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Improving productivity with field drawing access at South Australia Power Network

About the project


SA Power Networks (SAPN) operates a power distribution network that stretches across South Australia, covering 178,000km2, including thousands of kilometres of powerline and hundreds of substations that service around 850,000 customers.

SAPN recently began implementation of the engineering drawing and data management solution, RedEyeDMS, to improve its field access and visibility to latest drawings and mark-ups for substations.

“Access to current state drawings for the SA Power Networks field operations, engineering and planning team is vital to reduce the risk of safety incidents or unplanned outages.”
Peter Barnard, Manager Engineering Design and Technical Services


Identifying the problem

To address this risk and improve operations, SAPN initiated a search of viable drawing management alternatives through a Proof of Concept (POC) trial in the field, on real projects. Prior to RedEyeDMS:

  • Only 10% of users could easily find the latest drawing changes
  • 33% of users said it took over 10 minutes to find information
  • 55% didn’t always trust that the available version was correct

Implementing a solution

SAPN was searching for an innovative change in the way it provided access to its drawings in the field. A suite of DMS products were trialled as part of the POC, across
multiple vendors, including RedEyeDMS.

The field team were extensively involved and voted for the RedEye system without reservation for its reliability and ease of use. RedEye’s team also satisfied the extensive security requirements expected for an essential service.

“Through this process, RedEyeDMS was selected to be implemented in 2017. The RedEye team was easy to do business with and its solution provided the best value for money implementation. We also indicate a return of investment in 2 to 4 years and would only grow with time.”
Peter Barnard, Manager Engineering Design and Technical Services

RedEye’s strongest point for SAPN was the field use capabilities. It substantially improves access to latest information, critical for our field teams.

“RedEyeDMS has greatly improved search times through its functionality and simplicity in searching for drawings. It also provides the ability to workflow and approve drawing construction changes in near to real-time across large areas.”
Emlyn Hughes, Quality & Business Improvement Engineer

Future benefits

Through the implementation of RedEyeDMS, SAPN could save 1,044 hours in productivity every year indicated on the small data set used during the POC on searching for drawings alone.

In addition, 91% of users could easily find the latest changes with RedEyeDMS compared with just 10% prior to implementation.

“The user interface is ahead of its competitors. Our time searching for drawings reduced considerably, typically 50% and in some cases from 10 minutes down to two minutes in RedEyeDMS without extensive training.”
Michael Brown, Undergraduate Electronics Engineer

Mr Barnard concluded, “The RedEyeDMS system will immediately improve the communication between the field and the engineering teams, improving designs, improving the safety of our designs and improving the engagement of the team.”

Key lessons

  1. Allowing field access significantly improves productivity
  2. Staff buy-in to systems is important and drives sustainable change
  3. User interface, mobility and usability should be key considerations in adopting technology
South Australia Power Networks
2017 Innovation in Change Award, ChangeConnect