Utility equipment: Crew callout and scheduling solution automated
Safety products: ARCOS technology replaces paper lists that utility’s control center operators rely on to call out linemen available to return power after an outage.
Utility equipment: With the ARCOS® Callout and Scheduling solution, the 650-square-mile Turlock Irrigation District (TID), one of four California irrigation districts providing water and electricity, has reduced by up to 60 minutes the time it takes to identify and assemble crews for restoration work. The ARCOS technology replaced paper lists that the utility’s control center operators relied on to call out linemen available to return power after an outage.
Prior to implementing ARCOS, when a customer called about a power outage, TID would first send a troubleshooter to assess the situation. If the troubleshooter requested a crew to complete the restoration, then the utility’s control center operator would make the calls to build a line crew. Hand dialing to assemble a crew could take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on such factors as time and day of the week, weather and lineman availability.
According to TID managers, working from a paper list to find crew members could also lead to mistakes that spurred grievances about the equitable distribution of overtime hours for members of IBEW Local 1245. If an operator was working from a paper list to find linemen and looked away because a feeder tripped, he might skip a name on a call out list. While this was an honest mistake, it would lead to complaints.
“The cost of grievances and the fact that it was simply taking us too much time to put together a crew precipitated a move to an automated solution,” said James Ramos, Electrical Engineering and Operations Department manager for Power Operations, Turlock Irrigation District. “We have software for logging outages and outage coordination, but to turn something like that into an automated call out solution would require far too much customization if it could be done at all.
“We learned that ARCOS is widely used across the utility industry,” added Ramos. “It is the gold standard for callout systems.”
The TID ARCOS solution covers a combination of approximately 40 linemen along with control center operators and managers. Since putting the solution in place, TID control center operators now spend less time assembling line crews and the frustration felt by linemen for being skipped over as part of a call out for restoration work has been eliminated.
“We have not had a single grievance since implementing ARCOS,” remarked John Rover, Line Division manager for the Turlock Irrigation District.
About ARCOS LLC
ARCOS® is the North American leader in delivering crew callout and crew management SaaS solutions to the utility industry. ARCOS automates crew assembly and management daily and during emergencies, ultimately helping to restore energy faster, yet safely, to communities. The award-winning solution helps utilities save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction.