by Alicia Farag
The natural gas industry developed and deployed material traceability identifiers through barcoding to support regulatory compliance with DIMP and the Plastic Pipe Rule. However, utilities quickly realized that the information in the barcode could enable digital as-builting. Many utilities, such as Atmos, Duke Energy, and Black Hills, now use GPS and barcode scanning to capture digital as-builts and streamline data flow from the field into GIS.
But this is just the beginning.
Having digital asset data in a standardized format enables many construction innovations beyond updating GIS. For example:
Digital Job Package
Field crews need a single interface to manage their construction projects. Work orders, project bill of materials (BOM), Compatible Units (CUs), digital as-builts, inspections, and digital forms are integrated into a single Locusview digital job package to enable automation and reduce redundant field data entry. While some mobile solutions can capture basic asset data or digital forms, field crews need a single application to view and capture all construction data.
Leveraging the asset data in the barcode enables real-time verification to ensure the right materials from the correct manufacturers are installed at the correct job site. Locusview’s mobile application compares the installed asset’s attributes against designs to flag unapproved materials. Personnel with expired OQs are identified in real time before their work is buried. One energy company uses Locusview to identify materials from unapproved manufacturers and to find fusions performed by unqualified personnel.
Automated Project Close-out
Asset data in digital as-builts enables automated project close-out to all systems of record. Locusview’s material reconciliation automatically compares planned versus actual materials and generates reports for accounting and CU reconciliation. Systems of record, including GIS, accounting, WMS, and ERP/EAM, are updated automatically with digital as-built data. Based on client feedback survey data, one Tier 1 natural gas utility reported having reduced its close-out time from 7 hours to 12 minutes using Locusview.
Implementing new technology is never easy, but deploying digital construction solutions can be particularly challenging given the environmental conditions and diverse user base. Ease-of-use and change management for company and contractor crews should be significant factors when selecting technology for the field. Locusview’s purpose-built Digital Construction Management solution provides a single interface with guided yet flexible workflows to enable the efficient collection of high-quality data.