Electric Inspection

Benefits include:

  • The electric utility inspection app simplifies overhead and underground inspection using a graphical, iconic app, making it easy for users to gather critical information on maintenance interventions or asset updates.
  • It provides the critical base of information needed for updating a utility’s asset (plant) records.
  • The inspection app imports all of the utility’s poles, pole-based assets and underground assets, allowing users to download and cache these assets in the app by city or by circuit.
  • The inspection app works whether online or offline.
  • Employees and contractors can download the app to their smartphones and use it in minutes.
  • It is integrated with a utility’s overhead asset management/GIS system.
  • The app can be used to update GIS or asset management when there are new assets, relocated assets or changes to asset properties. This is done via “remediation” wherein Engineering or Plant records approve changes and these then flow through to GIS automatically.

Background

Utilities, including electric utilities, must perform, document and file mandated inspections of their distribution networks including poles, overhead equipment and underground equipment. Inspections are often required to be performed for a fixed proportion of the utility’s assets annually.

Many utilities find their asset management and GIS systems capture information about assets as originally built. However, these systems are unable to keep up with the changes and replacements made during storm repairs or during the course of ongoing maintenance. As a consequence, asset management systems fall “out of sync” with the actual poles and equipment deployed on the ground.

The Problem

Many electric inspection apps currently on the market are difficult to use, require specialized hardware, and/or do not work without a constant internet connection. Many utilities revert to paper for inspections, because the logistics of providing devices and software to a mixed group of inspectors (including utility employees and contractors such as pole testing companies) is too difficult to manage. Recognizing this need, iRestore’s Electric Inspection app offers a more robust solution, taking the utility’s electric inspection process and automating it, using a simple, graphical app designed for smartphones and iPads. Inspectors in the field simply download the app directly from the Apple app store and the Google play store, with app permissions set in the admin portal by the utility administrator.

The Solution

The Electric Inspection app imports all of the utility’s poles and pole-based assets and underground assets from their asset management system or their GIS system, and then makes them available to app users to download by city or by circuit from within the inspection app. These assets may then be selected in a map view or a searchable list view for inspection. Assets that need to be added or modified may be flagged within the inspection app.

The Electric Inspection app provides a detailed, granular inspection of a utility’s overhead and underground assets. Designed for use by a utility’s own personnel, the unique approach of this application is that it can be used by utility personnel for inspection. As V-DA users complete their assessments, office-based personnel can use the Inspection web console to view the inspections in near real time. Any maintenance issues may be flagged and assigned by managers or supervisors on the portal to field personnel for diagnosis and repair.

Another unique feature of the app is its ability to automatically capture asset changes, moves or new assets and flag them for “remediation” by the engineering or plant records department. Once Engineering and/or Plant Records approves the asset update, the data can automatically flow (usually in a nightly job when users are offline) to the GIS or asset management system without any further user intervention.

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