Huntsville, Alabama, April 21, 2016 – Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure has released Intergraph® Damage Assessment, an application that enables end-to-end automation of the entire post-storm damage assessment process. Intergraph Damage Assessment can be used for simple outage patrols, as well as in times of devastating storm damage, making it an everyday solution that maximizes return on investment for electric utility companies.
Intergraph Damage Assessment’s integrated components originate in the storm room and extend to the field and back for a complete, automated solution. Supervisors can assign assessment work and visualize and analyse up-to-date data from a web-based application. Field crews using tablets can perform assessments against GIS network facility data and send results back in real-time.
Unlike disaster documentation systems, Intergraph Damage Assessment is specific to utility workflows, and unlike other damage assessment applications, it integrates with any geographic information system (GIS) or outage management system (OMS), featuring both a field application and supervisory dashboard for end-to-end workflows.
“Intergraph Damage Assessment automates the complete damage assessment process, helping utility companies identify storm-affected areas, determine proper staffing levels and obtain feedback on physical damage in real time,” said Eric Charette, executive manager of utilities, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure. “Dispatchers stay better informed on the extent of damage, while storm managers can track progress. With Intergraph Damage Assessment, better information from the field ultimately leads to more accurate restoration times.”
Expectations to improve customer service and reduce restoration times is at an all-time high for electric utility companies. “Sending assessors out in advance to conduct Damage Assessment helps prioritize the hardest hit areas so that we can focus the deployment of our lineman on rebuilding the grid,” said Len Socha, senior outage management engineer, Wisconsin Public Service Corp.
However, most companies’ existing processes for damage assessment involve manual, paper-based data collection using outdated, printed map books or custom, in-house applications. They provide little real-time feedback to the storm supervisor during the assessment process, and any information collected must be manually entered into the OMS.
Intergraph Damage Assessment overcomes these hurdles. Within Intergraph Damage Assessment, a web-based application displays the location of outages, field crews and network facilities and enables supervisors to assign work by geographic areas. A tablet-based mobile application uses web services to provide views of outages, crews and GIS facility information as a layer on top of commercial maps, which enables workers to collect data in the field for comprehensive damage assessment. Using the web-based application back in the storm room, supervisors can view that information and run reports and analysis to determine the extent of damage and aid in restoration strategy. Server-side event processing and industry-standard messaging enable integration with other systems for collection results, including materials required to rebuild the network, leading to real-time intelligent decision making, which is not possible when using outdated paper maps.
Extensive hands-on field testing of Intergraph Damage Assessment was conducted as part of the certification cycle. “We felt it was vital to get Intergraph Damage Assessment in the hands of users to test the application in the field under real-world conditions that you can’t simulate in the office,” Charette said.
The release of Intergraph Damage Assessment coincides with the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group Conference in Chicago, Illinois. Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure is a sponsor of the conference, which meets to discuss electric utility resource management, storm restoration techniques and damage assessment.
Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure helps utilities and communications companies achieve greater reliability, increase efficiency and fulfill the expectations of customers, shareholders and regulators. A pioneer in the development and application of location-based technology, Hexagon Safety & Infrastructure provides solutions to hundreds of utilities and communications customers around the globe, supporting network engineering, network operations, customer services, sales and marketing and physical security.
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