Tag Archives: Stories from our clients

When community focus is key to the success of your project

The Walcha Energy project is located around the town of Walcha, located in the New England tablelands, approximately 55km south of Armidale in New South Wales. The Walcha Energy Project combines solar and wind energy generation with pumped hydro and battery storage to provide a sustainable and reliable source of renewable energy for NSW. Its generation potential is equivalent to 15% of NSW’s electricity demand.

They are committed to reinforcing a strong sense of community and is focussed on delivering a project that produces benefits for the whole community and wide New England region.

In August 2019 Walcha Energy approached Mipela, looking for a stakeholder management solution. A few weeks later Mipela implemented X-Info Suite to provide a web based solution that can manage stakeholders, property information, agreements and associated commitments and associated interactions. Users are also able to capture data in the field using the mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware.

While the conversations with landholders in the region had been underway for more than seventeen years, the engagement initially was quite informal and spreadsheets were used to capture interactions and relevant information. Now all information, including the historical information already captured, is available from one source in X-Info Suite and can be used for several different purposes including tracking stakeholder interactions, sending bulk communications, geospatially capturing data and managing commitments.

“As the project progresses, we continue to increase our functionality within X-Info Suite, establishing additional automated reports, mobile data capture forms and activity workflows to work smarter, not harder,” said Mark Waring, Director of Walcha Energy.

Walcha Energy are focussed on making sure the local community understand the positive impact and benefits of the project. By capturing landowner, stakeholder and interaction information now, it will ensure its future use is high value in ensuring their social license to operate aligns to Walcha Energy’s vision to deliver a holistic, flexible and authentic engagement process with all landowners and community stakeholders.

How Gladstone Area Water Board saves time processing permits using X-Info DBYD suite

Back in 2013 Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) were one of Mipela’s first clients to utilise the Works Management module that is associated with the Dial Before You Dig process.

Works Management module is an optional module that compliments X-Info DBYD suite by automating the management of permits. It provides a seamless workflow solution to view, action and report inquiries that have authority to conduct proposed works in the vicinity of the Client’s infrastructure from X-Info DBYD suite for the Client’s “Permit to Work” processes.

X-Info Works Management module is integrated into the same dashboard as the Client’s current X-Info DBYD suite portal.

This module can be applied to works in specific areas such as road reserves or high risk assets.

Tina Underwood, Technical Officer – GIS and Drafting at Gladstone Area Water Board said, “The Works Management module has provided so much value to our business. Not only does it automatically filter out the DBYD responses that will not require a permit, but the workflows also make sure that the permits are processed in accordance with the procedure, meaning no one drops the ball and no application is missed.”

“And it’s all there in the same system, along with any captured communications, contact details and associated documents. It’s the perfect audit trail.”

In early 2020, Gladstone Area Water Board further enhanced its permit management by introducing the use of mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware to the process. This app allows the inspectors to receive and respond to tasks assigned to them in real time, mitigating the need for paper forms. Following an inspection and approval, the permits can be automatically issued via email to the nominated person.

Mipela delivers more efficiencies to APA Group

APA is a leading Australian energy infrastructure business. The company has been a client of Mipela since 2002 when X-Info DBYD suite was first implemented to initially protect its Queensland transmission pipelines. Since that time Mipela have worked closely with APA Group to automate many business processes including land, stakeholder and third party works management, safety management studies and of course Dial Before You Dig automated response system – to name just a few.

As Mipela continually develops and evolves its software, there are often opportunities to optimise and further automate existing business processes. This was the case in a recent project that was undertaken to reduce the large number of changesets and simplify the current workflows for all of APA Group’s National third party works and DBYD assessment processes using X-Info Connect Activities.

Mipela were able to provide APA Group with a proof of concept which assisted in getting early adoption of the proposed changes with key stakeholders and clear benefits realisation. During the project, an agile approach was taken to test for business process improvement and data management, contributing to a well run project and excellent outcomes for all involved.

“Searching encroachments now is much easier and intuitive for users. It has reduced workload for each team member by 1 to 1.5 hours a day,” said Rae Wood, Team Lead Infrastructure Protection Services. She added, “The time it previously took to process and manage DBYDs assessed as encroachments has significantly reduced, resulting in an average time savings of 37% for that assessment type.”

Manager Infrastructure Protection, Engineering and Planning, Ross Larsen said, “This was a well run project that has delivered great results for APA Group”.

Helping protect Queensland assets is at the tip of your fingers

Earlier this year, Dial Before You Dig Queensland, in conjunction with Construction Skills Queensland, delivered a new safety initiative for its Queensland Dial Before You Dig members. This initiative, called the Infrastructure Damage Incident Gateway (IDIG) is a data capture and benchmark reporting tool aimed at quantifying asset damage to its members.

IDIG is a tool that enables users to submit asset damage information for analysis and reporting purposes, allowing this information to provide important focus on minimising future damage. The aim of IDIG is to reduce damage to infrastructure assets through proactively providing a clear focus for targeted damage prevention campaigns.

