A global drone company had a big job on its hands: collecting data on 20k+ utility poles per month and then providing a pole loading analysis to the client, an electric utility, for use in storm hardening. The work required documenting the pole height, class, and material; taking photographs from the ground; and using aerial imagery and LiDAR data. The company needed a partner and Alden’s history of serving electric power and communications companies made us a natural fit.
The timeframe was tight. Alden committed to producing analysis on 7,500 of the initial 20,000 poles within 12 weeks, using internal and external resources. After that, the goal was to ramp up pole analysis to 5k poles per week. A major obstacle was the incomplete, inaccurate, and inconsistent quality of the client's field data.
A project of this magnitude required a scalable solution. Fortunately, that's what we do at Alden. Alden One, our joint use data management platform, provided the opportunities to improve efficiencies for our partners in both mass data collection and back-office data processing. Alden One’s open architecture enables it to support any pole loading software, which saved time by eliminating the learning curve for other software.
Alden One’s pole analysis module is designed to provide real-time analytics and ensure quality control checks and balances, making it ideal for managing large amounts of data in a variety of forms – including utility asset records, field data, photographs, video, and LiDAR data. The ability to scale up for this project, combined with well-coordinated teamwork, delivered accurate analysis of the first 7,500 poles, on time and on budget. Alden then completed an analysis of an additional 7,500 poles – 15,000 in all. Having accurate data meant the client could make better-informed decisions.
The project manager was pleased, stating that Alden “did the vast majority of the (pole loading) work during the first cycle...They did an excellent job and built an awesome platform to streamline the work they did for us. Alden is definitely my favorite vendor to work with.”
For a more detailed look at the project, read this case study.
The Next Evolution
Alden's partnership with the drone company on this massive project is a characteristic example of the way we continually evolve. Engineers used this experience to make the Alden One platform even more adaptable, now supporting production well beyond 5,000 poles per week. This data collection and processing solution is supported by more than 2,000 people nationwide. And the evolution continues.
Our mission is to give our customers a competitive edge, whether they are asset owners, attachers, engineering firms, contractors, or other service companies.
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