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Many utility companies currently use a manual process, where as-constructed drawings are drawn on paper in the field before being submitted for manual entry into the relevant GIS. This introduces various points where errors can occur. 

These include errors and inaccuracies in the initial drawings which are then entered into the system, or errors can be made at the time the information is manually entered. 

Some utilities have sought to improve this process by using simple applications for digital forms that help release bottlenecks, but these applications seldom provide any validation on the completeness and accuracy of the data; often don’t integrate easily with the relevant system; and usually don’t automate the data collection process (by connecting to sensors and equipment such as high accuracy GPS antenna, fusion machines and barcode scanners via Bluetooth) which damages the data integrity level. 

Locusview’s easy-to-use digital construction mobile application (Locusview Mobile) enables field crews to create high accuracy paperless as-constructed records, whilst also providing improved compliance, visibility and traceability. 

This not only removes manual drawing and data entry but also validates that the data is complete and accurate. Importantly, Locusview’s philosophy of “field crews first” promotes positive take up and improved use in the field.

Using Real Time Kinematic (RTK) services delivers as-constructed drawings that are accurate to within +/- 5cm. 

The accuracy not only applies to pipe lengths, but can also capture highly accurate locations of joints and fittings, plus details on welds. 

By improving the accuracy of drawings and information on the utility’s assets, it is likely that information provided to third parties (e.g. DBYD drawings) and contractors will be more accurate and hence reduce the likelihood of assets being hit and improve construction safety. 

Some of Locusview’s largest customers report improvements of greater than 70 per cent in reduction of backlog in updating GIS information. 

This benefit is achieved because the platform provides a streamlined and integrated process with the utility’s GIS or other system of record. 

As-constructed drawings are prepared and uploaded as the works are completed in near real time. This eliminates paper-based drawings that are often incomplete, inaccurate or get lost. The work effort of project managers following up construction crews for the drawings is also reduced. 

By reducing the time from in-field construction (a new asset) or changes to the asset (e.g. upgraded from low to high pressure) to updating the GIS, the likelihood information provided to third parties (for example via a Dial Before You Dig enquiry) or to the utility’s own contractors or staff is not up to date is also reduced. This lowers the risk of a potential safety incident. 

A further benefit of Locusview Web is the real-time visibility and validation; the information is also visible to predetermined office based personnel. 

With current challenges presented by COVID-19, this reduces the need for people to be in the field and enables these workers who are not attending the office due to lockdowns to review projects anywhere they have internet access.  

Locusview’s solution is independent of asset management and works management systems. 

This means that irrespective of how long the business process takes to update these systems, as works are completed in the field they can be identified and completed using the Locusview web server (Locusview Web). 

Project managers will have near real-time information to respond to customer and retail enquiries on the progress of field activities.

This partner content was brought to you by Locusview. For more information, click here.

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