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FME Amps Up High-Voltage Maintenance Program

What does FME have to do with pruning trees? Well, in France, ERDF is responsible for 95% of the country

What does FME have to do with pruning trees? Well, in France, ERDF – Electricité Réseau Distribution France – is responsible for 95% of the country’s public electricity distribution network. As part of their mandate, they need to ensure that crews safely keep power lines clear from tree growth, movement, or fall. And the regional management in Auvergne, with some 54,000 km of network, is putting FME to work to help make sure that that happens.

When a field survey identifies a required intervention along the high-voltage network, the information is synced into a central PostgreSQL/PostGIS database. Then FME kicks in. First, it produces an operational paper chart, in Adobe® Geospatial PDF format, for each switchyard – a point of high voltage power supply. These 1:10,000 charts aggregate a number of sources, both spatial and non-spatial, including IGN Scan 25 images, orthophotos, GPS readings, survey data, and observations taken by helicopter. The charts provide a precise route map to the prioritized intervention points, substations, and any safety procedures to be followed – such as only intervening when the power is off.

At the same time, FME produces a .GPX file to be used by the pruning teams’ GPS system, and an Excel® spreadsheet detailing point-by-point requirements for each intervention. With these three sources of information, the teams head out into the field with a focused and efficient plan – helping fulfill their mission of maintaining the network – safely.

In total, nearly 500 information bundles are automatically generated by FME for each pruning operation. The time savings are significant – from two weeks production time for 500 bundles to 50 minutes. Serge Laurans, Information Technology Project Manager, Auvergne Regional Management, enthuses, “During this project, FME has demonstrated its effectiveness. It would be difficult to go without it from now on!”

What’s next for ERDF-Auvergne and FME? They’re in the process of adapting the same cartographic production line for the low-voltage network, and intend to use the same process for other intervention missions that they’re responsible for. We’re pleased that the power of FME can contribute.

To read more about this project, go to safe.local/ERDF.

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