Berkshire Hathaway Energy

Index AR Solutions & Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Partner on Mobile App to Simplify Source-Transfer Switch Operations for Electrical Utilities

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Index AR Solutions has partnered with Berkshire Hathaway’s MidAmerican Energy Company on an augmented reality (AR)-enabled mobile application that helps workers complete source-transfer controller operation, troubleshooting and start-up tasks with greater safety, speed and confidence. By enabling workers to visualize important steps and decision points, the newly available Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® ensures that procedures are completed fully and quickly – ultimately minimizing service delays to electrical customers and reducing the risk of utility infrastructure damage.

MidAmerican Energy Company is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, wholly-owned by Berkshire Hathaway that serves some 770,000 electric customers and 751,000 natural gas customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is the second application development partnership between Index and MidAmerican. The two companies are also deploying a combined augmented reality (AR) and eBook training application for MidAmerican gas apprentice students that boosts engagement, knowledge retention and worker safety.

“We’re delighted to have once again partnered with a true leader in innovation such as MidAmerican Energy, as we reimagine the utility workplace of the future,” said Dan Arczynski, CEO at Index AR Solutions. “Blending advanced visualization techniques with industry best practices and the knowledge of a utility’s most skilled workers, the Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® helps workers perform intricate procedures as safely and as efficiently as possible, each and every time.”

Source-transfer controllers are sophisticated switching mechanisms used by MidAmerican and other electrical utilities to minimize power interruptions, enabling operators to quickly shift from one power source to another in the event of a problem. The devices are complex, with multiple decision trees that often require a 4-6 hour schedule for an engineer to initially set up or reset. In addition, missed or incorrect steps can result in equipment damage, injury or service delays.

By helping workers visualize specific setup steps, the Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® uses AR to address a common challenge in the electric utility industry. The app presents workers with an agreed-upon set of best practices, decision trees, and safety warnings at the exact time and place they are needed within a procedure.

The app gives a qualified electrician the confidence to safely perform troubleshooting, start-up and operational tasks with minimal errors or risk, ultimately translating into fewer service interruptions to customers and fewer incidents of costly equipment damage.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is the latest in a series of more than 40 AR and eBook product offerings from Index called SuperApps® that are tailored to address common challenges associated with an industry. Delivering the core functionality of Index’s custom-built applications, SuperApp® product development is performed in the field – in close collaboration with an initial client partner – using real-world scenarios.

The Source-Transfer Controller SuperApp® is available for purchase through Index AR Solutions, with pricing and terms based on a co-marketing agreement with MidAmerican Energy Company.

© 2019 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.