​​By Rebecca Kallio 

In February 2016, Asset Management set a goal to determine the health index for 493 transmission lines with capacities of 115 kilovolts and greater by the end of Fiscal Year 2018. In December 2017, the team hit that goal nine months ahead of schedule.

This project’s success was aided by close collaboration between Asset Management, Information Technology, Geographic Information Systems, Engineering and Maintenance, all of which worked together to keep the project on track and running as smoothly as possible.

Specifically, the team’s implementation of workflow strategies in data collection, system integration, changes in culture and reconfiguration of system hierarchies were crucial to the success of the project.

Prior to this initiative, the health index of transmission lines was based on age alone. Age isn’t always an accurate indicator, however, and a structure’s physical condition often has a greater correlation to its actual health.

Asset Management determined that the condition-specific information collected during transmission line inspections could be used to calculate health more accurately. Additionally, inspection data would be collected and recorded in real time within mobile data collection software. Inspection data could then be uploaded into GIS and Maximo through TIBCO, WAPA’s standard integration platform, to calculate each health index score.

Maximo has been the primary source for WAPA’s Maintenance community to schedule work orders, record maintenance histories and store equipment specifications, grouping assets in a hierarchy depending on which office was responsible for performing specific maintenance activities.

Asset Management needed to leverage this data to perform health index calculations on transmission lines, so Maximo asset groups were reconfigured from a maintenance office hierarchy to a breaker-to- breaker hierarchy. To adopt the new system configuration, maintenance offices underwent changes in workflow process, and also changed how they would develop work orders and identify assets.

A project of this magnitude requires help from many dedicated individuals throughout WAPA, such as electrical engineers Gary Zevenbergen and Chuck Miller, who were key players in this initiative.

Zevenbergen and Miller worked tirelessly to ensure that transmission lines and associated equipment were grouped in the breaker-to-breaker hierarchy fashion through confirmation from plan and profile transmission line drawings and operating diagrams.

Now that the health index data has been developed for transmission lines, Asset Management is leveraging the lessons learned from this project to investigate whether or not it should develop a health index for critical infrastructure facilities and associated assets.

What happens next?

The health index information gathered during this initiative will benefit several groups within WAPA.

  • Maintenance offices can be provided insight on the effectiveness of maintenance techniques, the quality of various types of equipment, the ability to reevaluate maintenance intervals  based on actual line-health conditions rather than age, and so on.
  • Planning offices can make timely and cost-effective business decisions to address system compliance and adequacy. Health-index information is one of two components used to define the risk of failure within WAPA’s inventory.
  • The Asset Management program is looking to develop platforms to help groups  within WAPA easily obtain and leverage this information to make the best decisions to maintain and protect WAPA’s assets.
Transmission line bar chart

Last modified on September 12th, 2023