Large utility networks are difficult and expensive to service. Typically thousands of technicians are stationed around the country to service, fix and maintain customers on the network.
EXPLORE has worked with large utility networks to assist with field forces and workforce management:
There are many different ways that intelligent solutions can be deployed in order to improve or optimise the activities of the field force:
A field force clearly spends most of its time out in the field, conducting technical repair work or servicing of the utility's network. In the case of a water utility, a lot of the team's time is directed at fixing leaks in all the various types of pipes - be they large trunk mains or small distribution pipes entering a customer's home.
EXPLORE-AI has built an application that assists the field force to locate pipes that are likely to be leaking, when they enter a certain geographical area. The app uses geo-spatial data for the mapping, which it combines with algorithms that predict where the leaks are most likely to be coming from, based on repair history, pressure gradients, valve operations etc. This app has won several IT industry awards.
Water utilities are required to actively monitor leakage statistics across their networks and report these to their water regulator every year. However, addressing leakage issues is no easy matter. Each metering area has a complex web of pipework, pumping assets, historical repair work, metering area layout and many others.
EXPLORE-AI has built an intelligent solution that enables all of this data to be tracked across each metering area. In this way, a very specific "fingerprint" can be developed that makes each area distinct and unique from another. This enables the analysts to build a programme, optimised for cost, that groups areas into similar buckets for the next best action. In other words, some will need pipe replacement (which is costly) but others may only need some minor leak repair work.