IDIG has several user interfaces, based on what, where and how a user wants to access the system. For field workers there is a mobile app that can capture damage and associated information such as photos, video, or GPS locations or a browser based portal that can also be used on any device – in the field or in the office. IDIG can also work in areas with no internet connectivity, cleverly caching data on the device and automatically sending it through as soon as the user returns to connectivity.

Under the hood IDIG sits on Mipela’s X-Info Suite software, delivering an easy to use and intuitive user experience. The configuration of this solution is similar to the Australian Pipeline and Gas Associations’ Pipeline Incident Database and the Australian Association of Dial Before You Dig Services’ Infrastructure Damage Reporting System but it takes it to the next level with its mobile data capture app.

“The team at Mipela were instrumental in providing valuable experience to support the development of this solution,” said Dial Before You Dig Queensland’s Utility Liaison Officer, Alison Sharkey. “This secure system is flexible in how it can be used and allows our Queensland Dial Before You Dig members to have a strong grasp on any damage reporting. IDIG is aimed at providing greater awareness, workplace health and safety and benchmarking to provide better damage prevention outcomes”.

IDIG is available to all DBYD Queensland members at no cost. For more information please contact Alison Sharkey from Dial Before You Dig Queensland directly.

Managing Cultural Heritage across Barada Barna land

Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation provide specialist cultural heritage and support services to corporations and individuals, particularly in the resources sector within the QCD2016/007 Native Title Claim area.

Mipela and Barada Barna have worked together on various projects over the years. Barada Barna recently contacted Mipela to provide a solution that would remove the subjectivity from cultural heritage management for their Native Title Claim area.

Mipela worked with Barada Barna to deliver a data management regime for cultural heritage that is technically sound and business based. X-Info Suite provides Barada Barna with risk reduction, improved coordination of field teams and cost savings not just in cultural heritage management but also in any other project component or process that might depend on cultural heritage clearance.

Field workers are able to capture information, photos, videos and audio recordings using our mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware. Any information captured in the field is immediately sent to a cloud hosted server and made available for consumption by all users of X-Info Suite. X-Info Aware also has an offline capability that captures the data point in time in remote areas with poor data connectivity, automatically caching the data back to the cloud hosted server as soon as the mobile device returns to mobile or wireless coverage. Using tools like X-Info Aware significantly expediates the notification and assessment of any cultural heritage finds.

Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation’s Cultural Heritage body is Winnaa Pty Ltd. Winnaa currently does Cultural Heritage work for more than twenty mines, gas and exploration tenements over our country and employs approximately 15 traditional owners.

“With us moving to digital mapping and recording this will make the process of doing our Cultural Heritage surveys and Cultural Heritage clearance work more efficient and less time consuming as now we can have all our reports digital instead of paper copies. I believe this will make our Cultural Heritage process more streamlined and we can keep a closer eye on the mining and gas companies in our area,” said Graham Budby, Treasurer of Barada Barna Aboriginal Corporation.

As with its other cultural heritage clients, Mipela looks forward to an ongoing successful relationship where continuous improvements can be made to these processes into the future.

Ever wondered how TransLink manage their Bus Stops?

TransLink is a division of the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads with management responsibility of adds, moves, maintenance and changes for more than 17,000 active bus stops across the State.

In 2018 TransLink invited Mipela to participate in a proof of concept to replace its existing, end of life Bus Stop Portal with a new Bus Stop Management System (BSMS). This solution required the ability to store, manage and allocate works on bus stop infrastructure and its corresponding components. The new BSMS would also include the additional functionality of being able to receive bus stop infrastructure upgrade funding applications from Councils and assess these applications via workflow with internal users.

Challenges

The incumbent solution was end of life and unsupported, so timing in delivering the new solution was of the essence.

The TransLink project team had existing business based roles to perform whilst also being committed to the project. This coupled with the part time nature of some of their subject matter experts, timing and effective communication was key. The project adopted changes to optimise the engagement opportunities with face to face workshops proving the most effective.

Solution

TransLink’s new BSMS has delivered the required functionality with the flexibility of being able to improve existing processes and adopt a continuous improvement approach to how the team works.

The new system has allowed TransLink’s BSM team to bring on board new Councils and bus companies across the State.

Users can easily access the information they need to perform their jobs in an intuitive, browser based portal.

Interactive mapping functionality allows users to quickly drill down to the area they are interested in and access the relevant information without trolling through lists of irrelevant data.

The mobile data capture app, X-Info Aware has introduced the ability for users to capture information in the field and share in real time with the BSM team in the office. This significantly reduces the maintenance time if there is an issue and improves turnaround times for repairs and installations.

Contractors, bus companies, Councils, and other relevant parties can easily gain access to their relevant data via a browser based portal.

Reporting is automated either through scheduled .pdf files that are emailed to nominated personnel or real time dashboards that show what each user need to see in order to perform their role and meet their targets.

Results

The flexibility of this project was a result of a true ongoing partnership between the TransLink BSM team and the Mipela implementation team. The lines of communications were always open and are still well utilised.

The BSMS project has delivered well and truly above the functional and non functional requirements of the project. Workflows were streamlined as the project progressed, whilst still delivering on the core requirements.

The end product is a highly flexible system that the BSMS will continue to configure to improve their existing processes and workflows.

