Industry Solutions

Industry Solutions

CipherLab Mobile Computers Energize California Power Plant

Profile
The Agua Mansa Power Plant provides power to the City of Colton and to the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) grid. TheISO grid shares power to other municipalities if called upon in an emergency situation.

Agua Mansa has hundreds of pieces of equipment with associated maintenance records, where data must be constantly updated in order to ensure power generation runs smoothly with little downtime. Because data was initially recorded manually, it was costly, not only due to the need for significant employee resources but because of human error. This placed the power plant at risk of excessive downtime from unneeded maintenance - the direct result of inaccurate data recordings coupled with an inability to quickly predict maintenance needs. Agua Mansa knew it had to make a change by automating its data collection and turned to CipherLab reseller Instamation Systems, its Roundskeeper software and the CipherLab 9400 series handheld mobile computer.

Deployment
Global distributor BlueStar, Inc. helped integrate the joint CipherLab-Instamation solution in a matter of days, due in large part to CipherLab's enhanced SDK (software development kit). By automating its data collection process with CipherLab 9400 handhelds coupled with the Roundskeeper software, Agua Mansa saw an almost immediate return on investment. The joint solution allows workers to instantly report equipment performance and project its maintenance, saving Agua Mansa valuable downtime from unneeded maintenance.

"Because we are required to regularly record many visual readings and observations of power plant equipment, finding a mobile solution to automate this process and communicate it back to our database was essential," said Mike Kolkebeck, lead service technician at Agua Mansa. "By automating data capture with BlueStar's bundled Instamation-CipherLab solution, we are able to gain enhanced insight into the performance of the power plant equipment. This saves us time and money because we are able to use all of the collected data to quickly and efficiently predict maintenance needs."

Steve Wagner, president of Instamation Systems, commented, "We evaluated many other products and ended up deciding to pair our software with the CipherLab 9400 due to its ease of use, compactness, embedded Microsoft Windows® CE 5.0 operating system, large bright screen, good construction and low cost of ownership."

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