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Diving into an Augmented Reality World with Westar Energy and T&D World Magazine

In the September 2018 issue of T&D World Magazine, Westar Energy’s Dave Claussen detailed how the Kansas utility partnered with Index AR Solutions during the launch of the LineAssist SuperApp – a robust mobile training and field application that is making work safer and faster for electrical utility linemen.

Claussen is Senior Director of Substation Construction and Maintenance for Westar Energy, which recently merged with Kansas City Power & Light Co. to form Evergy.

In the article, entitled “Westar Energy Dives into Augmented Reality World,” Claussen explained how utilities across the country are working hard to effectively capture knowledge and experience from veteran workers and transferring it to new apprentices.

The LineAssist SuperApp® from Index AR transforms the way linemen are trained in the classroom and do work in the field. Using a mobile tablet, linemen at Westar are using LineAssist to access detailed step-by-step directions through AR. Imagery from the app is overlaid on utility structures workers encounter on a service call, with safety warnings, 3-D animations and written instructions all built in.

Capturing the knowledge of Westar’s most experienced linemen, the LineAssist SuperApp® delivers a set of maintenance best practices for three different pole-mounted voltage regulators and five different control panels.

The app walks troubleshooters through the steps for a particular model of controller with AR that shows the troubleshooter exactly which button to flip and where to plug in the probes for a meter. The app also features embedded photos and videos of a craftsman performing the work during certain steps.

By enabling linemen to visualize and more safely and easily perform tasks that could be less familiar to them, the LineAssist SuperApp® gives everyone the ability to troubleshoot on the first truck roll.

Claussen said that Westar expects to cut the number of these truck rolls at least in half by using the Index AR app – quickly realizing significant savings and return on investment.

To read the full article in T&D World Magazine, click here.