Use Cases Tower Companies Can Solve with Digital Twins

6 Use Cases Tower Companies Can Solve with Digital Twins

31 Mar 2021 Written by Sharon

Every business faces problems: issues that require complex, expensive and time-consuming processes to solve.  Accurate, shareable, and interactive digital twins can solve some of those problems, saving companies time and money and providing a valuable competitive edge.  At vHive, our autonomous drone software platform is providing the data and insights that tower companies need every day.  Here are 6 use cases our customers are solving with digital data.

M&A Site Audits

In today’s business climate, mergers and acquisitions are a global vibrant scene resulting in many transactions within the tower companies. Accurate information about acquired assets is necessary to the negotiation process: but while time is critical, M&A site audits can be difficult to arrange, time consuming and expensive.

Using vHive, local field operations staff can audit a set of assets quickly, uploading the images to the platform, generating digital twins and bringing insights to the M&A team about the sellers’ sites. Capabilities such as navigation in 3D space around the digital twin and interactive Virtual Tours identify installed equipment and deliver detailed, consistent knowledge of potential assets. Syncing this data to the sellers’ database highlights mismatches between the actual world surveyed and received reports, impacting the valuation of the deal.

This digital data is easily shared with remote locations for review.  When all the appropriate stakeholders have access to exact models of assets, the audit process is easier, faster, and less expensive.

New Site Scouting Acquisition

5G is here, and tower companies are facing the challenge of developing new sites to accommodate the new technology, whether that means adding new equipment to existing sites or developing new towers.  Scouting for new sites and gathering information about the site itself and all of the surrounding terrain can be time consuming and laborious: but digital data can speed the process.

vHive’s software solution generates numerous reports that assist in planning new sites, cutting costs and time in the regulatory approval process. vHive can survey any asset type and model it: whether a tower or an urban rooftop installation.

For new site acquisition and development, digital data can provide easily accessible and shareable information about line-of-sight considerations, proximity of other towers, potential terrain issues, and surrounding infrastructure: helping your company make the best decision possible when planning new sites.

Inventory Identification

For some tower companies, simply knowing exactly what each asset holds presents a major challenge.  Data is often out of date or inaccurate: stakeholders who have found one error can’t trust the rest of the database.  Billing based on old data is a major issue, as companies risk inaccuracies that can cost significant revenue.

Inventory Identification

Digital twins of field assets can solve the problem of inaccurate inventory identification, enabling inventory verification and providing a single source of truth about assets. With digital twins, inventory matching to existing customer asset records becomes easier, and detecting inventory changes is automated by comparing digital data from two surveys.  Reliable, shareable data about inventory means billing accuracy and revenue assurance.

QA Inspection for Faults and Maintenance

Inspection of tower assets for faults and regular maintenance is a necessary part of operations: but manual inspections are an expensive, time consuming, and sometimes dangerous job for field operators.  vHive’s platform automates the inspection process, making it faster, safer and less expensive.

With 3D digital twins and 3600 Virtual Tours, stakeholders can monitor, predict, and react to maintenance needs.  Users can actually see any potential problems from their computers: AI-driven asset condition tagging points out potential issues, and users can easily navigate in 3D between images and focus in on the identified areas closely to determine the right course of action.  Images can be annotated and shared easily, so that field personnel know exactly what they’re looking for and can execute maintenance efficiently.
In the image below an equipment cover is missing.

QA Inspection for Faults and Maintenance

New Construction

Building new assets is a critical piece of growing a business, but it also represents a significant expense.  Optimizing the process means better and more profitable sites, developed more quickly.

New construction requires accurate information about what exists: and the tools to develop what needs to be built effectively.  This often requires many experts working together on a project, using a variety of sophisticated technologies to visualize construction and optimize the design process.  Interactive 3D digital twins are a valuable tool to make the process easier.  It allows engineers to work with accurate renditions of what already exists on a site to develop the next build.

The vHive platform provides 3D, Virtual Tour inspections and 2D aerial imagery that can be integrated into GIS systems.  Users can create a 3D terrain map with topography, structures, slopes and more, and overlay data layers, including cadaster data, to deliver an “as made” /’ “as built” report, documenting the site before and after construction in a short period.

The regulatory process of new construction is also eased with digital data.  Panoramic virtual tours demonstrate exactly what the site looks like, including existing buildings, line of sight considerations, and surrounding terrain.  These virtual tours can be easily shared with local regulators to make the permitting process faster and easier for all parties.

Utilization

Optimizing utilization is a clear path to increased revenues.  As we’ve mentioned above, digital twins are key to an accurate understanding of existing inventory: but AI-powered analytics delivers insights from those digital twins that can drive data-based improvements in optimization.

vHive’s powerful analytics can identify unutilized mounts, polls on assets that are available for new equipment; and unutilized levels, height areas that have space available for use.  With these insights, stakeholders can develop clear, data-driven strategies for increasing asset optimization and revenue.

Digital visualization provides a deep understanding of assets that leads to critical business insights.  Digital data is a game changing technology for tower companies, solving operational business problems and revolutionizing workflows.  Acquiring that data has never been easier or more accessible. Contact vHive today and begin solving business problems and start your business’ digital transformation.

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