“The T800 tablet can be comfortably operated with one hand, and its large highresolution display ensures that data can be easily read, even under severe weather conditions. When carrying out work on a gas network, the availability of a rugged device that is reliable in every way simplifies the work of our staff to a considerable extent.”
~Mirko Häußler, Fault Management Expert at NBB.
With a pipeline system that is almost 8,700 miles long and approximately 800,000 metering points, the NBB is one of the largest gas network operators in Germany. The core activities of the Berlin-based company include the maintenance and development of the supply pipeline infrastructure and the safe and reliable operation of the network. When a fault occurs in the supply network, the reporting center notifies and dispatches on-call emergency staff. Speed and efficiency are essential because the technical regulations specify that the fault location has to be reached within 30 minutes under normal traffic and weather conditions.
When rectifying faults, NBB uses a comprehensive package comprising the rugged T800 tablet from Getac and the ‘MGC fault clearance service app’ developed by Mettenmeier. On-call emergency staff receive a notification on the display in their emergency vehicles and enter a code to accept and confirm the assignment. Björn Klinger, the Project Consultant, on the objectives of the company: “We wanted to replace our previous fault management service solution with a modern communication tool and provide maximum IT support for the fault rectification process.”
During fault rectification stage, NBB only needs one device per vehicle during call-outs. This is built into the center console using a special mounting that has been optimized for safe application in vehicles and offers additional connections. The driver uses the touchpad of the Getac T800 to navigate and the MGC software to send status information.
Although two devices per vehicle were sometimes required in the past, the office workstation that is installed in the vehicle can now also be operated using the rugged tablet.The staff member uses the mouse, keyboard and separate monitor to process documents in the normal way and to navigate the pipeline system. This is a significant hardware advantage because NBB no longer needs to support or connect two devices.
Mirko Häußler, Fault Management Expert at NBB, states: “The overall solution is highly efficient. The stability of the devices, their touch features, GPS functionality and broadband connectivity form the basis, and the software provides better and safer handling and application.” NBB has used this solution to equip a total of 40 emergency vehicles used to support 21 protection areas in Berlin and Brandenburg.
During a call-out, the job data is clearly displayed on the 8.1″ screen of the T800 to support the actions that are required initially. This also includes a special electronic job sheet in which the staff member can see the information that has to be entered and identify which fields are mandatory. In addition, the pipeline network plan in the vehicle provided by the new solution has been significantly improved. The staff member can use the touch screen to navigate around the plan, and a high-resolution image is available at every zoom level. Whereas the earlier plans were only available as grid plans, the pipelines can now be clicked on to display additional information.
Mirko Häußler emphasizes this added value: “Due to the excellent connectivity of the tablet, we can now retrieve all the technical data from the GIS. The improved availability of data makes it easier for our staff to do their job.” A significant factor is that the app also functions offline and is thus not affected by dead spots or system failures. The network information is updated on a daily basis using a SIM card built into the Getac device. In addition, the mobile devices are in a corporate subnet. Using CDA (Corporate Data Access) technology, they can go online immediately and are always connected to the reporting center.
NBB is already planning the future expansion of mobile processes with a view to using the same hardware for all application scenarios. The Berlin company has already started to equip its entire workforce with the T800. In addition to carrying out administrative work such as house connection changes, the rugged tablets will then be used to service equipment or to carry out tasks in the gas supply plants regardless of the weather.