News Archive 2009, Q3-Q4

Abstract on risk-based decision making for Distribution Integrity Management accepted for International Pipeline Conference

New Century Software has been selected to make a presentation at the International Pipeline Conference being held this September in Calgary. The abstract chosen by the panel reads:

Distribution Integrity Management (DIM) regulations will require operators to formalize their risk management procedures. While many operators have risk models for various applications, most have not implemented a comprehensive risk management solution. This paper will discuss DIM regulations and the role GIS technology will play meeting the requirements. This includes knowledge of the distribution system’s physical attributes, understanding what is happening in and to the system, identification and prioritization of threats such as corrosion, natural forces, and excavation, reduction of risk and evaluation of program effectiveness.

While there are differences between transmission IMP and DIM, this paper will discuss how geospatial solutions developed for natural gas transmission pipelines can be utilized for performing DIM risk assessment and developing risk mitigation strategies. Because risk analysis requires a significant amount of data, the use of GIS in the integration of data, one of the keys to identify threats, will be a focus of this presentation. The presentation will provide an overview of the anticipated demand for data, how data could be stored, and how data could be utilized in an integrated risk assessment program. The paper will present examples of how risk-based decision making can improve operational efficiency and resource allocation.

New DIMP Regulations Have Been Published to the Federal Register

PHMSA's new DIMP (Distribution Integrity Management Program) requirements for distribution pipeline systems were published to the Federal Register last night. Distribution system operators have 18 months from the February 12th effective date to develop and implement an integrity management plan.

Download the PHMSA DIMP Regulations

In response to the newly published Distribution Integrity Management Program rules, New Century Software and Structural Integrity Associates will be offering a joint webinar to outline their solution to meet DIMP requirements. Join us on December 10th or December 17th for a one-hour web seminar that will provide you with an introduction to this approach to quickly and efficiently establish a comprehensive Distribution Integrity Management program.

"A Flexible and Integrated Solution to Address DIMP Requirements" will be led by Rich Arata, Distribution Practice Manager at New Century Software, and Eric Kirkpatrick, Senior Associate with Structural Integrity Associates. The seminar will cover:

  • Brief overview of the seven major components of DIMP
  • Requirements for a written program document
  • Inventorying the data you have and developing a strategy for moving forward
  • Key data required for a complete risk analysis
  • Risk analysis using tabular data and, if available, spatial GIS data
  • A demonstration of risk analysis using the Spatial Risk Analyst software
  • Questions and answers with the presenters

As an added benefit, participants will take part in interactive polling slides throughout the presentation that will allow them to gauge where other distribution operators stand in regards to addressing the requirements of the rule.

This web seminar is offered for distribution system and pipeline operators only.

New Online Application for Pipeline GIS Database Maintenance Will Drive More Consistent Data Quality from the Field

New Century Software has released Facility Manager WebEdit, a new lightweight pipeline GIS database editing tool. Built on the ESRI ArcGIS Server platform, the application combines web mapping functionality with agile data maintenance features. Intelligent Domains drive consistent data entry and the web-based architecture enhances the transfer of critical pipeline information between field locations and the corporate GIS.

Using a workflow-based approach, field personnel can now directly enter pipeline maintenance activities such as repairs, inspections and foreign line crossings directly into the corporate GIS database, eliminating the need for paper forms. Submitted records are temporarily held in a staging queue until approved by an authorized GIS approver. This approach creates a system of accountability and a more transparent workflow for data edits coming from remote users. Valuable time is saved and the potential for errors reduced by not having to re-enter data from handwritten forms received via email, fax, or mail.

Facility Manager WebEdit uses Intelligent Domains to simplify data entry while better controlling data quality. Intelligent Domains limit the selection of drop-down values to only include valid domains in the pipeline GIS database. “This new tool combines the web mapping functionality of our Centerline Browser application with select data maintenance features found in our Facility Manager desktop application,” stated Ron Brush, president of New Century Software. “We feel it addresses a number of challenges pipeline operators are facing with the ongoing integrity of their pipeline data.”

MOU Signed with Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. to Implement an Innovative Solution for Gas Distribution Operators

Structural Integrity Associates, Inc. (SIA) and New Century Software are pleased to announce that they have signed an MOU to offer an industry-leading software solution and supporting services to assist gas distribution operators in complying with pending regulations for Distribution Integrity Management. The DIMP solution will provide a flexible framework that is capable of being adapted to each operator's unique requirements within their system.

SIA is currently developing a best-in-class Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) template for the Northeast Gas Association (NGA) and Southern Gas Association (SGA). Over forty-five member companies of SGA and NGA, collectively serving more than 40% of the distribution customers in the United States, have already committed to the development of the framework document. Laney Bisbee, president of SIA, commented that, “this is a great opportunity for two innovative firms to integrate their expertise and provide a comprehensive solution that will allow distribution operators to comply with new regulations.”

The joint offering will provide a comprehensive and flexible software solution to organize key system data, identify threats, and prioritize the relative risk of these threats; critical steps in complying with the pending DIMP regulation. New Century’s industry leading Spatial Risk Analyst will serve as the delivery mechanism for the software solution. “Collaborative efforts like this will empower distribution operators with stronger, more consistent safety solutions while taking advantage of technologies that allow them to reduce costs,” said Ron Brush, president of New Century Software.

Press Release

New Century Software Adds Personnel in the Client Support and Software Development Departments

To ensure our focus on continuous innovation and outstanding customer support, New Century Software has added four new members to the team.

Within the software development department, Jay Douglas, Akash Jain, and Ian Hogan were brought in to meet the increasing demand for custom application development while ensuring that New Century’s core product line continues to grow and innovate.

Our software support team is pleased to welcome Heather Rone. Heather gained hands on experience with our applications while working on contract with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners in Owensboro, KY. She will play a major role in helping to maintain the high level of customer satisfaction our clients are accustomed to.

Energy Currents Publishes Article on Using Spatial Risk Analyst in the Gas Distribution Industry

The ESRI publication Energy Currents has published an article on New Century Software’s Spatial Risk Analyst in the fall issue. The software builds on ESRI’s ArcGIS technology to calculate threats and consequences for transmission pipelines and gas distribution systems. Of particular focus are the pending DIMP regulations from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In the article, Rob Brook, ESRI’s pipeline and gas industry manager, is quoted saying: “DIMP is essentially a geographic question, requiring spatial analysis to find answers. With GIS, gas distribution operators are able to correlate pipeline assets and threat information. We see GIS playing a key role in the DIMP process and are pleased to have business partners building these powerful applications.”

A podcast that served as the foundation for the article is also available on the ESRI website.

Presentation Accepted for ESRI’s EGUG Conference on Using GIS to Address DIMP

Rich Arata, Distribution Practice Manager at New Century Software, has been accepted as a presenter at ESRI’s 2009 EGUG Conference being held October 11-14 in Atlanta.

The presentation will discuss how gas distribution operators can prepare for the regulations proposed by the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration and recently approved by the Department of Transportation. The regulations require each system operator to establish and operate a Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP). It is expected that the regulations will be published to the federal register this fall so gas distribution system operators should be gearing up to implement a program for their organization now. This paper covers the role of a geographic information system (GIS) in meeting the requirements of the regulations. and focuses on the GIS and related data, data maintenance procedures, and applications to ensure an operator will have the foundation required to meet the upcoming rules. The proposed rules specify seven elements that an operator’s program must encompass, and the presentation will cover how GIS fulfills a key role in each of those elements and provides the foundation required for an effective integrity management program.