preview

CAST (Condition Assessment Selection Tool) Development

explanatory Essay
3198 words
3198 words
bookmark

4.1 Introduction

The main objective of this thesis was development of a framework for decision support tool, CAST (Condition Assessment Selection Tool). Once the data was collected on condition assessment technologies a means of comparing them was needed. Several different formats and programs were considered including MS Access, MS Excel and MS Visio method. After careful review of all methods, MS Excel based method was selected because of the following features:

Wide usage is possible due to universal acceptance and availability of MS Excel

The revision and addition of new technologies is much easier

It doesn’t require any special training

Both MS Excel and MS Access based tools have the capability of comparing the technologies and storing the data within themselves. Excel was chosen over Access because of the ease at which the new information can be input allowing the databases to be expanded as new technologies are added. This along with the ability to copy formulas used to compare the multiple technologies in the database to produce the graphs as part of the results was deemed a perfect fit for developing the CAST.

4.2 Assumptions

In order to develop CAST, there is a basic assumption that has to be made, which is as follows:

4.2.1 Identification of assets to be inspected

It is assumed that the step 5 of the 10 step condition assessment program as discussed in section 1.3 has already been completed before using the tool. The use of CAST requires the users to have basic information about the pipelines assets and surrounding parameters they need to inspect. The basic information about the assets and surrounding characteristics that are required by the users of CAST are explained in section 4.4.

4.3 Framework

As me...

... middle of paper ...

...ment technologies on the X-axis; the Y-axis illustrates the percentage values the bars are colored in accordance to the DRI value of the technologies. The legend on the right side illustrates the color coding for the bars.

Figure 31: Usability Index

Figure 32: Detectability Index

Figure 33: Total Performance Index

4.4.8 Economical Indices

The economical indices of various technologies are displayed in this worksheet in form of graphs. Figure 34 and Figure 35 illustrates the tangible cost index and intangible cost index respectively. The tangible cost index gives the $/ft value of implementing a condition assessment technology. The intangible cost index gives a comparative value of combined impacts on user and traffic due to implementation of a condition assessment technology.

Figure 34: Tangible Cost Index

Figure 35: Intangible Cost Index

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the main objective of this thesis was development of a framework for decision support tool, cast.
  • Explains that both ms excel and ms access based tools have the capability of comparing the technologies and storing the data within themselves. excel was chosen over access because of the ease at which new information can be input allowing the databases to be expanded as new technologies are added.
  • Explains that in order to develop cast, there is a basic assumption that has to be made.
  • Assumes that the step 5 of the 10 step condition assessment program has already been completed before using the tool. the basic information about the pipelines assets and surrounding parameters is explained in section 4.4.
  • Opines that utilities should use the framework developed for cast to assess the condition of pipelines.
  • Explains that this worksheet provides a general overview of cast program and resources for the further development of the workbook.
  • Explains that the start worksheet contains a button that will launch the graphical user interface (gui), which allows the users of cast to input their asset(s) specific information.
  • Explains that when the user clicks on the "project information form", a gui pops up with the variety of questions which are classified into four categories.
  • Explains that the category/ form consists of two questions that determine the type of pipes a utility manager wants to assess (water and wastewater) and the condition assessment drivers/ objectives.
  • Explains that the category/ form consist of four questions that help to determine the characteristics of the assets which are critical for feasibility of technologies like function, material and diameter.
  • Explains that this category/ form consist of eight questions that help to determine the surrounding characteristics of the pipeline assets.
  • Explains that the distances of 7 feet have been taken due to the existing spatial resolution of the subsurface utility engineering (sue) equipments applied to locate the pipes.
  • Explains that the utility characteristics are determined on the basis of knowledge and experience of the users about the assets they need to inspect.
  • Explains that the user needs to choose the appropriate option for the question.
  • Explains that the user needs to choose the appropriate option based on their assets and site conditions.
  • Explains that there are 3 values available for the above question yes, no, and “n/a”. the user needs to choose “yes” if a liner is present and can be removed.
  • Explains that this section reminds users about reviewing the entered data, and directs them to the worksheets in the workbook where performance and economical indices can be analyzed.
  • Explains that there is a provision of navigating the previous filled form at any time and changing them. the user needs to use the "next sheet" button to go to the next sheet.
  • Recommends selecting the function of water pipe from the drop down menu.
  • Recommends selecting the function of wastewater pipe from the drop down menu.
  • Asks if the pipe can be taken off line for inspection.
  • Explains that the data entered in the gui is displayed in this worksheet; it can help in reviewing information provided and can also be used to take a print-out.
  • Explains the database for performance and economical evaluation of all the technologies. the worksheet is visible during the normal use of cast but is restricted so that data can't be edited.
  • Explains how the data is transferred to this sheet to calculate the feasibility and suitability of the technologies by comparing the information provided by the user and data available in the master list.
  • Explains that formulas as illustrated in equation 2 are used to compare the input data and data stored in master list.
  • Explains that once the feasibility of technologies is determined, the performance and economical indices for feasible technologies are calculated in this sheet.
  • Explains that all defects, associated with the material as described in section 3.2.2.3, are assigned equal weights except for the defect chosen as the critical defect, which is assigned a value twice of the normal value.
  • Explains that the weights for surrounding characteristics are kept same and depend on the presence of surrounding qualities for the asset(s) for which cast is being used.
  • Explains that once the weights for all the parameters are calculated, the total weight and values are also calculated for the technologies.
  • Explains that the defect performance total is calculated based on the sum of the products of defects value, defect weight and accuracy.
  • Explains how the performance indices of technically feasible and suitable technologies are displayed in this worksheet in form of graphs.
  • Explains that figure 31, figure 32, and figure 33 represent the graphs for usability, detectability index and total performance index respectively. the list of condition assessment technologies is on the x-axis and the percentage values are colored according to the dri value.
  • Illustrates the economic indices of various technologies in figure 34 and figure 35 respectively. the tangible cost index gives the $/ft value of implementing a condition assessment technology.
  • Illustrates how the feasibility of an individual technology is calculated using the formulas as illustrated in equation 3. the values calculated in this formula are 1(feasible) or 0 (not feasible).
  • Explains the three indices: usability, defect identification, and total performance. the weights for the various parameters are kept the same except for impact on users and traffic.
  • Explains that the usability performance total is the sum of the product or division of performance weights and performance value depending whether the options are 2 (yes or no) or multi-option respectively.
  • Explains that economic indices are secondary as cost of using the technology is highly variable. tangible cost index determines the tentative cost to perform the assessment using this technology.
Get Access