Organizations dealing with wastewater management often find themselves in a tight spot when an underground pipeline develops leakage or during a rather catastrophic sinkhole disaster. A more systematic approach in reviewing their underground resources can potentially avert such situations. One of the companies to provide a comprehensive solution to determine the overall condition of the underground infrastructure is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based company, RedZone Robotics. A leading wastewater asset management solutions provider, RedZone uses unique data acquisition robots and ICOM asset management software to capture a 360-degree view of the underground pipelines. Justin Starr, VP of Technology, adds, “The new version of our flagship product ICOM can be obtained free of charge, which helps municipalities to manage their underground assets more effectively.”
RedZone develops robotic hardware and data processing software for dealing with various types of assets, including water, wastewater and oil and gas, to help organizations gain better visibility of their infrastructure. Robots are core to RedZone’s business as they are the primary source of data fed into the ICOM software. The company’s unmanned robot—Solo—can be easily deployed by an operator in 15 minutes. When lowered into underground sewer lines, the robot inspects the pipeline using video cameras and sensors to capture corrosion and sediment deposit data. ICOM then integrates the data in a single location. The collected data is subsequently analyzed by the data processing teams located in Philippines, Pittsburgh, and New Zealand to develop deeper insights.
ICOM enables utilities to integrate all of their data in a single location for easy and cost effective asset management
A thorough inspection of collected data is also used to generate standard grading reports of the underground pipeline infrastructure, allowing customers to get an accurate view of operating conditions. The company has other robotic platforms such as ‘Responder’, which is used to develop pipe graphs and images to assess pipeline infrastructure. Interestingly, unlike manual pipeline inspection techniques, many of RedZone’s robots can be deployed without extensive traffic control, meaning less road blockage and night-shift work. The company also offers regular training to contractors and operators in handling robots, advanced equipment, and related tools.
ICOM software can be installed on a stand-alone work station or be deployed in a multi-user environment as a hosted application. Customer fees reflect RedZone’s actual costs for hosting, support and professional services. ICOM has a SQL server blackened, which allows users to issue powerful SQL queries. Using ICOM, customers can also synchronize with other asset management tools, allowing ICOM to be easily integrated with existing information systems. Clients can overlay historic data to get an all-encompassing picture. RedZone offers consulting services during on-premise installation of servers needed to support multiple workstations. Customers can optionally avail ICOM cloud hosted services from Microsoft Azure, which comes with inbuilt backed-up and security features. Starr informs, “We can be as flexible for our customers as needed.”For Macomb Interceptor Drainage District(MIDD), RedZone is now inspecting their 17 miles of pipeline spread along 11 different communities in the Macomb County. The company is using robots to create 360-degree images of the pipeline and is using lasers to measure cracks and extent of the damage. Captured data will be further used to develop 3-dimensional models for better accuracy.
In the past, RedZone—in collaboration with the University of Texas at Arlington—has served City of Arlington Water Utilities Department, TX, by examining their underground sewer pipes and identifying bottlenecks. Today, the company has an extensive list of clients coming from the United States and Canada, as well as Singapore, Australia, South Africa, Europe, and Thailand. Direct software sale is currently amajor area of focus for the company, and so is international growth. To augment the increase in robots sales, RedZone plans to up-skill its customers by extending advanced technical training and consulting services. RedZone’s ultimate goal is to minimize human interventions and deploy more robots on hazardous jobs.