Industrial IoT: Energy Utility

How CBT is Helping an Energy Utility Company Transform Training Experiences Using Connected Worker

Overview

An Energy Utility Company based in Minneapolis, MN with 3.3 million electric customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers is facing training challenges. Per compliance standards, new or inexperienced linemen require supervision in the field during their on-the-job training. Due to a lack of other options or technology solutions, expert resources are required on-site during training procedures which strains corporate resources and causes training bottlenecks. CBT is working with the Energy Utility Company to provide a Connected Worker solution for remote training and collaboration to alleviate these issues.

The Challenge

Energy Utility, LinemanCurrent procedures require highly trained experts to accompany trainees on-site for training. These experts need to be either in the lift bucket with the trainee, on the ground next to the bucket, or on an adjacent piece of equipment. Training from the ground is not ideal because it leads to communication and visibility issues. Training from an adjacent bucket or the same bucket as the trainee is more effective but it drives costs up as it necessitates multiple truck rolls for a single job. Additionally, there is a dearth of expert resources which limits the number of jobs that can be performed concurrently and slows the Energy Utility Company’s response times in critical scenarios.

The technical training division of the Energy Utility Company needed a way for experts to see what trainees were doing in real-time without accompanying them on-site. The trainees needed to have use of their hands while undergoing training, so a hands-free device was required.

The Company was also looking for technology that would enable remote subject matter experts to troubleshoot their nuclear energy equipment. In addition, they were looking to incorporate real-time dosimeter readings into the solution to assess radiation levels and ensure employee safety.

The Solution

Connected Worker, Utilities, RealwearCBT’s Connected Worker allows the trainer to share the trainee’s perspective, effectively seeing through the trainee’s eyes, from a remote location. Trainees can use a head-mounted wearable device to visualize the training content and view workflows.

CBT modified Microsoft Teams to give the Energy Utility Company the collaborative functionality it needed in a Connected Worker solution. Along with including Teams, CBT gave the solution built-in voice command and live annotation functionalities. The device and integrated software can be controlled with simple voice commands that allow the worker to access resources, contact an expert, complete job documentation, and view step-by-step instructions while keeping their hands free. The mobile version has a split-screen that was adapted so that users can see only what they need to see instead of seeing themselves.

The Benefits

The Energy Utility Company was able to enhance its remote training experience using wearable technology combined with collaboration tools. The company was also empowered to find an immediate resolution to equipment problems, eliminating the downtime that used to accumulate while waiting for a fix.

With Connected Worker, there is no need to bring a subject matter expert to the location to troubleshoot or conduct training. Now, the Energy Utility Company saves money because it makes more efficient use of experts who can be in more than one place (remotely) at the same time. The company reduces bottlenecking because it needs less equipment and travel time to conduct training scenarios. The Energy Utility Company is also able to create a socially distanced training experience in compliance with current COVID-19 regulations.

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Learn more about CBT’s Industrial IoT solutions by visiting our IIoT page and our blog. If you would like to walk through the potential applications and benefits of an IoT solution for your business, please schedule a meeting with one of our experts.