business benefits
The project has been deployed for internal business operations of BSES Power at
Delhi. It connects a total 304 offices (120 complaint centers, 118 grids, 33
commercial offices & 33 O&M offices). These offices are spread over a
geographical stretch of 950 sq. km. About 1500 stakeholders have access to the
data at any given moment. It has impacted business, customer care, technical
operations & monitoring and regulatory compliance. The benefits can be
quantified as under:
Customer service: The main impact of this project is fast & efficient
resolution of the consumers’ complaints. 90% complaints attended in less than 2
hrs.
Better performance: Power outages decreased by 98%. Transformer failure
rate was more than 15% which has reduced to less than 1%.

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