Aboitiz Data Innovation clinches Asian Technology Excellence Award for revolutionary AI-powered asset inspection system

Aboitiz Data Innovation clinches Asian Technology Excellence Award for revolutionary AI-powered asset inspection system

4 min read

Their partnership with Visayan Electric and Davao Light yields success with the project optimizing efficiency and accuracy in utility asset management.

CELEBRATING INNOVATION AND EXCELLENCE. Proud winners at the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023 awarding ceremony on September 18, 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. In photo (from L to R): Luis F. Gonzalez, Chief Operating Officer for Power, Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI); Gratz Redoble, Lead Solution Architect – Power Grid and Distribution, ADI; Mark Catalan, Metershop Supervisor – Power Metering Department, Davao Light; Raul Lucero, President and COO, Visayan Electric; Rodger Velasco, President and COO, Davao Light; and Tim Charlton, Editor-in-Chief, Asian Business Review

Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI) has emerged triumphant at the prestigious Asian Technology Excellence Awards. The company’s remarkable victory in the Philippines Technology Excellence Award for AI – Utilities category underscores their innovative spirit and commitment to enhancing operational efficiency through groundbreaking solutions. The winning project, AI-powered Asset Inspection System (AIS), has propelled ADI into the spotlight.

ADI’s partnership with Visayan Electric and Davao Light, key players in Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower)’s power distribution utilities, signifies a significant stride towards leveraging AI and computer vision technologies to revolutionize asset inspection and inventory processes. The development of an AIS has introduced a new era of efficiency, cost reduction, and accuracy for utility companies.

 Turning to AI and computer vision technologies to automate asset inspection and inventory.

“With human intelligence in the field, interacting with artificial intelligence in the platform, we can improve our capabilities beyond what either AI or humans can do on their own,” Luis F. Gonzalez, ADI Chief Operating Officer for Power. “This is symbiotic AI and for us in ADI, it is the best approach for what we need in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia – AI that empowers and includes people to be able to do more and be more than before as a design choice for learning algorithms. As a data science and AI company, we need to strive for excellence in doing research, testing, building, and deploying AI that works. This to us is what will build trust in AI and deliver empowerment to everyone involved.”

The journey towards digital transformation is propelled by the desire to empower AboitizPower’s distribution utilities to elevate their business processes and secure a competitive edge. The power distribution utility industry thrives on regulatory compliance, with the Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) playing a pivotal role in tariff determination. Asset inventory campaigns, integral for RAB compliance, involve time-consuming image data assessment (IDA) to identify and categorize installed assets accurately.

Recognising the inefficiencies inherent in the IDA process, ADI, Visayan Electric, and Davao Light worked together to introduce AI and computer vision technologies into the equation. The creation of an AI-powered AIS streamlines the IDA process, thereby enhancing accuracy, reducing costs, and accelerating the pace of asset inventory campaigns.

ADI’s AI-powered AIS presents an array of advantages for utility companies, including swift verification and validation of asset inventory data. The automated IDA process translates into reduced time and costs associated with asset inventory campaigns, resulting in more frequent updates and an accurate RAB dataset. By aligning with this cutting-edge solution, utility companies mitigate the risk of penalties and fines arising from non-compliance.

The long-term vision of this project is to revolutionize the way distribution utilities do asset inventory and inspection through AI.

Enabled by ADI’s innovative prowess, Visayan Electric and Davao Light have embarked on a transformative journey to streamline their asset management processes, leveraging an extensive image library and advanced computer vision models to automate asset detection and identification. The pivotal objective is to free subject matter experts from routine tasks, allowing them to focus on quality control and strategic decision-making.

AboitizPower Distribution Utilities Chief Operating Officer Anton Pedices said, “Efficient asset inventory is a critical component in ensuring reliable power supply to homes and businesses. The introduction of the Asset Inspection System in our operations will optimize asset management, guaranteeing regulatory compliance and delivering value to the customers and communities we are dedicated to serving.”

The AI model’s adaptability ensures continuous improvement through user feedback, promising enhanced accuracy and efficiency over time. By optimizing operations and regulatory compliance through AI-driven solutions, ADI and its partners are driving long-term growth and success.

As grid analytics’ digital transformation gains momentum, ADI’s pioneering initiative lays the foundation for future expansion. The visionary goal is to revolutionize asset inventory and inspection processes across distribution utilities through AI integration. ADI envisions expanding capabilities, introducing new machine learning algorithms, and democratizing the solution for real-time data collection and analysis.

Partnering with Connected Women to empower their Elevate AIDA graduates to do data handling and image annotation so they can be active contributors to the digital economy and AI industry.

ADI’s mission extends beyond technological advancement; they have joined forces with Connected Women, empowering women in the Philippines with AI data labeling skills. This partnership underlines ADI’s commitment to social empowerment in the digital economy.

“Our goal is to give opportunities for women using technology,” said Ruth Yu-Owen, Connected Women Co-Founder. “We’ve partnered with ADI and I’m happy to say that the women who work on this project are so thankful because they went from 0 income to 12 dollars a day – that means food on the table and they can help provide for their families. This is proof that AI is not taking away jobs from people. In fact, our partnership actually empowered women who are out of the workforce with job opportunities and prepared them for the future of work. We see this as a long-term solution for Filipino women, so they don’t have to leave the country.”

As ADI pushes boundaries, their journey serves as a testament to innovation, collaboration, and the transformational power of AI.