As electric networks become increasingly complex and distributed, asset inspections are more time-consuming than ever. With dozens of criteria across thousands of structures to inspect, electric utilities need to streamline and improve the quality of their inspection and survey processes, save valuable time, capture and share network data digitally, and effectively supervise field teams and contractors.
IQGeo’s Inspection & Survey application was designed with these problems in mind. Recently, we released enhanced features that deliver the flexibility today’s electric network operators need to most efficiently inspect their assets.
An asset-based solution
For linear surveys, field crews traditionally walk, drive or fly the lines to survey assets, and a “breadcrumb” is created from GPS to prove they passed each asset. IQGeo takes users several steps beyond by giving them the ability to track an asset on an attribute-based, or point-based, approach. Field crews can access easy-to-use forms for any asset feature and rate that feature’s condition. Within an inspection order, a field worker can quickly access hyperlinks to any inspectable item. As they approach an asset, the solution detects the asset and surfaces it via the IQGeo interface while also showing relevant inspection items. This approach serves as the foundation for all the advantages that follow.
Easily build new business rules
Each electric utility devises its own inspection goals and processes, and these can evolve with new regulations and integrations. IQGeo’s Inspection & Survey solution can flexibly evolve with you by:
- Define inspections based on asset type. We make it easy to create inspection orders or survey orders based on asset type. Your organization can also define a “quick inspect” versus a detailed form inspection for each asset type. The field user will then have clearly defined rules and processes to follow.
- Configure inspection forms. IQGeo makes it easy to create new forms and to add whatever questions the inspection requires. For example, a pole inspection may require the question, “Crossarm rotten? Yes/No.” Your organization can configure the interface for current assets and easily add future ones.
- Devise unique rating systems. Organizations can create their own rating systems for network assets, which can be unique to current inspections or to influence future ones. You may want, for example, to rate bell condition on a scale from A to E, which can define upcoming workflows or expedite/delay future inspections.
These capabilities give electric utilities a more comprehensive way to gauge asset health.
More efficient field data collection
It’s past time to end the process of manually creating multiple PDF plots and Excel spreadsheets. IQGeo focuses on digital data collection that gives field users a current view of asset conditions at their fingertips, on a smart phone or tablet, and the ability to quickly share updates across the organization.
But enabling field usability is only part of the solution. The ability to detect assets as the user approaches them, and to easily see all the inspectable items within an order, drives efficiency and saves significant time. The easy-to-use forms enable a field worker to quickly confirm asset condition. Assets are also color-coded on the interface map to clearly distinguish which ones are uninspected, quick inspects, or include a form.
For assets that only require a quick inspect, a user can update those in bulk. This eliminates the issues many electric utilities face with not knowing how old data is, whether it’s duplicate data, long data upload times, and redundant inspections.
Ensure inspection compliance and timetables
Without being able to share manual records across teams, or by depending on breadcrumbs from a survey, utilities may lack the level of timely, accessible, detailed information to comply with regulations. Using our asset-based approach, your organization can configure forms to record whatever level of detail you need, from asset type and name to specific location, district and date. You then have a current digital record, usable across the organization and shareable with regulatory commissions.
The supervisor dashboard has also proven invaluable for completing inspections on time. Supervisors can view a snapshot of how all orders and surveys are tracking as well as monitor field team and contractor performance in real time. They can receive immediate updates on progress percentage in the field, what’s being surveyed, and whether there are any issues.
A more efficient path forward
With a user-friendly digital solution and clear asset and data visibility in real-time, electric network inspections and surveys don’t have to consume so much of your team’s time. IQGeo’s Inspection & Survey application gives you unprecedented ease, level of detail, and quality for your inspections. And the process isn’t limited to the inspection itself; your teams can also create workflows for damaged assets based on configurable business rules. Flexibility is the key to giving you more efficient processes that lead to better asset health and support greater overall network resilience.