Case Study: Network Digitization


A large Australian utility with >150k kilometres ( > 90k miles) of network under management and over one million poles partnered with Neara as they embarked on a multi-year effort to understand the condition of their assets and associated risks throughout their vast network using LiDAR.

The Challenge

Before using Neara, the utility lacked a scalable solution to analyze and operationalize the vast amounts of LiDAR data they had captured. They were able to extract some basic spatial analysis to inform vegetation management operations and clearance analysis, but knew that the LiDAR could unlock significant additional visibility they could use to optimize engineering design, structural analysis and weather resilience. The utility sought a more advanced data-driven strategy for monitoring their network, identifying risks, and managing operating expenses that would help them adopt a more proactive posture towards reaching their goals.

The Solution

The utility chose to partner with Neara because of the breadth and depth of insights that the software platform enabled. Neara ingested multiple years of LiDAR capture, along with the utility’s GIS, asset records and engineering data to build a full 3D digital model of the utility’s overhead and underground network. This helped the utility make a huge leap forward in their digitisation journey, whereby Neara serves as the unified digital record for their assets and for asset management and risk assessment operations and site inspections. The platform provides unparalleled spatial awareness of issues and risks, enabling effective bundling of inspections work and eliminating unnecessary site inspections; saving ~$5M in annual inspection spend within the first nine months of implementation.

The utility also deployed Neara’s Network Design & Construction solution, enabling automated engineering design across both overhead and underground assets. This enabled the utility’s engineering and network team to expand and modify the model as the network changes, speeding up the design and validation process by up to ~10x. The solution is now used by both the internal team as well as third party engineering design contractors, which improve visibility and collaboration across the entire organization.

“Neara sets a new benchmark, not just for our business, but for the entire utilities industry”, said a member of the utility’s Digital Asset Management Team.

Unlike other vendors the utility had considered, Neara’s product has a platform-first orientation, enabling utilities to view, analyze and automate their own data and workflows while retaining ownership of the data, model, and outputs. 


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