Structural attachment associations

With structural attachment associations, you can quickly find which network features are connected to features from the structure network.

A switch structurally attached to a pole

The illustration above shows how an electric switch is structurally attached to a pole.

About structural attachment associations

A structural attachment association allows the modeling of supporting structures and attachments in a network. Often, a utility needs to report what structural features, such as poles, are associated with a subnetwork, or it may need to locate a manhole where a critical piece of equipment can be reached. Structures are not part of the network for purposes of tracing the resource, but there is a need to quickly identify and list structures that have network features attached to them. Structural attachments logically associate structure features with other features in a utility network. These associations allow you to model the relationship between structures that support equipment and associated assets that are attached. For example, a pole can serve as the structure, with a transformer as the attachment.

  • A structure can have many attachments (for example, a pole with a transformer, ground, riser, and arrester attached to it).
  • Attachment features, such as platforms, can also be associated with multiple poles (structures).

Point features or objects can be attached to structure junctions or structure junction objects using a structural attachment association. This type of association is not terminal aware.

Structural attachment and connectivity associations with electricity

As shown in the image above, a connection point junction is used to attach the electrical line to the pole. It is also used to connect the line to the transformer, allowing electricity to flow. Electricity can flow through the line to the transformer because of the connectivity association from the connection point on the line to the transformer. While electricity does not flow through features such as poles, the trace operation can be configured to include structures for workflows such as pole reports.

Structural attachment association configuration

A few steps are necessary to configure a utility network to use structural attachment associations.

First review the feature restrictions of a utility network for the valid structural attachment associations. For a feature to be set as a structure, its asset group and asset type must have the structure association role assigned. Only structure junction and structure junction object datasets in the structure network can be assigned the structure association role. When assigning association roles, deletion semantics are configured to control the user experience when working with structural attachment associations. This is used to control what happens to attachment features when the structure is deleted. For example, you can specify that all the attachments need to be removed before you can delete the structure.

To learn more, see Association roles and Deletion Semantics, View Scale, and Split Policy.

After the association role of structure is assigned, you can configure the utility network with structural attachment rules. As long as feature restrictions are honored for structural attachment associations, network rules can be created to allow structural attachment associations to be created between features.

Work with structural attachments

You can define structural attachments from a structure junction or structure junction object, to other features in the domain network. You can also define a structural attachment between structure junction and structure junction object features. Point features can be directly attached to other point features (for example, a transformer attached to a pole). Lines and edge objects, however, must have an intermediate point feature or junction object attached to either an endpoint or a midspan vertex.

A few examples of structural attachments are the following:

  • A transformer (device) and riser (junction) attached on a pole (structure junction).
  • A switchgear (assembly) attached on a pad (structure junction).
  • A guy wire (structure junction) attached to a pole (structure junction).

While resources do not flow to the structure features, structures can be returned via a trace if the Include Structures trace configuration option is enabled in the Trace tool.

See Configure a trace for more information about options used in tracing.