When the Going Gets Tough

Keeping a close eye on a vital and extensive infrastructure complex in the Northern Territory around the clock and in virtually all weather conditions has become a reality thanks to Trimble technology, UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) expertise and the foresight of a highly regarded surveying group.

Earl James and Associates (EJA), which was established in 1982, have employed the Trimble T4D system operating with two S9 robotic total stations, supplied by UPG.

The system has enabled automated monitoring of a concrete structure’s subsidence in the Northern Territory since the middle of last year.

The system is configured to measure 70 monitoring prisms installed along the structure every hour around the clock with the results streamed live via the internet. From this, results and data can be viewed from any connected device  for analyses, and configured to send email and SMS alerts should movement be identified that exceeds set parameters. EJA installed the equipment and system which was then followed by UPG’s T4D ‘guru’ Brent Dawson coming to the site to do training and assist with the system’s configuration.

New Trimble® X7 plays its part in Scanning History

Ever since the Trimble® X7 was introduced into the market in Australia, MinStaff Survey has been eager to get hold of one, and that became a reality recently when SITECH Construction Systems’ Chris Reynolds and UPG's Kieran Dinuzzo took their demo unit out for MinStaff Survey to trial.  The results were so impressive they bought one.

MinStaff Survey was established in 1995 as a surveying solution to underground mine development projects throughout Central and Western NSW and for a decade specialised in the provision of surveying services to major mine development projects throughout the Eastern States of Australia.

2006 saw a relocation to Toowoomba in Queensland for the company, where they are still based today and with over 50 qualified surveyors has become a multi-discipline consulting surveying firm offering a full range of surveying services to both private companies (developers, designers, builders, miners, and contractors) and the public sector.

Recently they were tasked with a complete building scan on the Soldiers Memorial Hall building in Toowoomba.  The building has been subjected to numerous extensions over the years and suspected movement detected meant a thorough investigation before new renovations and structural modifications could be implemented.

“When we trialled the system, we completed in one hour a job we initially thought may take about four.  That was the real eye-opener for us,” said Jake Laing, General Manager.

“The X7 is just one of the pieces used on this latest project.  We combined the X7 and T10 with Trimble Perspective, the Trimble SX10 Total Station to geo-reference the scans on a known survey datum and a Trimble Dini for level control and baseline monitoring of the external structure, and of course Trimble Business Center played an integral part in bringing all the data together.”

“We did face some challenges – the building was multiple stories with minimal access and egress points, and we needed to tie the scan data together between floors, as well as capture the interior and exterior data.”  said Jake.  “The field works took us three days with 290 scans, and we completed the office works in one day.”

The Soldiers Memorial Hall was built in three stages.  From 1923 – 1924 the main structure was built, then additions in 1930 and 1957 saw the building completed as a tribute to those who had served in the First World War.  At the time of opening in 1924 the building comprised two stories with a single gable to each side of the roof, together with a small brick building at the rear, possibly used as additional storerooms and a public lavatory.

“When we trialled the system, we completed in one hour a job we initially thought may take about four. That was the real eye opener for us,” said Jake Laing, General Manager.

“Today the structure consists of multiple stories and many small rooms, which all have limited access,” explains Jake.  “In order to survey the vast amount of data required there was only the one option - to provide a point cloud survey using the Trimble X7.  This allowed seamless cloud-to-cloud registration with real-time viewing on the T10 tablet in the Trimble Perspective software.  With the fast scan speeds, we were able to complete +100 scan stations a day with minimal impact on staff who continued to work in the building.  The ability to export a panoramic image of each scan station was deemed extremely beneficial for the client because they now have great quality images of the whole building to add to their archives.”

The team was able to do a closed-loop traverse through multiple levels of the building with scan targets, adjusting the traverse in TBC then geo-referencing the point cloud to scan the targets.  This ensured confidence in the data, that there was no angular swing in the point cloud due to cloud-to-cloud registering misalignment, as well as ensuring no difference in data between levels.

