Energy and utilities: Improving operational efficiency

Trend 7: A mobile workforce empowered by 5G delivers increased efficiencies

The utilities industry is asset-intensive and invests significant time and money in managing and maintaining them. Today, asset management is handled by thousands of field technicians manually inspecting the sites spread across vast geographical regions. Challenges such as increasing the productivity and efficiency of the workforce, decentralizing operations and dealing with an aging workforce also plague the utilities industry. These challenges trigger digital workforce solutions by enabling the field technician remotely through AR/VR/MR capabilities. The onsite field technician equipped with a VR headset can stream a high-definition video of the equipment, seek expert guidance remotely and fix the issue in a single truck roll.

A major energy company in the Netherlands needed a solution for remote maintenance. Infosys collaborated with the company to develop an AR/VR solution to facilitate remote troubleshooting and maintenance of underground equipment. At the same time, this solution enabled easier access to experts and was timely in the current pandemic situation.

Energy and utilities: Improving operational efficiency

Trend 8: 5G-enabled solution to contain the risks of wildfires and power outages

Vegetation management is a top priority for utilities and is the most important lever to mitigate risks of wildfires and power outages. A complete view of the current and forecasted vegetation states is critical for an effective workflow to mitigate these risks. Currently, these inspections are performed manually using helicopters/UAV/drones. The inspection data captured is then inspected offline. During the inspection of these captured images, if any issues are detected, the drone or helicopter must be redeployed to get additional information. Unfortunately, by this time, it may be too late to handle the issue. With 5G, many high-definition images and videos can be captured in real-time and transmitted at a very high speed. The AI and deep learning-based solution helps isolate vegetation from the power lines and compute safe clearance distance from the vegetation. If any issues are detected, the drones can zoom in to capture high-definition images of the impacted area for further analysis.

A drone operator needed an automated solution to detect vegetation growth near the power line vicinity. Working with Infosys, they developed a drone-based image capture automated solution using sophisticated technologies. The solution eliminated manual efforts and significantly reduced costs and efforts.