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At NERC Conference, Major Utilities Show How Index Mobile Apps Change the Game for Human Performance

Utility company representatives and thought leaders from around the country gathered recently for the 2019 Human Performance Conference, where several mobile apps from Index AR Solutions were showcased by clients.

Hosted March 26-28 in Atlanta by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) in Atlanta, the eighth annual event had more than 400 people in attendance. Presentations aligned with event theme of “Improving Human Performance on the Grid,” an area where augmented reality apps from Index are delivering measurable improvements in worker safety and efficiency today.

According to NERC, human error is frequently cited as the main cause for up to 80 percent of all incidents and accidents in complex, high-risk systems that exist in the aviation, petrochemical, healthcare, construction, mining, and nuclear power industries.

Mobile apps from Index use augmented reality and other advanced visualization techniques to create highly experiential training and field reference solutions that help reduce human error – making workers safer, smarter and faster.

Several Index apps were demonstrated on stage and on the show floor at the NERC conference.

In a session entitled “Get Real – The Use of Animation and Augmented Reality,” executives from Index clients Georgia Power and MidAmerican Energy Company, as well as several other companies, were joined by Index AR Solutions CEO Dan Arczynski for a panel discussion. The session highlighted the capabilities of a mobile app that Index built for Southern Company in collaboration with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

The app conveys situational awareness information to workers in electric substations and makes the invisible visible – displaying visual indicators of equipment health, capacity factors and required minimum clearances such as flame retardant (FR) zones in the substation. Future app enhancements will display equipment maintenance histories and step-by-step service procedures, including warnings and videographic recording of critical steps to meet internal and external compliance requirements.

MidAmerican Energy Company representatives also shared their own experiences with Index apps during the conference session. A source-transfer controller app that Index built for MidAmerican uses AR to help workers visualize specific setup steps, thus addressing a common challenge in the electric utility industry. By presenting workers with an agreed-upon set of best practices, decision trees, and safety warnings at the exact time and place they are needed within a procedure, the app gives a qualified electrician the confidence to safely perform troubleshooting and start-up tasks with minimal errors, risk or service interruption.

On the second day of the conference, Southern Company and Georgia Power executives presented “What we are Learning from Learning Teams,” a session that demonstrated a mobile app Index created to help simplify transformer troubleshooting processes using visual, step-by-step instructions that presents workers with just the right information at just the right point in time.

By making it easier for workers to properly use transformer testing devices, the Index app helps utilities avoid incorrect diagnoses that lead to costly transformer replacements and re-work that would otherwise be unnecessary – resulting in significant cost savings.

Click here to learn more about the mobile apps from Index that are delivering real business value for utilities and a host of other industries today.