Although fairly new to the team, the Trimble X7 has had plenty of use every week, whether it be from extensive point cloud scans for building design to tenancy lease surveys and as-constructed surveys.  “Final as-constructed surveys can be scanned with a high level of accuracy and detail in only a couple of minutes compared to using conventional survey equipment”, states Jake, “And the benefits we’ve found from the X7 is the ability to complete a full scan with imagery in under three minutes.  This allows for full data capture with minimal inconvenience to any workspace.”

“And the benefits we’ve found from the X7 is the ability to complete a full scan with imagery in under three minutes.  This allows for full data capture with minimal inconvenience to any workspace.”

“Most projects come with strict budgets and time-lines”, said Jake, “But the X7 has improved the amount and the quality of the data we can provide to our clients, all with a much faster turnaround, than had we used the SX10, which would have done the job but taken a lot longer to do.  Or with us undertaking hard measurements for floor plans, which wouldn’t have been feasible in terms of cost, time, and data storage constraints.”

Kieran Dinuzzo, Technical Consultant had no doubts when looking at the project that the Trimble X7 and Perspective Software was a perfect fit based on the ability to have a registered, refined, colourised point-cloud ready to bring straight into Trimble Business Centre, which would instill a lot of confidence in the client in achieving a high-end result.  And, given this project was mid-COVID and no face-to-face training was available SITECH and UPG were set up and ready to run the project remotely.  However, with the simplicity and performance of Perspective, this wasn’t necessary.  MinStaff picked it up easily and were away.

Quick fix to monitoring conundrum saves time and money

Trimble technology has provided the solution to a monitoring need that would otherwise have required two manned locations operating 24/7.

Required for just two months on a major Brisbane road project, the monitoring was needed to report on deformation in a sensitive work area during foundation works.  On top of that, the work zone was a busy one with machinery and workers operating in it around the clock.

At just 150m long and under 20m wide, the tight site needed two separate vantage points for 40 monitoring prisms.  The two total stations deployed were able to give overlapping coverage as well as minimising obstructions on the site.

The system was deployed and live within days of the client’s decision to proceed with the hire, which meant significant delays and associated costs were avoided.

Solar kits to power the system were installed on Kelly blocks on the edge of site so traffic flow was not affected.

The use of Trimble 4D control, Trimble S9s and the Settop M1s that made up the solution to this monitoring problem meant there was no need for manned survey locations, which would have been required around the clock – another cost saving.  The automated system also worked faster than any manned station could as turnaround for data processing and reporting is in real time.

“We collected data at a resolution not possible with traditional methods,” UPG’s Brent Dawson said.  “Through the use of automated alarming we had the ability to be ready to stop works if deformation was occurring and also had a streamlined daily report that was available for quick review all in once place.”

UPG has the solutions and expertise you need whatever the task. Talk to us today about how we can help you.

W: www.monitoringsolutions.com.au
P: 1800 800 UPG

How we do business: A customer experience that can’t be matched

Providing you with the solutions to take your operations to a new level is just part of the picture for UPG.

Underlying everything we do is a peerless customer service system that means any issues you may have will be dealt with efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Working in tandem with our expert support staff, our cutting edge CRM system will provide you with a support experience second to none.

Our customers report huge advantages in our system’s rapid turn around plus access to detailed analytics and data on their support history.

Here’s how the system operates – and how it will work for you.

Our dedicated Support Gateway team is available to take your call if an issue arises – simply call any of our 1800 numbers.

You’ll speak to one of our team members who will put you in contact with the relevant expert to help resolve your support case.

You will receive an SMS confirming your case details too.  Our office-based support experts aim to respond to your needs within 20 minutes.

They will liaise with you to find the quickest solution to your problem, which may be over the phone, via a site visit from a member of our field service team or by using one of our specialised workshops located throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Once your issue is resolved, you will receive a confirmation SMS as well as an opportunity to provide us with valuable feedback about your customer service experience.

This feedback is used to continually improve our service to you because as part of our customer support system, our management team is continually monitoring support statistics and service levels.

By identifying issue trends in the data, we can suggest solutions and preventative measures to improve productivity - and that means less downtime for your operation.

