Distribution Network Information Modelling – Stage 1
Oliver Machan, Innovation Project Manager
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Reliability and maintenance
Asset Management, Modelling and Gas Distribution Networks
Accurate records are crucial to the successful operation of our business. Our current representation of the distribution network pipeline infrastructure is an amalgamation of historical paper maps along with drawing consolidation where projects to either replace old mains or added new ones for reinforcement have been undertaken. This means absolute location of the pipes unknown, generally working to +/- 1m.
The objective is to determine the potential value in being able to definitively locate and know the material makeup of the distribution networks and to derive a basic technology specification requirement.
The first task of Stage 1 is to look for processes and operations in the business that would benefit financially from having accurate location (+/- 3cm) and material information. Although these are yet to generated through a workshop exercise, initial thoughts are that a long list could include:
1. Customer Service – Connections
2. Safety – provision of asset location data to both SGN and 3rd party work forces
3. Emergency – Mains leakage (keyhole/core positioning)
4. Emergency - Managing water ingress (topographical)
5. Repair – Mains repair
6. Network Planning – Network reinforcement (capex) to maintain minimum pressures and 1-in-20 supply
7. Network Planning – Replacement (Repex) planning and delivery
8. Environment – Leakage management
By developing 6 value case propositions in Stage 1 will inform the value that could be released from having accurate information as well as defining a high-level scope of the technology types and specifications that we’d need to work to for the Stage 2 research and development exercise, likely to incorporate the concepts developed through Building Information Modelling (BIM), but utilising the inside of the pipes.
The development of this project has the potential to provide the many social and environmental benefits having accurate information would bring. These benefits will be defined as part of the project and form part of the project output.