TaKaDu Deployment Reveals Long Lasting Network Problems and Triggers Asset Management Improvements

February 24, 2015 at 6:06 am Leave a comment

Many utilities that use TaKaDu report benefits immediately after the solution deploys. In this blog post we share examples from two of our customers that demonstrate the immediate value from TaKaDu’s initial network audit and ongoing monitoring:

Example #1: Identification of faulty PRVs leads to improved customer service

In 2014, the utility started using TaKaDu and uncovered a number of continuous network problems upon deployment. These problems came to the surface as a result of TaKaDu’s network and data audit, a task that is completed for every utility within the first 4 to 8 weeks of deployment. Almost immediately, the utility received alerts on a number of previously unidentified network equipment malfunctions including pressure reducing valves (PRVs) and pumps. Without the audit, these issues would have gone undetected indefinitely wasting water, energy and money and possibly increasing customer complaints.

During deployment, TaKaDu uncovered a malfunctioning PRV that had the potential to interrupt the water supply in a residential subsector. The malfunction started at 8am and TaKaDu generated an event shortly thereafter, alerting network operators to the problem. A field team was sent and confirmed that the PRV was stuck, fixing it before the supply interruption (loss of water) affected the approximately 1,500 connections in that particular subsector.

On another occasion, TaKaDu alerted the utility to a very significant failure of a strategic PRV. An alarm about an unusual flow signaled an increasing flow in a specific sector (from 12 m3/hr to 24 m3/hr) over the course of several hours. After investigating the root cause of the problem using the SCADA system, the team realized there was a continuous communication issue with the PRV controlling that particular sector. This failure meant that for a while it was not possible to control the device using remote commands, indicating an equipment malfunction. The field team was informed and confirmed that the PRV was indeed stuck – it was fixed manually before any significant supply interruption occurred.

With TaKaDu, network analysts were able to view important information that linked the erroneous flow trend to a communication problem and a long-lasting equipment malfunction. Left unattended, these events would have affected a significant number of connections in the area, impacting customer service and satisfaction.

For this particular utility, all data and relevant network components were aligned within one month of deployment, enabling full network visibility and enabling operators to gain the full value of network assets. The team which was previously deferring to the status quo of relying on customer calls or field teams to alert on network problems, now takes a range of information into account, with the knowledge that TaKaDu will raise an alert if there’s a supply problem.

For the full case study – click here.

Example #2: Full visibility to meter and telemetry faults results in high data availability

Another water utility deployed TaKaDu in mid-2014. Throughout the set-up process and network data audit, TaKaDu uncovered an enormous number of meter and communication faults which were immediately repaired to maximize the value from existing assets as well as TaKaDu’s data analysis. In this case the graph speaks for itself. With implementation starting in May, the utility has improved its data availability from 55.4% to 91.9% within less than 5 months.

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Multiple teams at the utility now have continuous access to meter data. This constant network visibility helps them improve operations, and ensures that network monitoring and alerts are accurate.

In both cases, TaKaDu’s deployment helped utilities from the outset to identify ongoing, previously undetected network problems and create and inform the initial baseline, allowing for accurate monitoring of the network.

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