Managing contaminated land compliance

Mipela recently rolled out a solution to automate and manage contaminated land compliance and reporting using X-Info DBYD suite’s Works Management module to the City of Sydney. This solution adds an additional layer (pardon the GIS joke) of protection to human safety and the environment in and around contaminated sites.

The solution uses spatial data to automatically identify excavation risks near or within known contaminated land sites. Once identified, the respondent automatically receives an email confirming they are within the buffer zone for a known contaminated land site and are provided with a detailed site plan, Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and Site Audit Statement (SAS) – all within just a few minutes of them lodging their Dial Before You Dig enquiry.

This sort of workflow automation that can be used for all types of environmentally sensitive sites like:

  • Contaminated land (PFAS, PCBs, etc.)
  • Hazardous disused assets (eg. decommissioned asbestos pipes, tanks)
  • Ecological regeneration sites
  • Natural ecological hazards (eg. acid sulphate soils, toxic weeds, invasive species).

To find out more, contact our DBYD specialist, Neil Aikman on 0490 026 231.

APGA moves Pipeline Engineers Competency System (PECS) to a a new platform

Further to our recent article in the previous newsletter about the Australian Pipeline and Gas Association (APGA) moving its Knowledgebase to X-Info Suite, we are delighted that the Pipeline Engineering Competency System (PECS) is now also available on the same platform.

Now, when APGA Members log on to the X-Info Suite platform where the APGA Knowledgebase moved in July, they will see in the dashboard that the PECS can also be accessed from this location.

All the information on the PECS, including the onshore and offshore competency standards libraries, the tools and resources, information about registering as an Oil and Gas Pipeline Engineer and other supporting information is now available on the new platform.

Access to the new platform will be via a link on the APGA website, either on the Knowledgebase page or the PECS page.

“The PECS platform is now the single source of truth for the PECS,” said APGA CEO Steve Davies in an email to members. “The competency standards in the PECS are reviewed over a five-year cycle, so please check frequently to make sure you have the current version.”

“Another new feature available via the platform is the ability to download the master lists of competency standards. These are downloaded directly from the database so are always up to date.”

Systematising pipeline risk management

Australia’s largest gas pipeline network owner and operator, APA Group is responsible for more than $21 billion of energy assets across Australia.

Under Australian Standard AS2885, APA Group are required to conduct Safety Management Studies (SMS) on all pipelines to ensure compliance and that key management personnel are fully informed of the operational risks associated with the operating assets.

In 2018, APA Group started using Mipela’s X-Info SMS suite to automate this process. X-Info SMS suite is specifically designed to provide pipeline owners with a comprehensive system that can manage their tasks associated with the operation, maintenance, suspension of operation, decommissioning and abandonment along with all their proposed transmission pipeline asset projects AS2885 workflows, quality control and reporting. Where a threat is identified as “credible” and failure is possible, the risk must be managed to ALARP (As Low as Reasonably Possible). X-Info SMS suite guides participants through an Initial Risk Assessment workflow and Residual Risk Assessment to reach ALARP.

Since that first project, APA Group have completed 12 workshops for more than twenty pipelines using X-Info SMS suite. The design SMS workshop for the Western Outer Ring Main project (Victoria) was the latest to be undertaken. APA Group have also loaded over 300 pipeline assets into the SMS database in preparation for the next round of workshops.

“Using a proven methodology and sound system like X-Info SMS suite not only saves a considerable amount of time from study to study but the automated reporting and reminders are critical in managing any identified threats,” said Phill King, Manager Systems and Assurance at APA Group. “Being able to quickly reference and analyse the status of our threats enables us to also to better resource plan and minimise the risk for all,” King added.

Moving forward, the next steps in the APA SMS story is to plan and “flatten the curve” for the upcoming SMS reviews.

The APGA Knowledgebase has moved to a new platform

The Australian Pipeline and Gas Association (APGA) has moved its Knowledgebase to a new platform – ours!

As part of a strategic move by APGA to consolidate its applications, the following membership systems – Knowledgebase, Pipeline Engineering Competency System (PECS) and Tools/Resources will join the Pipeline Operators Group (POG) incident database using Mipela’s X-Info Suite. Users will be able to access these tools from links on the APGA website via a secure browser based portal.

“The new platform offers easier operation and straightforward searching for APGA members on a more robust platform,” APGA CEO Steve Davies said in an email to members. “Building and supporting industry capability is one of APGA’s strategic aims and has been our core business for more than 50 years. The APGA Knowledgebase is the central location for APGA technical material.”

“The APGA Knowledgebase is the first section of what will eventually become the central point for accessing APGA technical material. The next section to be transferred will be the APGA PECS which will happen later this year. We are excited to be able to make this material available on a purpose-built platform.”

The Knowledgebase is a major reference recourse for the pipeline industry, collecting knowledge, experience and lessons learned over decades. It contains more than 1,600 items of technical and other information from seminars and conferences in the pipeline industry, as well as working documents from major projects, collected over many decades. It has become an important reference for members working on projects or who simply have an interest in the technical aspects of the industry. It is easily searchable via a number of search terms.