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Insulator Count and Features


The client discovered that insulator failure was a large portion of it’s transmission outages, and likely a large percentage of risk. But they had no data on individual insulators, and couldn’t identify or manage the associated risk of failure. Client analysis demonstrated that insulators are a common source of failure leading to ignition events on the system. Fully understanding as much as we can about insulators, as an asset class, is therefore imperative.

They asked us to demonstrate what we could do in a pilot analysis. We:

  • Created a data collection template and process to record insulator and structure information from inspection photos.
  • Manually reviewed photos and populated the data collection template with key insulator and structure characteristics with high levels of accuracy and efficiency.


  • The client chose two transmission lines for our pilot (~600 structures). The lines selected were diverse from the perspective of the equipment on them and therefore the varying degree of information we would be recording.
  • Multiple photos, from various sources, of each structure were gathered by the client, and sent to a UMS server via SFTP.
  • Working with the client, we developed a template to record the information requested: # of insulators on each structure, type of insulator, insulator material, structure type, framing type.
  • Each UMS analyst located the correct set of photos for the structure being reviewed, and recorded the requested information.
  • A QA/QC review process was conducted by a different analyst.

Data Utilized

Structure database, structure photos, structure/insulator/framing examples document (from client).


  • Photos were incorrectly cataloged by the client, or were out of date.


  • Delivered a very accurate work product to the client, with good quality control processes in place.
  • Structure and insulator information was recorded very efficiently compared to another contractor also piloting this work (UMS: 76 vs. Contractor: 48 structures/analyst day).

Example photo used to determine the structure/framing/insulator information, as well as the data recording template.

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