How Utilities Ensure Data Integrity
For utilities, their mission is managing and maintaining the infrastructure to deliver energy as efficiently and economically as possible. However, their mission is even more complex because of the challenges that utilities must overcome with engineering data integrity.
Utilities are accustomed to working with disconnected, antiquated systems and manual processes. But these systems and processes now must track an ever-increasing onslaught of engineering information. Over the years, the amount of documentation has increased substantially, and many systems cannot accommodate the high volume of engineering data.
Various stakeholders, contractors and engineers involved in a project can make it difficult to uphold the integrity of the engineering data that utilities professionals need to get the job done. Workers waste time searching for documents and drawings, which reduces employee productivity.
A recent study revealed that an engineer’s time spent searching for the relevant associated engineering information for a specific project has increased 13% since 20021. On average, maintenance, engineers, and operations teams spend roughly 2 hours every day – more than one work day each week – searching for accurate and up-to-date engineering information.
Without access to up-to-date engineering drawings and documents, utilities professionals are struggling to collaborate within their department and with other departments. Additionally, utilities professionals must stay compliant with different regulatory bodies while managing and responding to increasing levels of incoming engineering information.
It is important that utilities are always working with the most up-to-date drawings because the consequences can be costly. Utilities need a single source of truth to track the hundreds of thousands of engineering documents and engineering drawings for any given project or job. The utility’s engineering data system must be able to track all assets and that the revision history associated with these assets is accurate and complete.
Seattle City Light implemented Meridian, Accruent’s proven, engineering information management software to track 100 years’ worth of assets. In the system, they can perform forensic engineering and access up-to-date engineering drawings, eliminating manual processes and saving a significant amount of time. Now, they can review drawing revisions and compare changes from one drawing to another in minutes; a task that used to take hours.
Using Meridian Explorer, Seattle City Light increases team productivity by retrieving their engineering data information and adding comments to the latest version in the system (rather than marking up paper documents). Project completion is faster because Seattle City Light’s staff does not waste time searching for documents.
With Meridian as a centralized source of truth for all engineering documentation, Seattle City Light can remain in compliance with state, federal, and industry regulations, including:
- State archival laws
Using our system, utilities can provide an auditable trail of their engineering drawings and documents associated with infrastructure assets. Meridian tracks every individual change on the asset and every person who has worked on the asset.
- Seattle City Light’s document management challenges before implementing Meridian
- Helpful tips to overcome common engineering data information management difficulties
- How to maximize an organization’s visibility of engineering drawings revision history
- Best practices on collaborating with internal document controllers
Seattle City Light has 45 engineers and designers using Accruent's Meridian software to make controlled changes to engineering information.