Morrison Water Services Trials Ground-Breaking Augmented Reality Excavation Technology with Water Clients

22nd February 2021

Morrison Water Services (MWS), a part of M Group Services, is partnering with Eurovia UK on the trial of Augmented Visualisation of Underground Services (AVUS) technology on its Thames Water and Yorkshire Water contracts.

Morrison Water Services engineers are using AVUS to plan and manage works more effectively by mapping and viewing underground services in 2D or 3D augmented reality (AR) via smartphone and tablet screens, prior to excavation.

AVUS is designed to minimise the risk of underground service strikes and third-party asset damage, improving operational efficiency and productivity by removing the need for specialist surveys. The solution also ensures that the accuracy of underground service data is improved and maintained over time.

The technology offers the benefit of precise pipe location identification to within 5cm as well as the capability to capture accurate geospatial information of as-is / as-built services before reinstatement.

The trial introduction of AVUS will also enable teams to benefit from as-built video capture of geospatial information prior to reinstatement of an excavation. The resulting footage is used to create detailed 3D point cloud models ensuring accurate visual records and ‘x-ray vision’ of the work completed, utility layout and geology for future works. The initial trial was successfully conducted by a Morrison Utility Services team working on a bypass and pressure relief valve (PRV) installation in Roehampton, South London in October 2020. Andy Carter, M Group Services Director of IT, Innovation and Improvement, commented: “Innovation is a key consideration across every aspect of our business. Areas in which we are always looking to innovate are born from real-life business challenges. AR is paving the way for many operational processes in our sector to become safer and simpler and the benefits presented by AVUS mean that this technology is a real industry game changer.

“Using emerging and innovating technologies such as AVUS ensures safer working practices and minimises the risk of service strikes by enabling our engineers and operatives to view buried networks virtually via smartphone devices.  As well as this, the geo-positioning precision offered by the technology means that the essential infrastructure works that we undertake can be delivered more quickly and more efficiently to keep disruption to the public to a minimum.”

Eurovia UK Director of Innovation, Yogesh Patel, added; “When we developed the AVUS technology, we always knew that it would make a big impact on the safety and success of planning and programming of works. We are excited to see the benefits of AR applied to the utilities sector – we all have a collective responsibility to manage our infrastructure safely and sustainably. AVUS is a step in the right direction towards this vision.”

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