Issue of January 7, 2018

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BENECO’s automation benefits consumers thru faster response
by Jane B. Cadalig

Consumers of the Benguet Electric Cooperative will benefit from the power utility’s continued automation.

Engr. Melchor Licoben, Network Services Division manager, said Beneco’s computerization results in improved reliability of its lines that facilitates response on power outage concerns, among the other advantages.

Licoben said among other improvements, Beneco completed the automation of its power lines through the completion of the distribution management system, which is seen to facilitate restoration works.

“Our lines along the roads have been installed with gadgets that are monitored, controlled, and supervised and properly recorded in the office. This will improve the reliability of our lines because we can see the faults or errors that need to be attended to in a particular area,” Licoben said.

Beneco has also fully automated the management of its sub-stations through the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (Scada), which allows its engineers to  supervise the five sub-stations in the office.

Licoben added the electric cooperative is also completing the outage management system, which will later on be used by agents hired to man the Beneco call center to be set up.

He said the data recorded in the system will guide the call center operators in explaining to customers what went wrong in the facilities. Beneco intends to set up the call center early this year, which will attend to consumer concerns 24/7.

Another initiative that seeks to improve response time is the planned vehicle tracking system.

Licoben said the electric cooperative is evaluating the practicality of installing Global Positioning System (GPS) on its maintenance crew vehicles.

“Ongoing ang evaluation ng naglalagay ng GPS sa mga sasakyan para madaling ma-locate kung nasaan ‘yung mga crew. This will allow our engineers to dispatch the crew nearest to the area that needs attention.”

The plan, he said, is still on the evaluation stage and Beneco will have to tie up with communication companies to implement it.

Beneco General Manager Gerardo Verzosa said Beneco’s automation will not result in forcible termination of personnel.

He earlier said those whose job is affected by the computerization will be re-trained and re-aligned to other departments.

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