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Covid-19: Why field technicians need remote asset monitoring and inspection

6th Apr, 20

The year 2020 has brought with it a pandemic of epic proportions. COVID-19, an easily transmissible disease with no vaccine or cure yet, has paralyzed industries around the world. Companies have asked employees to work from home in order to minimize the need for human interaction and practice social distancing. However, not every employee enjoys the option to work from home. Field workers, supervisors and audit professionals working for core industries with distributed assets, such as power utilities, telecom, oil and gas, etc, have to travel and work outdoors owing to the nature of their profession.

Asset maintenance remains an integral task for industries that serve millions of customers across the country. Any core industry’s assets need to be maintained and repaired on a regular basis to prevent equipment failures, outages and to keep the system operating safely. With the challenge of keeping service reliability high and costs low, the absence or unavailability of field staff to monitor assets can hamper businesses across the country.

Remote monitoring & inspection via Satellite Imagery

At a time like this, automated monitoring of remote sites and assets can prove a blessing to field workers and supervisors, and improve business performance at such a critical juncture. Knowing when and how to prioritize asset maintenance and repairs will make the process more efficient, safe and proactive. The development of satellite technology has provided the means to keep an eye on assets along a very large geographical area and detect change on the basis of historical data. This helps track the health of assets and plan when maintenance should be scheduled to prevent failures. 

  • Very High-Resolution Satellite Imagery
    With the evolution of recent 30-cm very high-resolution (VHR) satellite imagery, it is now possible to view assets and smaller objects on land in greater detail. New image processing algorithms also present the opportunity to perform change detection and multi-temporal analysis, vegetation monitoring in complex ecosystems, urban mapping and the like. 
     
  • Accurate asset map indexing 
    Many core industries are faced with the problem of inaccurate GIS files and asset mapping. With the help of satellite imagery, this problem can be solved once and for all. Not only can it detect anomalies with the current map and rectify it in the process, but VHR satellite images can also provide an accurate asset map index for streamlining the remote monitoring and inspection process. 
     
  • AI models to process information
    To prevent the utility from being overloaded with the wealth of data from the field, there are also AI applications available to view the data in and process it to determine health scores and predict when and how failures might occur. Satellite technology can also allow the utility to perform remote inspections to make more efficient use of man and machine hours.
     
  • No need for routine inspections
    Thanks to remote inspections, there’s no need to perform routine inspections using age-old approaches such as line patrol, on-site patrol or expensive and slow aerial surveys. Satellites can inspect an entire network of assets on-demand in less than a day allowing complete visibility of assets at all times, and thereby, helping industries save big on operational costs.
     
  • Automation and preventive maintenance
    Automation and the presence of an intelligent application and dashboard enables users to know what action needs to be taken - when and where. A new task is created as soon as the AI model identifies a potential risk, threat or hazard. The dashboard allows operators the ability to drill down to get more details on the requirement and task created, so they have the data on hand to make informed decisions. Not only can the asset data be presented and monitored in real-time, but it can be stored in a historical database that can be used in predictive analytics to plan and prioritize maintenance, repair or replacement activities.
     
  • Safety
    One of the biggest benefits of remote monitoring and inspections of a site is its added safety features. Remote inspections mean field technicians and supervisors don’t need to enter hazardous work areas as frequently and be exposed to the dangers of high risk environments. Moreover, they can work from their offices, or even better, from their homes during trying times like lockdowns

Technology has helped the world in ways more than one can imagine. Several things that were done traditionally or manually are now being modernized and technologically-driven for all the right reasons. Field work is one of them. AI scientists and satellite engineers are trying to find new avenues to help people from varied backgrounds enabling them to use technology and make their lives easier and work more efficient. Remote monitoring and inspection is one of the most interesting and useful tech inventions that have brought with it accuracy and efficiency in the asset maintenance space. 

AiDash is an AI-first vertical SaaS company enabling intelligent asset management and operations in core industries with distributed assets. Having recently launched its product, Remote Monitoring and Inspection, the tech company is here to enable core industries like utilities, telecom, oil and gas, mining, transportation and more with an end-to-end remote platform designed exclusively for field workers and supervisors