By drilling down into a customer’s data, we can easily compare the number of calls by month, operator, product and location. Using this data, we can help identify potential problem areas and offer solutions. We also make this data available to you, ensuring the entire process is transparent.  Behind the scenes, we are continuously analysing support data to identify and rectify support issue trends.

This service is just part of our customer-focused approach that includes branches in 17 locations across Australia and New Zealand and more than 250 employees.

Our Support Gateway is available from 6:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

To get in touch, just call 1800 800 874.

 

Trimble and UPG help maritime operation get the very best from its investment

South Australia based marine contractor Maritime Constructions has used its long relationship with UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) to get the absolute best out of a new dredge on a recent capital dredging project.

Maritime Constructions (MC) is a family owned company and has been a client of UPG since the late 1990s.  In fact, UPG’s marine and dredging specialist Dene Oehme, was the Maritime Constructions surveyor for eight years and since joining UPG, he’s helped MC with various positioning solutions.   In June, 2018 they approached Dene with a challenge: They had won a big capital works dredging contract and had ordered a new dredge for the job. They wanted Dene to source and commission the ‘latest and best’ in dredge management and navigation from Trimble.

The cutter suction dredge is a Damen CSD500 from The Netherlands.  By default, these machines come with a navigation system included but MC considered and rejected this option.  Instead they specifically wanted to go with Trimble due to the local support they knew they would get from UPG Adelaide.

“I discussed requirements with the project manager, Sikko Krol (formerly with Boskalis Dredging from The Netherlands) and we settled on a system that was so new in the Trimble product line-up that at the time, there hadn’t been another such system installed on any Australian dredge,” Dene said.

 

The system consists of:

On the Dredge:
Trimble Marine Construction software
Trimble MPS865 GNSS
Trimble Cutter Suction Dredge, CAN based sensor kit
Positel linear sensor for “spud” position data

RTK Base Station:
Trimble SPS855 with all GNSS constellations enabled
Trimble TDL450h base radio
Trimble Zephyr 3 Base antenna

For Surveying:
Trimble TSC7
Trimble SPS986 GNSS rover
Sonarmite BTX single beam Hydrographic Survey system.

The project involved the removal of nearly 1 million cubic metres of material from tidal Beedon Creek at Onslow, Western Australia, and dredging of the sea-floor leading into the creek to create a 50m-wide shipping channel.  This established a deep-water port which will operate as a marine support base for local fishing, mining and tourism.

Once the dredge was delivered to Australia, Dene met the crew on-site to install, commission and calibrate the Trimble Dredge Management System.

“I trained the dredge crew in its operation and their new surveyor on basic Hydrographic Surveying techniques as they apply to dredge support,” he said.

“Having worked in that role at Maritime Constructions for eight years myself, I knew exactly what they expected and this allowed me to give specific instruction to their surveyor on the ‘MC way’ of doing things and what they would expect of him.

“I had planned to return to the site after a few weeks to fix any problems and fine tune the system.  I contacted Sikko several times soon after works commenced to ask when he would like me to visit but each time I wasn’t needed.  The whole system was working perfectly and performing as required and expected from day one.

“The on-site training gave the crews the knowledge to do their system checks and calibrations when required and to extract the daily log and volume data to satisfy the clients reporting requirements.”

“It’s also worth mentioning that environmental management, close consultation with community and stakeholders plus the flexibility to modify the project on the run to meet desired outcomes are all vital factors in modern dredging,” Dene said.

“This project was no different and it is a credit to Sikko and the wider Maritime Constructions management team that these concerns have been met efficiently and thoroughly to the benefit of all involved.  Part of that was having absolute confidence in the position of the cutter head at all times and the Trimble Dredge Management System, based around the Trimble Marine Construction software, provides this certainty.”

Based on the success of this system and the project outcomes overall, Maritime Constructions have begun planning further enhancements to their fleet’s capabilities with Trimble technology.  The company has five dredges, three large ‘dumb’ barges and several other large work boats and landing barges.

“UPG Adelaide looks forward to being involved as these developments arise and take pride in the gains in efficiency and accuracy we have been able to provide Maritime Constructions to date,” Dene said.