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Time saved by using a Reference Data Library

  • Case study
2 minutes

As a grid operator, our client is responsible for a high-voltage network. In the role of the purchaser, you have to deal with various chain partners. Data is exchanged with all these partners for the construction, expansion, and maintenance of the high-voltage grid. Read how making integral agreements regarding data exchange leads to significant time savings.

Making information usable for humans and computers

To exchange information, it is essential to agree on what something means, its function, and what it consists of. Simple example: what is an electrical cable (a textual definition) and what properties does it have (thickness, length, type of material, et cetera), and in what units is it entered (meters, centimeters, copper, silver, etc.)? If this is determined in an unambiguous way, then all parties in the chain know what information needs to be exchanged in what way. This allows humans and computers to apply this information directly to their environments. 

As you can imagine, using these unambiguous conventions is a good idea – especially with large amounts of complex data. 

Laces Reference data

Our client is in the process of increasingly working with central data. This data is captured in a Reference Data Library (RDL). Integrally across all projects, this centrally captured information is shared and used. The major advantage: the meaning and structure of information are known to everyone. This applies to internal employees and the external companies and specialists involved in these projects.

The result: a lot of time saved searching for and exchanging data. The uniformity and high quality of the data greatly reduce the likelihood of errors when using the information.

 “Engineers only spend 30% of their time applying knowledge; the rest is spent searching for information. This is something we want to change”. Gertjan van Drunen, Consultant Energy at Arcadis

Our client is working with consultants from Arcadis and Semmtech, among others, to set up and use a Reference Data Library.

So what makes Laces so suitable for this?

It is possible to record information unambiguously. Assets, for example, and make it suitable for exchange in various tools. Laces, however, is unique in its accessibility regarding use. Data entered by domain experts is immediately suitable for exchange between applications without the intervention of data and IT specialists. Laces is also unique in its use of open standards. This makes applying data in any application much easier. 

More detail …

Laces allow information to be structured and exchanged according to Linked Data standards. Linked Data provides methods and techniques but still leaves the application in different sectors free. NTA 8035 / NEN2660 (Part II) describes the application of Linked Data in the built environment using basic concepts such as physical objects, activity, and events.

Using these standards, Laces allows our client to capture and exchange agreements about meaning in a standardized way. This is done in a Reference Data Library and based on existing electrical engineerings standards, such as IEC/ISO 81346 and IEC 61355-1*.

Our client’s asset requirements are defined in an SPL (Specification Library). With this, Laces makes managing and sharing according to standards for Linked Data easily.

By standardizing and sharing meaning and requirements, there is a solid basis for information exchange between our client and chain partners.

*Explanation of the two electronic standards mentioned:

  • IEC/ISO 81346 (Industrial systems, installations and equipment, and industrial products – structuring principles and reference designations). This standard was used as the basis for the physical object’s structure.
  • IEC 61355-1 (Classification and designation of documents for plants, systems, and equipment). This standard was used as the basis for the document types.
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