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The digital shift: Énergir's journey towards better collaboration, greater data accuracy and greater security

Who is Énergir?

In addition to being the main distributor of natural gas in Québec, Énergir is active in the northeastern United States, where it produces electricity from hydro, wind and solar sources, and is the only distributor of natural gas in the state of Vermont.  As a diversified energy company, its mission is to meet the energy needs of its more than 535,000 customers and the communities it serves in an increasingly sustainable manner. Its vision includes concrete measures – energy efficiency, renewable natural gas, innovative energy complementarity – to remain a key player in the face of climate, economic and social issues for its customers and Québec. Énergir has two objectives: to decarbonize its natural gas network and to be present where and when it is valuable.

The challenges of collaboration and security in the field

Énergir’s move to DWG (AutoCAD Map 3D) is a leap forward in better collaboration and greater security in the field, which is essential for companies in the energy sector. This transition allows for seamless interaction between services such as mapping, construction, and instrumentation, facilitating better data sharing and decision-making where accurate, real-time information can prevent accidents and keep workers safe.

Énergir faced the challenge of switching from MicroStation DGN to AutoCAD DWG to improve positioning accuracy, data accuracy, and safety in the field. This transition required the standardization of internal processes within the CAD environment. The widespread use of MicroStation’s DGN across the organization complicated the transition, as DGNs were still needed for downstream dependent departments. Converting one department at a time was a significant challenge.

In addition, Énergir’s departments had to adapt to working with DWGs to replace existing workflows that relied on DGNs. External consultants and municipalities also had to work with DWGs provided by Énergir. In addition, it was essential to improve safety in the workplace by providing more accurate and up-to-date information to workers in the field.

The birth of the digital strategy: “Bullseye”

Énergir’s digital transformation journey began with a close collaboration between the SolidCAD team and the specific needs of the company. This partnership led to the discovery of the “Bullseye” approach, a strategic plan highlighting Énergir’s main objectives and SolidCAD’s targeted solutions. (see: Figure 1 “Bullseye” discovery).

Figure 1: The “Bullseye” focus of the discovery

The diagram above vividly illustrates the complexity of this project, highlighting the different components and processes involved, including the interconnected process and data management between the various stages such as the preliminary design, the tagging and modification of documents as well as the integration of this data seamlessly into multiple systems.

A complete transformation plan solution: Consulting and cutting-edge technology

The consultation

Although SolidCAD presented Énergir with a digital strategy, the importance of adopting this change was vital to ensure success and overall efficiency.

Implementing and customizing the recommended technology was key to ensuring a smooth transition for the entire organization and its stakeholders. We understand that this change has resulted in significant changes to the entire process of their design and field departments.

To ensure that SolidCAD would support this significant change, we provided comprehensive change management services, which included customized training for 175 users, comprehensive project management, and ongoing mentoring and support. This strategy was designed not only to overhaul Énergir’s design and development processes, but also to ensure the adoption of the new workflow. SolidCAD collaborated with Énergir to revolutionize its entire CAD infrastructure, to allow it to remain on the cutting edge of progress in the digital world facing companies in the energy sector.

Technology

SolidCAD recommended two technologies that would better align Énergir’s ideal processes with their sole goals of improving collaboration, data accuracy, and security in the field:

AutoCAD Map 3D: the game-changer

AutoCAD Map 3D was recommended for its superior spatial accuracy and GIS integration capabilities. This tool assured to improve the way Énergir managed and accessed spatial data, making it more up-to-date and available in all departments, an essential factor in ensuring the safety of field operations. This integration has streamlined processes and improved data flow across the company, promoting a safer and more efficient work environment.

Efficiency with AutoCAD Electrical

AutoCAD Electrical was the ideal solution for Énergir’s Instrumentation group, as it offers an extensive library of symbols and advanced design tools for electrical control systems and piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs). This comprehensive suite of features facilitates the creation of detailed & accurate electrical schematics and system schematics, which are essential for infrastructure planning and maintenance.

The recommendation to adopt AutoCAD Electrical was driven by its ability to improve the accuracy of data sharing between different departments. With its advanced design tools, the software ensures that all electrical data remains accurate and consistent, minimizing the risk of miscommunications or data errors that could potentially lead to operational risks. In addition, AutoCAD Electrical supports real-time updates and synchronization of information, which is essential for keeping workflows up to date across departments.

Roadmap to Success: The Phased Approach

While we had developed an ideal strategy covering their processes, goals, and motivations, the next step was to determine the “how” of implementation. A comprehensive roadmap emerged, outlining a strategic plan filled with personalized recommendations and a well-defined plan that would turn their goals into tangible successes.

This roadmap not only justifies each suggestion but deepens the reasoning behind it and presents a step-by-step guide to help Énergir in its transformation. More than a plan, it was a vision for Énergir’s innovative future, encompassing all facets of its digital redesign, from the integration of CAD to GIS, to data conversion, the development of web applications for future DGN to DWG conversions, to the implementation of AutoCAD Map 3D and AutoCAD Electrical, to personalized training, assistance and project management.

Transformative results

With this successful transformation, Énergir is setting the tone for future projects, maximizing its ability to efficiently convert data from DGN to DWG format. This important milestone in its digital journey sets a new standard for project efficiency and interdepartmental collaboration, aligning perfectly with Énergir’s vision for innovative and efficient solutions.

A partnership beyond consultation

Thanks to its comprehensive consulting services, SolidCAD and Énergir have entered into a partnership that goes beyond simple consultation. Together, they created a digital ecosystem that addressed the immediate challenges of collaboration, data accuracy, and security, but also set the stage for sustainable innovation and efficiency.

This holistic approach to consultation has allowed Énergir to be not only prepared for the digital present, but also ready to become a leader in the digital future of energy.

Testimonial:

“With a large number of stakeholders and continuous operations to be maintained throughout the process, this digital transformation was not to be taken lightly.  SolidCAD adapted to our reality and facilitated this digital transition by ensuring an efficient deployment. This was greatly appreciated by the whole organization and the benefits from this are numerous, enabling us to look forward to a bright future with technology.

With a large number of stakeholders and continuous operations to be maintained throughout the process, this digital transformation was not to be taken lightly. SolidCAD adapted to our reality and facilitated this digital transition by ensuring an efficient deployment. This was greatly appreciated by the whole organization and the benefits from this project are numerous, enabling us to look forward to a bright future with technology.”

– Bruno David, Geomatics Manager at Énergir