Damage Prevention

Augmented Reality Meets Utility Visualization

By Ander Pierce 

A variety of fallouts can precipitate from a damaged infrastructure during excavation: sinkholes from water drainage; suspension of utilities from internet, phone, electric, and gas companies; environmental fallout from sewage or oil; or an explosion caused when a spark hits a damaged gas line. These kinds of accidents cost facility owners hundreds of thousands if not millions in clean-up and damages. Considering the costs and dangers associated with these kinds of mistakes, it is no surprise that safety is the number one priority of many construction and excavation operations. Getting accurate locates is critical to the safety and mission of excavation teams, yet busy and demanding work schedules, deadlines, and poorly mapped areas create direct conflicts with the priorities of safety and precision. Many locate technicians struggle with the balance between accuracy and speed while they rush to complete all of the days open tickets. And, poorly mapped regions slow work and add an element of uncertainty to the technicians and onsite inspectors in the field.

For many One Call Support outfits, the current method of locating underground assets prior to excavation largely depends on a utility locate technician detecting an electromagnetic field induced on the utility for location purposes, and then placing marks along the detected line. Ideally, detected lines are double checked against existing records to ensure accuracy, but often existing records may be inaccurate or nonexistent. Poorly mapped areas that conflict with the locates flagged by technicians slow down productivity and often provides challenges in safely excavating around critical infrastructure.

Updating existing geospatial data with accurate locations can greatly speed up future projects, saving locators hours in the field and giving excavation crews unparalleled levels of confidence in where they dig. Once a line is physically located either by traditional locate techniques or ideally when it is first installed, next generation GNSS receivers, such as the Asteri X3 paired with Tri-Global’s UtiliPad, are capable of marking locates with cm level accuracy. Companies that invest in this kind of highly accurate GIS data collection can reap benefits in efficiency and certainty in the future. When that location data is uploaded into GIS data and paired with augmented reality (AR), locators can literally see the desired line beneath the dirt by viewing the field through an iPad or Android device to double check their work. Additionally, this technology allows onsite inspectors to oversee excavation with remarkable ease and precision.

AR technology is already available to help utility companies and municipalities to create time saving and safer records of their infrastructure. New or existing geospatial data can be transferred into mapping software and used in conjunction with an AR mobile device technology such as the Argis® Framework provided by Argis Solutions. This improved workflow is robust, field ready, and offers superior communication between location technicians and central support. One Call Support Departments and Companies that have implemented AR within their field operations have found the technology provides a higher confidence level in locate operations thus increasing overall safety and accuracy in their excavation while investing in the future productivity of infrastructure maintenance.

Damage Prevention Professional Magazine is a quarterly industry publication with a print circulation of 30,000+ and digital circulation of 70,000+ throughout the United States and Canada, along with a contingent of international subscribers. This publication addresses cross-industry concerns to damage prevention stakeholders. This article was originally published in the Special Issue: Underground Utility Locating

AWE Video: Locating Underground Assets at Remote Sites

Excerpt from Augmented World Expo 2017 

Brady Hustad recently spoke about Locating Underground Assets at Remote Sites  at the Augmented World Expo (AWE). This talk focused on our impact on Whiting Petroleum's workflow in the field with their One Call Department. Check out the talk below or on our YouTube channel: 

The AWE was a new conference for Argis Solutions, but full of great potential for the future development of augmented and virtual reality.  Since our products are in the field now,  Brady answered many interesting questions at the end of his talk that delved into the questions of commercial adoption and application of Augmented Reality in industry marketplace. If you would like to experience our Argis Lens firsthand, contact us today to request a trial license to see the AR Advantage can improve your workflow. 

How Utility Companies Benefit from GIS

Excerpts from Geodatapoint Blog 

Utility companies that pivot and embrace this development will also see exponential growth as they are able to adapt their field crews to be more efficient, safer and expedient at accomplishing projects.

Mary E. Shacklett's article, "How Utilities are Transforming with Geospatial Technology" engages with the topic of how "in the field" utility company operations are adopting GIS data options to become more efficient and effective in the field. Not surprisingly, Argis Solutions is on the front line of this new technology. Brady Hustad provides his insight into how AR and GIS are bring a great synergy to bear on the problems of efficiency and accuracy which field technicians face. 

The world of augmented reality (AR) is about to take the U.S. by a storm,” Hustad says. “We predict that consumers will be using AR and virtual reality (VR) in just a few short years. Utility companies that pivot and embrace this development will also see exponential growth as they are able to adapt their field crews to be more efficient, safer and expedient at accomplishing projects. This is the time to adopt so they are ahead of the curve.

Hustad says that many utility companies were making the shift to geospatial technology because it made them more operationally efficient and accurate. “What makes companies more accurate is the shift from paper to devices. … When utilities switch to mobile technology to view their geospatial data, the technology brings people and data together in the real world and facilitates collaboration.”

We encourage you to Read More

Mary E Shacklett is president of Transworld Data. 

 

Mitigating Risk in Excavation

For the past decade we have worked to get operational and situation awareness in our call centers, ops centers, and other off-site locations with lots of computing power and big connections to the internet.  But, this power is now available in the field.  Through the use of Augmented Reality (AR), you field crews can have the ability to see buried assets, their underground layout, their situation, right there, in the field, under their feet.

AR Vastly Improves One Call Workflow

Road to Esri Petroleum 17

Argis Solutions is proud to announce that Brady Hustad will be speaking at the Esri Petroleum Conference in Houston, TX, April 12-13, 2017. Partnering with Brent Pingle from Whiting Petroleum, Argis Solutions and Whiting Petroleum will be presenting “Augmented Reality for One Call Support.” We will share insight into how the Argis® Framework makes all the difference in One Call routine work, making it more efficient by intuitively accessing GIS data through augmented reality while on location. We will explain how field technicians can quickly assess situations and make informed decisions based on accessible data at their fingertips. A better-informed team leads to safer digs for everyone. This is one story you do not want to miss.  

The Whiting Petroleum Corporation is an independent exploration and production company with an oil focused asset base. They are a top crude oil producer in North Dakota and operate substantial assets in northern Colorado. Headquartered in Denver, Colorado they lead the industry with their competitive assets, dedication to technology and record setting results. More information can be found at www.whiting.com.

The Esri Petroleum Conference is Esri’s showcase for how GIS can improve how petroleum companies operate. Attendees will discover more ways to improve energy company's bottom lines and enjoyed listening to members of the petroleum community share their most successful GIS applications for E&P, distribution, and business operations. For more information about the event and registration information please visit http://www.esri.com/events/petroleum-energy