Taking the Cloud Underground

CLOUDDATA & ANALYTICS

iPEK needed a way to manage all the data for municipalities — and get paid for doing it. They turned to SPR to help get the job done.

About

iPEK is an IDEX company, based in Sulzburg, Germany, that is a leader in the field of sophisticated, high-quality systems with industrial applications in pipeline inspection. In the past, when a municipal water sewer became clogged, the inspection process was tedious and resulted in sluggish repairs.

For example, an emergency crew would be 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 blockage was located. Then the video would be copied to an SD card and shared offline between the municipality and the contractor hired to clean and maintain the pipeline. The complex, time-consuming process meant it could require days for the clog to be removed.

XPECTION Technology

iPEK’s innovative new XPECTION system is a pipeline camera that also cleans. Through video transmitted wirelessly in HD quality, the camera enables live observation and video documentation of the sewer maintenance and/or cleaning process. Moreover, data collected during the process can be utilized to build a virtual map of a sewer network.Through a series of sharable videos, network managers are now empowered to monitor sewer networks and take steps to enable predictive maintenance.

THE CHALLENGE

As a result of the XPECTION technology, iPEK had the opportunity to change how municipalities schedule and manage sewer maintenance and repairs. But to achieve the goal, iPEK needed a way to manage all the data for municipalities — and get paid for doing it. The company looked to SPR for the solution.

The Solution

SPR worked with iPEK to create an on-demand video solution that was robust, scalable, cloud-based, and accessible via a stand-alone web app .

SPR also developed a proof of concept that iPEK could use to demonstrate and clarify the value of its innovative Sewer Asset Management System (SAMP) and project expenses for product development and operating costs.

To build the proof of concept, SPR produced a series of deliverables that resulted in a prototype iPEK could present to its customers to sell the technology. The prototype included:

  • IPEKLOUD PORTAL

    A working demo, similar to a YouTube video, that brought the iPEKloud concept to life.
  • VIDEO REPOSITORY

    Based on Microsoft’s Azure Media Services to house raw video and convert it into streaming or downloadable content.
  • VIDEO PLAYBACK TOOLS

    Available from Microsoft within the iPEKloud Portal.
  • DATA REPOSITORY

    A repository for measurement data collected during inspections, stored in IDEX’s data lake, and housed in the Microsoft Cloud.
  • USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN

    A simple and elegant user experience, requiring little or no user training.
  • FORWARD-LOOKING STRATEGIES

    SPR also developed a data-ingestion strategy, data-governance guidelines, and a scalability strategy.

Transformation

The easy-to-use platform SPR developed for iPEK is a secure end-to-end solution that enables municipalities to:

  • View sewer cleanings in real time

  • View past cleaning videos, via cloud storage

  • Predict when cleaning events will occur

  • Review and approve invoices

  • Report on past and upcoming cleanings

The iPEKloud platform is expected to bring transformative process-benefits and cost-savings to the industry, including the truck operators, who are the end-users of the system, and the municipalities that contract the truck operators.