Ellevio shows the way through a new innovative solution with GPS in cable drums

The case of Alesea and Ellevio
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As the first in Sweden, Ellevio now installs GPS on all cable drums used in the company's projects on the West Coast. - With the GPS function, we are taking digitization far into the network, which will lead to shorter lead times, reduced risk of theft and improved resource utilization, says Amanda Lundin, production manager local network South at Ellevio.
You've probably seen them, the large cable drums that are used out in the field for improvement work on our electricity grids. The drums, which are made of wood, make it easier to work with cables when new cables are laid.

Today, at Ellevio, we use tens of thousands of cable drums in our network reinforcement work in Sweden. On the West Coast alone, where all cable drums now get GPS, there are approximately 1,000 cable drums in circulation.

- Now we are taking another step in our digitization and making sure that we can streamline the lead times of the cable drums we use. In the past, it has been handled entirely analogically. By putting GPS on the drums, we get much better control of them, improved workflows and hopefully also happier customers as we can now follow exactly when the drums are finished being used and pick them up faster, says Amanda Lundin, production manager local network South at Ellevio.

More efficient use and reduced risk of theft

Every time the cable drum spins, it is recorded via the GPS function. The system allows you to read when the drum is completely empty, but also if there is cable left at the end of the project so that cable can be used more quickly in other projects.

- It will be much easier now to coordinate the collection of the cable drums and make better use of the cable in the drums, explains Amanda Lundin.

Today, cable is also a commodity that is prone to theft, and a stolen cable drum can mean costly stoppages in production. Thanks to the GPS marking, the risk of theft is minimized by being able to receive a direct warning if, for example, a drum is moved from its position at night. The system improves the work environment and workflows by minimizing the risks of work stoppages due to material damage.

The GPS function means increased durability

Making transport more efficient benefits the environment, but also that the drums are not left outside and exposed to the elements when projects are finished. The cost of the system does not affect Ellevio's customers, but it will be financed through an improved deposit return of the drums.

- Thanks to the GPS system, we achieve better resource utilization and ensure that the cable drums have a longer life cycle. There is also a deposit system linked to the cable drums, and the deposit compensation is reduced if the drums are damaged. If we can get the drums back to the cable supplier faster when they are empty, we can also use them more times before they are discarded, and get a better cost picture over time, says Magnus Nissle, strategic buyer Ellevio.

New innovations reduce the industry's environmental impact

Putting GPS on cable drums is completely new in Sweden and the innovative GPS system was developed in collaboration with Alesea, a subsidiary of Prysmian that supplies cable to Ellevio. During a test period of approximately six months, the system has been adapted to Ellevio's conditions and to our Nordic conditions.

- We have now run a test period in two projects here on the west coast: Gothenburg Archipelago and Särö. It has turned out very well and we are now deploying it in full scale on all the cable drums we use in the West Coast Package. We hope that by getting started first with this smart GPS solution in Sweden, we can motivate more people in the industry to jump on this in the future. So that we can work together to reduce the industry's total environmental impact, concludes Magnus Nissle.
  • Project: GPS in cable drums.
  • Where: Ellevio's West Coast project.
  • Start: The GPS system has been tested in two projects, in the Gothenburg archipelago and at Särö, for six months and now, in the spring of 2023, all cable drums used on the west coast will be equipped with GPS.
  • Advantages: streamlines workflows and cuts lead times, improves coordination around transport, creates better resource utilization and minimizes theft.
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