The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in Orangeburg, S.C. has turned on the power of RFID technology to automate utility pole inspections, according to Intelligent Utility.
The Orangeburg DPU has tagged more than 4,000 poles to date to better monitor, service and maintain its entire pole distribution network. The system enables inspection and maintenance teams to capture pole-specific information, providing the utility with a thorough inspection record for poles and assets.
With handheld RFID scanners and mobile computers, DPU inspectors are able to record data about the tagged poles into their system, such as the condition of the pole and its cross arm, transformers, wiring and overall upkeep.
The visibility provided by RFID also enables Orangeburg and other utilities to be better prepared to respond to emergencies, such as power outages following severe storms; and generating claims from storm losses.
DPU hopes to tag an additional 5,000 poles this summer and have all 33,000 poles owned by the utility done within two to three years.
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