Feb 23, 2010

Municipal Light & Power (ML&P), Anchorage AK Selects Autodesk Topobase to Improve Network Records Management

Extension to ML&P’s Existing Autodesk Solutions Provides More Accurate Records in Processes to Operate and Maintain their Network.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif - Autodesk, Inc today announced Municipal Light & Power (ML&P), Anchorage AK will extend their use of Autodesk utility solutions by adding Autodesk Topobase software to improve process efficiencies for managing critical design and as-built records. Autodesk Topobase provides a centralized repository for design and as-built records, improving the quality and accessibility of information about the utility’s network assets.

With Autodesk Topobase in place, Anchorage ML&P will be able to more easily bring together design and as-built network data created in Autodesk Utility Design (AUD) software with data from its property records and financial systems. This integration will help reduce data conversions and silos, and make more accurate spatial data accessible throughout the utility, driving better planning decisions and operating efficiencies.

Municipal Light & Power

Servicing an area of 19.9 square miles, Anchorage ML&P provides electric power to a large portion of the commercial and high-density residential areas of Anchorage, and also provides power to two military bases. In addition to delivering reliable services to customers, Anchorage ML&P must perform an annual voltage profile study of its distribution network, reporting to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska. Currently, data for this study is extracted from their legacy Continuing Property Records Management System, but soon Autodesk Topobase software will help to automate the process.

“Automating our annual feeder load study is a good example of how Topobase will help improve our planning processes and help contain costs,” said Ray Pearce, GIS Project Manager/Engineering Support Supervisor at Anchorage ML&P. “Topobase gives us the tools to bring together CAD designs, as-built records, and GIS data. With that consolidated view, we can effectively manage asset lifecycles, streamline and increase operational efficiency and reliability, and perform feeder load studies more efficiently.”

Centralizing and Managing Utility Information

Anchorage ML&P employs Autodesk solutions that are purpose-built for utilities and that fit into the utility’s workflow. In addition, Autodesk has provided consulting services to help further streamline the utility’s processes from gathering legacy system data to sharing project information with teams throughout the company. For instance, using Autodesk Utility Design software for distribution design allows Anchorage ML&P to more easily generate material orders, estimate project costs, and track when drawings are assigned, approved, sent for construction, and finally when the as-built has been completed. AutoCAD Map 3D software is used to update the utility’s grid maps and produce construction drawings.

Extending the benefits of integration beyond design-based processes, ML&P will integrate Topobase with a new financial system, PowerPlant by PowerPlan Consultants, and billing system, Utility PowerNet by Southeastern Data Cooperative. This will establish a core network connectivity model that includes interactive network tracing, and thematic network representation. As an open, more flexible solution, Topobase software can serve as a foundation for future growth.

“Our approach at Autodesk is to provide our utility customers with a single model of network assets that integrates design and as-built records,” said Alan Saunders, senior industry manager, utilities, at Autodesk. “Topobase data is available to other essential systems to make it easier to plan, design, and manage utility infrastructure. This enables better analysis, decisions, and reporting – all critical in today’s utility environment.”