DMI, NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), and Jo-Carroll Energy teamed up to explore the benefits of using virtual reality at rural electric cooperative substations. "The project paid for itself in just over two years, solely from reduced drive time of the more than 30 staff who have used VR. The substation selected for the immersive VR is about 50 miles from JCE’s headquarters. Savings from eliminating the need to have staff drive several hours for each training session added up quickly. Other benefits are significant, but harder to quantify. “How do you know the payback on safety and doing the training in a non-hazardous VR environment?” said Skinner. For example, he explained, “Every time you go to a substation with a whole crew, you're going to go over the safety details – what the voltages are, what kind of physical hazards are potentially there, and so on. Most substations are full of rocks. It's not a smooth surface; there are tripping hazards. There's a whole bunch of equipment that you can bump into.” JCE sees that being able to do the training in the office, a non-hazardous area, is a huge advantage.
DMI team leaders Nathan Greiner and CJ Kuehl launched the latest Precision Reality™ industry solution: Precision Energy, at Tech Advantage 2019. Tech Advantage is the technology event of the year for electric co-op professionals, showcasing the latest tech innovations in the energy co-op industry and an excellent platform for kicking off Precision Energy. Precision Energy, a rural electric cooperative focused asset intelligence platform was presented to attendees through a live presentation as well as at a booth on the expo floor to explore more interactive demos with DMI’s hardware and software solutions. Nathan Greiner, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, presented virtual reality training as an asset visualization solution in partnership with Jo-Carroll Energy. DMI laser scanned Jo-Carroll’s substation assets, integrated their existing training materials, and produced a virtual reality training experience in which trainees could safely and cost-effectively train in realistic environments. Visiting the expo booth, Tech Advantage attendees could experience VR training firsthand, immersing themselves in the real substation environment created for Jo-Carroll. In addition, Precision Energy asset monitoring solutions were also on display, revealing a new way to monitor energy co-op equipment with IoT sensors. Combining asset visualization and monitoring, Precision Energy aims to provide a new level of asset intelligence to drive cost savings and risk mitigation.
DMI attended and exhibited at the Cooperative Technology Conference in Indianapolis, IN showcasing Precision Reality™ and related IoT and VR solutions. One solution presented was a Fuse Cutout Fault Sensor. This sensor attaches to a fuse cutout in the field and is activated in a low power mode until the fuse blows. Once the fuse is blown the sensor sends a notification through the Precision Reality™ secure long-range network to the utility alerting them to the blown fuse. From there the utility can visualize the outage on a map layer of Precision Reality™ or immediately respond to the geo-located fuse to repair and replace. This cost-effective process cuts down on time spent locating outages and provides advanced visualization tools for the utility and their network.
On September 28, 2017 DMI introduced the next industrial revolution encapsulated in our newest suite of solutions called Precision Reality™. Executives that attended were educated on the latest innovations, from virtual reality to internet of things, forming the foundation for a wellspring of untapped enterprise ROI. DMI shared our experience as a trusted advisor within numerous industries. We were also able to share an exclusive look at some projects with our partners. Together, we explored the the impact of harnessing the transformative power of emerging technology in the enterprise.