PRESS RELEASE FROM GE DIGITAL

GE Digital Visual Intelligence Platform Offers Best-in-Class Vegetation Management and Asset Inspection

Posted Oct 14, 2020

GE Digital Visual Intelligence Platform Offers Best-in-Class Vegetation  Management and Asset Inspection 

Scalable solution provides Transmission and Distribution Utilities with the Tools to Make Data Driven  Decisions to Reduce Operational Costs 

90% Productivity Gain Expected from Push-Button Analysis and Prescriptive Maintenance  Focus on High Priority Areas can Produce 27% Cost Savings vs. Current Practices 

SAN RAMON, Calif. – October 14, 2020 – GE Digital today introduced a purpose-built Visual Intelligence  Platform for utilities. The SaaS solution is designed to ingest all forms of visual inspection data and executes  workflows and automated analysis which contextualizes data into Digital Twins of the network and  environment. The Digital Twin generates business intelligence that is consumable, shareable, and actionable to  drive an expected 27% cost savings versus current practices. 

Today, global T&D utilities spend millions of dollars per year on vegetation management and asset inspection  programs to reduce outages, increase compliance, improve safety, and reduce the probably of catastrophic  events such as wildfires or major regional outages. 

“Management of vegetation in transmission and distribution corridors is key to providing a reliable supply of  electricity, and ensure public and worker safety,” said Jim Walsh, General Manager for GE Digital’s Grid Software  business. “Our Visual Intelligence solution provides data-driven insights to reduce operational costs of survey  data management, increase reliability and safety, and reduce liability risk. In today’s digital world, predictive  analytic technology certainly has a part to play- especially within the world’s fastest moving digital utilities, as  they drive the direction of the digital utility of tomorrow.” 

Traditional approaches to Asset Inspection and Vegetation Management are slow and often based on Fixed  Annual Cycles. Trees that are too close to power lines are a significant hazard and a major cause of power  failures during high winds and storms. In dry weather conditions, branches touching the lines can catch fire,  endangering human life, causing tremendous damage to the environment and existing infrastructures and  putting utilities liability at risk. Visual inspections generate large amounts of data which are often reviewed  manually, which is labor and time expensive. Measuring electrical corridors, trees, incursions, and clearances  with LiDAR mounted on helicopters or similar is standard industry practice, but how do you turn this data into  insights to improve reliability and safety with less cost? 

Today, new remote sensing technology, surveying methods, and AI-enabled data management solutions are  available which offer utilities a clear upgrade path from their legacy inspection and risk management programs. 

One European DSO wanted to reduce the cost of helicopter / on-land inspections while increasing precision and  frequency of inspections for overhead distribution lines. The Visual Intelligence solution automated the  inspection process by generating a Network Digital Twin, detecting vegetation encroachment risks and providing  predictive pruning strategies and accurate asset defect detection. The results:  

• Completeness of automated asset classification in the Network Digital Twin: 95% 

• Reduced vegetation management costs by 27% 

• Reduced legacy inspection related downtime by 30% 

“Billions of dollars are spent each year maintaining network assets and ensuring they are cleared of encroaching  vegetation,” said Mike Kelly, Senior Research Analyst, Guidehouse Insights. “For most utilities, site inspections  and vegetation management are performed as they were decades ago. However, artificial vision, particularly 

visual AI-based analytics, as offered by GE Digital’s Visual Intelligence solution, has the potential to transform  the vegetation management paradigm. Sophisticated analysis of varied and complex datasets in a visual manner  enables more predictive maintenance resulting in optimized resource allocation, reduced O&M spend alongside  increased safety and network reliability.”  

Predictive analytics are changing the way digital utilities make business decisions as the benefits of Artificial  Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are recognized across the industry. GE’s Visual Intelligence Platform  supports the ingestion of all major visual inspection filetypes. This allows for the optimal blend of image types to  drive the highest value through the core Vegetation Management and Asset Inspection use cases. The Platform’s  built-in Artificial Intelligence features drive automated identification of encroachment areas (driven by each  utility’s parameters) and asset defects with increased precision provided thru additional training.  

All visual inspection data is automatically ingested and processed, reducing significantly the need for manual  quality review tasks. Key features include: 

• Capturing and transmitting very large inspection files and processing them on a platform that specializes in 2D and 3D visual rendering 

• Applying AI and machine learning to auto-identify high risk encroachment areas 

• Mitigating failure threats with automated Asset, Component and Defect Visual Recognition • Scaling to support infrastructures that can be many thousands of miles or kilometers long • Integrating with current mission critical T&D software that includes GIS, ADMS and/or EMS 

GE Digital has worked closely over the last year with the newly formed Alteia, formerly a division of France based Delair, to develop and deploy a large production-scale visual data platform with AI applications, that is the  basis of the Visual Intelligence solution. 

GE Digital’s Visual Intelligence platform is generally available. More information can be found here. ### 

About GE Digital  

GE Digital is transforming how industry solves its toughest challenges. GE Digital’s mission is to bring simplicity,  speed and scale to its customers’ digital transformation activities, with software that helps them to better  operate, analyze and optimize their business processes. GE Digital’s product portfolio – including grid  optimization and analytics, asset and operations performance management, and manufacturing operations and  automation – helps industrial companies in the utility, power generation, oil & gas and manufacturing sectors  put their industrial data to work. For more information, visit www.ge.com/digital

Media contact:  

Ellie Holman 

GE Digital 

[email protected]