Solving complexity of GIS and EAM Integration for T&D Asset Life Cycle

Posted by Cohesive Solutions on May 5, 2017



How do I represent my CU library in multiple systems?

How do I translate my graphic design to CU Estimates?

When and how do I create assets and locations from my graphic design?

How do I enable my field personnel for data capture?

How do I reduce backlog and turnaround time of GIS digitization?

If any of these questions or pain points resonate, you are not alone. These are some of the more common work system challenges facing the T&D market. In April 2017, Cohesive Solutions completed a greenfield EAM replacement project of several mainframe systems with IBM Maximo for a major Midwestern power utility. The project team overcame the challenge of bridging process and system silos to streamline the data exchange between three complex environments: ESRI ArcGIS, Schneider ArcFM Designer and IBM Maximo. Several unique approaches were taken to define both the functional process and technical design to address the above pain points. In each case, Cohesive used out of the box capabilities of each environment to achieve the solutions (with the exception of already in use ESB for GWD/MX). Typically, the native systems are more than capable of providing what’s needed without another additional licensing and support cost for a 3rd party middle ware. 

CU Representation – Dynamic Views

IBM Maximo with the T&D Utilities Industry solution provides a robust schema to organize the CU Library. The project team took the approach of using Maximo as the CU library repository and leveraging this to serve the dependent external systems. In the case of this recent project, those external systems included Schneider ArcFM Designer, PowerPlan, and PeopleSoft. In order to normalize the legacy CU library from the mainframe, the data was exported and restructured to work with the Maximo schema and then imported as the system of record.

Using the structure of Maximo Classifications for the CU’s, dynamic views were created to reference the classification and sub-class parent/child relationship for representation in ArcFM Designer.


CU Estimate Translation – ArcFM Designer to Maximo Integration

From the Designer tool the technician has the ability to obtain cost estimates during the design process.  Estimating is done in Maximo CUE application but the payload of information is submitted from ArcFM designer using a “Send to Maximo” button.  This button triggers an integration to Maximo to allow design information to be transmitted from GWD to Maximo CUE application. 

This process uses an ESB to transfer information from GWD Web Service to the Maximo MIF service and structures the estimate appropriately.  The process takes the design and Maximo will produce a cost estimate via a native Maximo automation script to fire the estimate action. The Design Tech views the estimate in Maximo and the normal out of the box acceptance process takes over from there. 



Asset and Location Representation – ArcFM Designer to Maximo Integration

This section will round out the last three pain points:

  • Asset/Location Creation
  • Mobile
  • GIS Digitization

During major construction, a decision on when and where to begin representing assets and locations is often an intricate topic. The project team determined it would benefit the entire major construction workflow to represent proposed assets and locations directly from Designer on the Maximo construction work order. The solution makes use of the Maximo Work Order T&D Multiple Asset/Location/CI capabilities for this function. This pre-configuration enables all processes downstream. The design technicians have the opportunity to review the asset and location hierarchy for placement of equipment. The field crews have an already existing asset and location records for populating the data on their mobile device. The GIS team has records created up front with predefined relationship identifiers making it easier to synchronize once the ‘as built’ information is delivered. The project team made use of Maximo workflow automation and task driven assignments to promote accountability for each responsibility area. This process has reduced the overall end-to-end major construction cycle and greatly reduced the GIS backlog and digitization turn around time. Following the initial digitization, a robust synchronization engine was developed to drive the data exchange between Maximo and ArcGIS. This was achieved using a combination of Maximo Spatial, Feature Service driven automation scripting, and ArcFM auto updater's.




Our GIS team specializes in business solutions for the utilities industry, especially around equipment asset life cycle and work management. We also have experience in the facilities, transportation and government sectors. 

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Written by Cohesive Solutions

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