iPEK (an IDEX company) is a leader in the field of sophisticated, high-quality pipeline inspection systems for industrial applications based in Sulzburg, Germany. In the past, when something clogged a city’s water sewer, the tedious inspection process meant repairs were sluggish. An emergency crew was sent to the nearest manhole to put a camera down the pipe with a video rover, examine the condition of the pipe, clarify if it required cleaning or repair, and measure exactly where the problem occurred. The video was put on an SD card and passed around offline between the municipality and the contractor hired to clean and maintain the pipeline. It could take days for the cleaning to actually occur.
iPEK’s new XPECTION system is a pipeline camera that also cleans. Through video wirelessly transmitted in HD quality, the XPECTION system enables live observation and video documentation of the sewer maintenance and/or cleaning process. The “telemetry” data also collected during inspections could be used to build a virtual map of a sewer network; through a series of videos taken over time, network managers could better monitor their sewer networks and take the first steps towards predictive maintenance.
Sharing XPECTION’s video and measurement data in near real-time, iPEK has the opportunity to change how municipalities schedule and manage sewer maintenance and repairs. But to get there, iPEK needed a way to manage all the data for municipalities – and get paid for doing it. They looked to SPR Consulting for a solution.
SPR joined forces with iPEK to create a robust, scalable, cloud-based, data and on-demand video solution accessed via a stand-alone web app to support the launch of iPEK’s XPECTION product. iPEK needed a proof of concept that would demonstrate and clarify the value of iPEK’s innovative Sewer Asset Management System (SAMP) and quantify forward-looking expenses for product development and operating costs.
To build the “iPEKloud” proof of concept, SPR Consulting produced a series of deliverables that ultimately forged a prototype iPEK could bring to its customers to sell the overall idea, which included:
iPEKloud Portal – A working demo similar to “YouTube” that brought to life the iPEKloud concept.
Video Repository – Using Microsoft’s Azure Media Services to house raw video and convert it into consumable streaming or downloadable content.
Video Playback Tools – Tools available from Microsoft within the iPEKloud Portal.
Data Repository – A repository for “telemetry” data collected during inspections, stored in IDEX’s “data lake” housed in the Microsoft Cloud.
User Experience Design – A simple and elegant user experience, easily usable with limited or no end-user training.
Future Strategies – SPR also developed a data ingestion strategy, data governance guidelines, and scalability strategy for the future.
SPR’s easy-to-use platform now enables iPEK customers to:
iPEKloud also has an intuitive user interface, requires no training, and is a secure end-to-end solution. By using this platform, iPEK increases the quality of service between contractors, enabling them to view maps, schedule cleaning, store their contact information, and process invoices.
A cloud solution for asset/data management is not new to this marketplace; however, the combination of high quality products and valuable data is a differentiator that can lead to profitable growth. The introduction of the iPEKloud is expected to bring cost savings and process benefits to both the users of their products (truck operators) and the municipalities the truck operators are contracted to support.
iPEK is actively marketing iPEKloud now, using SPR’s PoC as a demo. iPEK expects to bring on five customers in the first six months.