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Wireless Professional Services

Your strategic partner for a changing world

Over recent years, the electricity system landscape has undergone a rapid transformation. As the power grid evolved, so to have the communication networks that support them.  Through the most recent years, communication strategies have been largely independent of the operational strategy in a typical utility/industrial organization. Accordingly, companies across many industries have seen a proliferation of built-for-single-purpose communication networks, oftentimes with little to no interoperability between them. 

With the continued convergence of IT and OT strategies within the last 5 years, the most advanced organizations are driving strategies to consolidate communication networks into a single multi-purpose network not only to meet today’s demands for high bandwidth, low latency, and high reliability but to also meet future expansion needs.  Those strategies include, though are not limited to, the following considerations:

  • Private vs Public vs Hybrid networks
  • Wired vs Wireless
  • Cost-Benefit Optimization between Reliability, Bandwidth, and Latency
  • Current Age of Infrastructure vs Modernization Horizon
  • Total Cost of Ownership, OPEX reduction, CAPEX optimization

Hitachi ABB Power Grids has a full portfolio of wired and wireless communication products to meet the most demanding mission-critical communication needs in the market. Along with that product portfolio is a complete professional services portfolio to enable the most efficient and competent network deployment process, including:

 

  • Network Planning
  • Installation Services
  • Turnkey Project Management
  • Network Health Check 

Solutions

Network planning actually begins during the proposal phase of the project and is best executed with real-time asset location data in a customer’s desired coverage territory.  A desktop design based on those assets and other customer specifications for network performance is done with tools like EDX Signal Pro, AlphiMAX, Google Earth Pro or other similar visualization tools, and the result is a KMZ file complete with locations of customer assets proposed gateway and node locations, and a resultant bill of material. This bill of material becomes the basis of the turnkey proposal.

Upon commencement of the actual project, the desktop design is reviewed, evaluated against any new requirements, and used to drive the site survey portion of the project. Site survey crews are deployed to review and audit every proposed location from the desktop design.  Crews are trained to look for any conditions that could hinder the optimum performance of the deployed equipment, including but not limited to

  • The actual existence of the asset (mounting pole, distribution automation asset)
  • Interferences not evident from visualization tools (trees, shrubs, buildings, etc)
  • Height or other visual limitation of proposed mounting asset
  • Cellular signal (where applicable for hybrid network deployments)

Feedback from these surveys is incorporated into the preliminary network design for the creation of the final network design and bill of material. This final information is presented and reviewed with the customer in a formal design review and approval.  Any changes required from this review are incorporated and final designs are then used to generate the database of installation locations for the project. 

Hitachi ABB Power Grids long time project deployment experiences have led to the creation of best practice installation services, which can be broken down into the following steps:

  • Delivery, Staging, Configuration & Kitting
  • Dispatch, Installation & Commissioning
  • Optimization

In any wireless project deployment, one of the most vital, yet challenging aspects of the installation phase of the project is the staging, configuration, and kitting of the product prior to dispatch to the installation crew.  Experience has shown that loading final configuration/addressing data on the product is best done as close to installation as possible, but also in a controlled environment. Hitachi ABB Power Grids solution for this is to load, energize, final test, and configure in Supros, all routers prior to dispatch to installation crew.  This maximizes the opportunity for a flawless install and allows the install crews to focus their attention on that activity vs troubleshooting, thus greatly enhancing crew productivity and safety.

Prior to the commencement of any project mobilization, the installation subcontractor must demonstrate all crew members have undergone safety training requirements for the project, which always includes the maximum requirements of the subcontractor, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, or Customer. Installation crews are also trained on proper installation techniques on the variety of expected mounting assets in the project. Upon dispatch of installation for the day to a particular location, the crew foreman will conduct a job hazard assessment to identify any hazards and define necessary mitigation, including traffic and pedestrian control. Installation may then commence and can include some or all of the following activities:

  • Installation of mounting brackets/arms
  • Installation of the router on brackets
  • Wiring of power to the router (including a possible extension of power from other poles
  • Energization of the router and visual confirmation of the power
  • Visual confirmation of router connectivity to rest of network 
  • Execution of simple troubleshooting if the router fails to energize or achieve connectivity.

Upon completion of each day’s installation, a Hitachi ABB Power Grids network engineer will evaluate the actual performance of the installed router vs that expected from the desktop design. Major deviations will be evaluated and incorporated into the design, sometimes requiring additions or modifications to the future installation plan. Hitachi ABB Power Grids' experience has shown that this is the best way to ensure immediate benefit from the network as it is installed and to ensure the fastest possible completion from the final installation to project completion. 

Hitachi ABB Power Grids is proud of its ability to package an entire deployment into a single turnkey project. As one of the world’s most premier provider of power grids systems and projects, Hitachi ABB Power Grids offers full turnkey project management of all activities required to deploy your wireless project. Hitachi ABB Power Grids certified project managers follow a rigorous methodology based upon principles of the PMI organization and will drive the most efficient process covering all activities required to execute the project from kick-off to handover.  

Network health checks play a pivotal role in the long-term performance of any wireless network, as they aid in continually maintaining optimum performance through the life of the network.

This value-added service is very similar to the network optimization process described in the context of installation services in a new network deployment, where an assessment of the network’s digital performance, as well as physical assets, are done to determine where communication upgrades and improvements should be made to ensure grid stability and resiliency.  Similar to the structured planning process included in our turnkey project management of an initial network deployment, our Network Health Check has equal rigor including:

  • Test Plan Development
  • Desktop Diagnosis
  • Physical Diagnosis
  • Network Re-design
  • Installation Services
  • Final Report

Hitachi ABB Power Grids network planning engineer will commence the health check by meeting with the customer to receive performance data and other feedback of the network operators in order to build a test plan that will address all critical issues.  Once the plan is completed, the planning engineer will diagnose the device and link performance via analysis of Supros data in order to determine performance gaps in the network. Based on those evaluations, a preliminary desktop design is done whereby existing routers may be designated for relocation or new routers added in new locations. 

As during a new deployment, a physical survey of the network is then done both to identify any environmental issues impacting the performance and to confirm proposed new locations are acceptable.  Findings are fed back to the preliminary design and a final design and work plan is established.  Crews following the activities previously described under the “installation services section” and a final desktop performance check are executed by the planning engineer.  

All networks and environments vary, so Hitachi ABB Power Grids recommends an annual health check in order to ensure optimum network performance.

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