An ongoing challenge for large electric utilities is inspection and maintenance of ageing infrastructure. Towers and power lines stretch scores, sometimes hundreds of miles. There can be a wide disparity in the age of towers and lines. These factors, combined with the tough decisions or where to send limited crews, present a unique and difficult challenge.
Establishing a centralized Web database of project and organizational information, accessible by a Web-based software system allows utilities to manage infrastructure inspections and maintenance accurately and efficiently.
Utility companies have found that managing ageing infrastructure by paper records or spreadsheets is less than ideal. Paper records can be filed improperly and valuable information difficult to find or lost. Spreadsheets require labor-intensive manual updates that increase the possibility of error and duplication.
The best solution for storing valuable utilities infrastructure information is by establishing a central Web-based repository in which data is stored in common formats and easily accessible in perpetuity throughout the organization and in the field by mobile devices.
The Web platform’s dashboard-focused interface provides users within the organization easy access to information. It is a robust system that allows users to retrieve, edit, approve and complete information and assignments. The centrally stored project data is updated with a click, and audit reports of inspections and necessary maintenance are available.
Establishing a schedule of inspections on infrastructure spanning many miles increases the possibility of error, duplication or that sections of expensive infrastructure will be missed. The Web-based system establishes a schedule of inspections through which no section is missed and crews properly assigned to avoid duplication. Prescheduled inspection alerts help project managers with workflow assignments.
The Web-based system increases efficiencies of infrastructure inspection and maintenance by providing crews with access to the database in the field through mobile devices. Crews can upload inspection notes and what was done to repair any problems. Mobility allows them to do this immediately in the field without having to wait to return the office. Voice-to-text capability further enhances efficiencies of the inspection and maintenance process.
The capabilities possible through a central Web-based repository offer substantial, measurable savings to utilities.
For more information, visit www.geoamps.com or call 614-389-4871.
Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Manager for geoAMPS, the premier provider of software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets.