Large-scale industrial companies rely heavily on experienced human employees to routinely inspect vast infrastructure networks. However, these inspection activities are expensive, time-consuming, dangerous, and highly prone to mistakes and errors. Now, industrial companies are adopting computer vision to radically improve the speed, safety, accuracy, and cost-efficiency of infrastructure inspection.
Large-scale industrial operations manage infrastructure networks spanning hundreds of miles. An energy company, for example, needs to maintain vast networks of electrical wires, distribution poles, transmission towers, electrical substations, and other critical assets. Because these assets are often located in remote and dangerous locations, inspecting them for maintenance issues demands high-risk expeditions, skilled labor, and an enormous amount of time and financial resources.
Today, computer vision technology empowers industrial companies to achieve safer, more accurate, and more cost-effective inspections of key infrastructure components.
Traditional Methods of Infrastructure Inspection
The inspection and maintenance of critical infrastructure components is a necessary part of nearly every large-scale industry. Some common infrastructure types requiring inspections include:
- Power lines
- Utility infrastructure
- Construction sites
- Cell towers
- Roads and interstates
- Wind turbines
- Industrial agriculture
- Wastewater and effluent
Aside from using advanced technology, trained and experienced professionals are an integral part of most inspection processes. These inspectors frequently endure dangerous conditions to perform in-person evaluations using the human eye alone with no special instrumentation. Often traveling to remote areas by helicopter, working out of bucket trucks – or climbing up towers, wind turbines, bridges, and electrical distribution poles – human inspectors need to evaluate the condition of key assets to answer a host of questions like:
- Is it rusty?
- Is it structurally sound?
- Are trees growing over a transformer box?
- Are guy-wires intact?
- Is it leaking?
- And a great deal more
Leveraging Computer Vision for Better Infrastructure Inspections
Computer vision technology provides a cost-effective solution for conducting accurate and timely inspections of industrial infrastructure assets. In addition to achieving more accurate and consistent results than human-led inspections, visual AI for infrastructure inspection is dramatically safer and more affordable.
Computer vision strategies for infrastructure inspection leverage the following features:
- High-definition IoT-connected cameras – including infrared cameras – mounted in remote locations that observe site conditions.
- Deployment of drones for aerial footage, visual measurements, and automatic identification of potential problems.
- High-resolution satellite topography imagery to show the current condition and status of assets on the ground.
- Edge servers running sophisticated AI models that analyze and interpret visual data, identify maintenance issues, detect environmental hazards, and spot instances of fire and overheating.
- Instant alerts, reports, and metrics sent to decision-makers for immediate action on potential problems.
With Chooch AI, industrial companies gain immediate access to a wide library of pre-built visual AI models for the most common inspection use cases. Armed with these tools, customers can develop visual AI models that instantly detect the following concerns:
- Tree overgrowth
- Rusty, damaged, or defective structures
- Overheating, smoke, flares, and fire
- Leaks in pipes
- Wastewater effluent and discharges
- Retention pond and drainage problems
- Low-hanging or broken power lines
- Virtually any other visually detectable inspection issue
At the end of the day, the ROI benefit of computer vision for industrial computer vision inspections is clear. Whether it’s a large-scale industrial operation, utility company, or governmental organization, computer vision technology empowers faster and more accurate detection of maintenance and environmental concerns – orders of magnitude more affordable than relying on human inspectors alone. Even better, Chooch AI can design and deploy a custom visual AI inspection strategy in only 6 to 9 days.