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Home arrow News arrow More Utilities, Telecomm, and Infrastructure arrow MiniMax, Powel Combine to Provide Decision Support Platform for Utilities     

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MiniMax, Powel Combine to Provide Decision Support Platform for Utilities PDF Print E-mail
Written by MiniMax   
21 January 2005
Merged Company Offers Unique Software Suite Integrating Real-Time, Decision Support, and Transactional Processes - 'Managing Information from Field to Financials'

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 20 - MiniMax Corporation of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Powel ASA, of Trondheim, Norway, announced that they have merged and formed a North American-based organization to provide a comprehensive, integrated software platform for utilities. The combined U.S. company, known as Powel-MiniMax, combines the industry-leading field engineering and work order automation tools developed by MiniMax with Powel's utility generation, transmission, and distribution software solutions. The result is a unique, modular software platform for planning, design, operations, and maintenance. These modules are available separately or as part of an integrated platform using a single data source. The company calls this capability a Utility Decision Support Platform, or UDSP.

Corey Maple, CEO of Powel-MiniMax, commented that "With products like StakeOut(R), MiniMax has earned a reputation as the industry leader in mobile utility work order automation and design. Powel is known for the innovation and quality behind its office-based products, including software for planning, project management, GIS and engineering analysis. Now we can offer our customers a powerful integrated solution that manages information all the way from the field to financials on a single platform."

Jon Einar Vaernes, CEO of Powel ASA, explained that "This merger makes us stronger and allows us to provide our customers with even more reliable service and allows them to run a more effective operation. Together, we bring a complete support platform to operations, engineering, and maintenance professionals, with interfaces to a utility's real-time operational systems as well as to its transactional business applications. Now for the first time, utility professionals have a robust, total solution to create, store and disseminate information they can act on."

Rick Nicholson, Vice President of Energy Insights for IDC, a leading IT research firm, commented that "This merger reflects a couple of industry trends. First, utilities are using fewer software suppliers, thereby reducing both the risks of incompatibility and the cost of multiple licenses. Second, integrating data across different applications improves the flow of information and serves the continuing effort by utilities to improve operational excellence."

UDSP Modules

The UDSP has at its heart an Oracle spatial asset database with a topology data engine to accelerate data access and analysis. The components in the database can be seamlessly presented in single-line diagrams and geospatial maps. The following modules are supported on Powel-MiniMax's UDSP at this time:

The Field Design Module is designed to run on Microsoft Tablet PC OS. It has a built-in rule-base defined by construction standards and performs the following functions:

-- Field data collection and validation, including GPS and laser field measurement

-- Structural analysis and electrical calculations

-- Automatic two-way field-to-office data synchronization

-- Creation of construction documents (staking sheets, cost estimates, maps, CPR, and One-Call reports)

The Planning & Project Management Module runs electrical system impact analysis, engineering design, and sag and clearance calculations. It also provides a mechanism to document system additions and replacements, and performs project administration.

The Maintenance Module is used for preventive, routine, corrective and state-based maintenance, fault history, work orders, and inspection records.

The Outage Management Module handles consumer outage detection notification, point of outage prediction, crew dispatch and tracking, planned outage notification, and outage reporting.

The GIS Module facilitates spatial and land-based analysis, map production and publication, and spatial presentation of electrical analysis results.

The Asset Management Module performs reliability analysis/ predictive failure, complete electrical system documentation, and statistical plant analysis and reporting. It can also query, visualize, and edit the asset database.

The Work Order Management Module provides historical construction trend analysis, work order lifecycle tracking, and materials handling.

The Engineering Analysis Module allows load balancing, capacitor placement, short circuit and fault analysis, voltage drop, and transformer sizing.

The Web Viewing Module enables map viewing, data dissemination, web-based work order management, and customer work order tracking.

About MiniMax

MiniMax Corporation, founded in 1996, is the industry leader in work order automation and staking (field design) software. StakeOut, MiniMax's flagship software package, automates the entire utility work order process from field design to close-out. Utilities across North America use StakeOut to efficiently manage and streamline their entire work order process. Other products include LookOut(R), which enables enterprise-wide map availability; and EaseOut(R), a field-based legal easement generator.

About Powel ASA

Powel ASA, also founded in 1996, was created from the Norwegian Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (SINTEF) to make the results of years of research commercially available to the energy industry. Armed with an experienced technical staff from SINTEF, Powel quickly became the dominant provider of specialized energy software systems and services in all of Scandinavia. It has expanded its markets to include all of Europe, North America, and the Pacific Rim. Its lead product, NetBas, helps distribution utilities analyze, plan, and manage their assets and operations. Powel Group, the former U.S. subsidiary of Powel ASA, is now part of Powel-MiniMax.

Web site: http://www.powelminimax.com/

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