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Managing Preventative Maintenance work without an Asset Inventory

Stefano March 31, 2017
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Using VUEWorks to manage and map Preventative Maintenance work orders without an asset inventory in GIS.

It is a common misconception that you must have an established asset inventory in a database or GIS in order to schedule, track and manage preventative maintenance activities for a specific asset. Although it is very desirable and useful to have all your assets in a GIS inventory, sometimes that is not the reality you are faced with.

When you cannot start with the ideal (and yet you need to start), you must start with the practical. That can be as simple as creating and tracking recurring work orders by a location for key assets and expanding from there.

Recurring work orders are work orders that are created in the VUEWorks Work Order module for an activity that you set to automatically reschedule itself for a user-defined date or timeframe into the future.

Managing and mapping a recurring preventative maintenance activity for an asset can be as simple as creating a work order record in the VUEWorks Work Order module and clicking the work order to the assets location on an ArcGIS Online Street or aerial map. If you have your own street and aerial maps, so much the better!

Work Order A work order pin on the map for monthly debris cleaning for an unmapped culvert.

The preventative maintenance work order can be tailored to a specific activity and/or type of asset even if you do not have the asset in an Esri ArcGIS Feature Service or a VUEWorks Facilities module. The work order can be identified as Preventative Maintenance using the “Type” field.

Preventative maintenance work orders can be created as a onetime event or they can be scheduled to recur on a user defined basis. Each work order being set to recur can have its own timing, patterns and date ranges in which they recur.

Preventative work orderA recurring preventative maintenance work order for debris removal from unmapped culvert.

Work orders can then be assigned for execution by field crews using MobileVUE. Upon completion of the work order, VUEWorks will automatically reschedule the work order based on the user defined parameters. VUEWorks allows you to include time periods and specific days of the week to schedule out your preventative maintenance, which allows you to balance your workload by spreading it out over specific days and timeframes.

If you are just starting out with proactively scheduling your preventative maintenance work orders, you may want to consider starting slow. This way, you do not overwhelm yourself by scheduling more PM’s than your limited resources may permit you to complete. In keeping with our culvert work order, you may have hundreds (or thousands) of culverts along your roadways you would ideally clean on a regular and frequent basis, but resources may not permit that. So what do you do?

First, start by prioritizing your assets within an asset class, like culverts. As you prioritize your individual assets, two to four levels of priority should emerge- these will be based upon past experience and your ability to maintain them. Your most critical assets are those that have repeated service requests, create known problems, or are in high-use areas.

For example, a smaller culvert that causes flooding (due to frequently trapped debris) is a higher priority and will require more frequent touches. Whereas a larger culver in a less densely traveled area requires less frequent maintenance. With the VUEWorks recurring work order function, you can schedule routine bi-monthly debris cleaning for the smaller culvert, and an annual debris cleaning for the larger culvert.

Once you have your preventative maintenance programs configured as recurring work orders in VUEWorks, you will be able to manage your workload through VUEWorks Work Order Calendar. You will also be able to manage other PM’s, requested work and capital projects.

Maintenance work orderPreventative maintenance work order- along with other types of work orders in VUEWorks Work Order Calendar.

Are you ready for the best part? This same concept applies whether you have an asset inventory or not. If you are fortunate enough to have an asset inventory in ArcGIS or VUEWorks Facilities, simply associate the asset inventory record to the recurring preventative maintenance work order.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how your organization can begin scheduling recurring preventative maintenance work orders using VUEWorks, call one of our Subject Matter Experts at 407-382-5222.

Maintaining Pavements in a changing Climate

Stefano March 2, 2017
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Hot Pavement

We’ve all seen the news recently reporting climate changes that have caused extreme stress on our transportation and utility infrastructure across the nation. Whether it is failing dams, erosion of highways due to flooding and shifting soils or fires from extreme droughts, climatic changes affect long term performance of these systems. In today’s environment of drastic changes in climates from year to year, it becomes a challenge to understand the forces that continually deteriorate our transportation infrastructure.

