Asset Record Scanning – ESCAR – Unitied Utilites
Managing records on a substantial electricity network is a complex undertaking. However United Utilities (UU) has taken a fresh approach and used new technology to improve its information resources. The Electronic Scanned Asset Record (ESCAR) project has enabled UU to reduce its costs, speed time to knowledge and provide a platform for future development.
A major UK multi-utility company, UU is responsible for electricity distribution to over 2 million homes and businesses in the North West of England. Details of UU’s electricity network are held on over 200,000 hard copy records stored at 4 drawing offices in Manchester, Preston, Kendal and Carlisle. Prior to implementing ESCAR, UU used a microfiche system to manage their cable network and plant records. The microfiche system had many disadvantages. Amendments to records were extremely time consuming. In addition, the system constantly need maintaining and parts were costly and diffi cult to maintain. By implementing ESCAR, UU would overcome many of the problems associated with the microfiche system and benefit in terms of improved accessibility to information, reduced costs and effective control over document revisions.
Because records were in constant use, document capture was carried out on-site at each of the 4 drawing offices, with Cad- Capture providing 6 large format colour scanners. The Colortrac GSX3800 was selected for its ability to scan at the required resolution with the necessary clarity and colour capability. On commencement of the project, 3 scanners were located at each of the Manchester and Preston offi ces, where the bulk of UU’s records were stored. On completion of the operation at Manchester and Preston, 2 scanners from each site were then relocated to the Kendal and Carlisle offices, where the remaining records were captured. On completion of the project, a scanner was left at each site for day-to-day business maintenance and resultant re-scans..