• News

How Hitachi’s New Intelligent Infrastructure Monitoring Improves Visibility

By John Smerkar

The primary pillars of infrastructure holding together the urban centers of the U.S. are vulnerable to failures that can knock out the supply chain, safety networks, and the economy itself. As we’ve seen during the levee failures of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Northridge earthquake in 1994, these disasters are sudden and leave substantial damage in its wake that can take decades to remedy.

The interdependencies of transportation networks, waterways, pipelines, and electrical grids are complex and involve an overlapping of jurisdictions, both private and public. Those complexities represent significant vulnerabilities in monitoring and tracking the resiliencies of the very networks designed to make us safe.

To safeguard against potential security threats and and environmental catastrophe, are sensing technologies that monitor and control infrastructure systems. These are especially important for utility providers that control aging electrical infrastructure operating a grid that is at risk of brownouts and blackouts. Limited available personnel, unmanned facilities, and escalating costs of maintenance factor into the challenges these organizations face in their mission to deliver a flow of power that is reliable and stable.

What’s worse is that, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the majority of the nation’s grid is aging, with some components over a century old — far past their 50-year life expectancy — while others, including 70% of transmission and distribution (T&D) lines, are well into the second half of their lifespans.

The fragility of the infrastructure demands solutions that can monitor conditions of critical equipment at substations and elsewhere on the grid, forecast potential disruptions, and provide analytics to help leadership make more informed decisions regarding its labor resources. Using sensors that track conditions in real time, automation technology offers immediacy in solving root causes, generating cost efficiencies, and improving operations.

For these reasons, it is critical that organizations adopt a technology partner that delivers value, helps them grow, and ultimately improves the customer experience. Meet Hitachi Intelligent Infrastructure Monitoring.

Hitachi Intelligent Infrastructure Monitoring leverages visual inspection data to effectively improve operations, dispatch service, and create actionable insights. Through video streaming, utility operators suddenly have immediate and real-time access to unmanned substations that, because they are in remote areas, are either difficult to access, or only broadcast via a low bandwidth communications channel.

The connection is real and dynamic. Hitachi gives utilities new power to automatically analyze all video content to assess various needs that will optimize operations, reduce downtime, and lower costs. Real-time monitoring also gives users a holistic view of the entire utility system, including all network infrastructure. Nothing falls outside its scope. Through Hitachi, users have full control of its total systems and performance.

Full visibility into every endpoint of the operation only works when it is available every second of the day, every day. Analytics create insights that lead to greater time and labor efficiencies. Finally, the flexibility of Hitachi will help enable interoperability with existing systems and help your organization with evolving regulatory requirements such as NERC critical infrastructure protection (CIP).

Learn how our solution will transform your operation so it is protected against potential disruptions, or even catastrophe. Contact one of our experts today to watch a demo or to learn how Hitachi can help solve your business needs.

John Smerkar is Director of Product Marketing, Smart Spaces, Hitachi Digital Services