The long-term effects of climate changes on pavement are significant. They include significant reduction in stiffness of subgrade and asphalt concrete surfaces, faster deterioration with a drastic reduction of performance life and a faster and non-linear increase in maintenance costs. Such increases in cost are not apparent from predictions that do not consider climate changes. How does pavement performance deteriorate differently with climate change and its uncertainty?

Climatic changes can result in dramatic moisture variations within the soil, more frequent freeze-thaw cycles and extreme temperature variations. These conditions often result in heaving of the roadbed soils, reduced load bearing capacity and erosion of the soils, void formation beneath pavement layers and deterioration of the pavement surface. Do you know when and how often these changes occur within your network? What are the effects on the pavement condition when these climatic conditions occur?

In some regions, an increase in heavy rainfall events may cause extreme erosion, especially in an environment previously in drought conditions. Frequent, long periods of rainfall result in saturated conditions due to a significant increase in the rainfall volumes. Large amounts of surface runoff through pavement edge infiltration, thermal condensation due to these temperature fluctuations and additional moisture infiltration from unsealed pavement cracks all increase the subgrade moisture. Depending upon the climate and region, extreme drying can also occur in the winter.

An increase in frequency of extreme heat days and multi-day heat wave events in the summer, especially in the south, also add to the drying of soils and evaporation of surface water. These climatic factors and environmental conditions affect the pavement structural properties, deteriorate pavement response under loading, decrease pavement performance life and increase the rate of deterioration, resulting in a change in the frequency and type of maintenance and rehabilitation required.

How can we better understand these changes and how they affect our pavement structures? Consistent and accurate pavement condition rating will help you understand the changes occurring in the pavement structure. A regular frequency of condition evaluations every 2 to 5 years will help monitor isolated distresses and provide a better deterioration curve for more accurate prediction of future performance. Survey areas should be equally spaced and marked within the segments to represent the overall conditions, in general conformance with ASTM D6433, such that they can be surveyed consistently for each cycle.

A quick study and review of weather conditions, including seasonal rainfall and temperature changes, will help determine the extent and timing of changes that may be occurring in the pavement system. After severe climatic changes, a small sample condition assessment of select survey areas may indicate if significant deterioration has occurred since the last survey. Understanding how these changes will affect pavement performance will help avoid reactionary repairs and help control costs by improving preventive maintenance.

In addition to pavement condition rating, we also need to understand how the climate changes affect the engineering properties of the pavement materials by reviewing the actual distresses observed to determine what forces may be causing the observed distress. Further engineering evaluations, such as deflection testing, ground penetrating radar or soil sampling may be needed to understand if the distress is related to moisture in the subgrade or other factors that are producing the change in properties of the materials.

A complete review of the soil conditions and properties are vital in understanding the cause of distress and determining the most appropriate maintenance solutions. This is important in not only finding the correct repair, but also in determining the risk associated with potential failure and proper preventive treatments to apply to a pavement structure before the distress occurs.

While proper assessment of the causes for pavement failure is important to determine proper maintenance, when to apply the treatments should be determined through optimization of maintenance for the pavement network. Use of good asset management software, such as VUEWorks, allows users to apply risk factors to the decision process and to quickly perform numerous scenarios to determine which maintenance strategy is the most effective in reducing maintenance costs and maximizing the benefits.

These risk factors can be used to apply more weight on pavement segments with sensitive environmental conditions that may be affected by the climatic changes. According to annual studies performed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US transportation infrastructure is graded as a D.

With new leadership in Washington, we have heard reports of a new emphasis on funding to improve the condition of our infrastructure, yet each local agency understands this may be too little, too late. Now, more than ever, asset management tools are necessary to keep up with the changing environmental conditions that affect the performance of pavements and the funding needs.

If you are interested in learning more about pavement management best practices and opportunities, please reach out to us!

VUEWorks 2017 Training & Workshop Opportunities

Stefano February 9, 2017
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The following are the preliminary dates and locations for VUEWorks Training and User Interactions. The logistics, agendas and details are being finalized. For planning purposes, we wanted to let our user community know so you can start planning for any or all of these you would be interested in attending.

Please check back on the Events page for additional details, agenda information, etc. Registration for these events is open now through the website by clicking the link there for each individual event. Registrants will be provided webinar login information separately after registration.

Workshop Series Webinars