Clients Conformance Application for reporting simplicity

Introducing the latest initiative from CGS in our quest to simplify the reporting process of conformance data for our clients...

Following on from our Using Google Apps Scripts To Automate Conformance Reporting For Clients initiative. We have gone one better and replaced the client's version of the sheet with their own custom Conformance App!

The app is used in conjunction with the Google sheet and directly references the raw survey data. It is available in both a downloadable application format from your chosen app store, or directly via url in your browser.

As with the sheet offered before the app's development, it gives the user the ability to interrogate all survey data as soon as it has been processed. The app also has export functionality allowing the user to filter by chainage and date range and export a custom pdf conformance report.

A demo version of the app is available via the button below to be viewed via your browser. A couple of things to bear in mind with the demo is the export functionality has been disabled and also the app response time is not as fast as the deployed versions. A demo report is available here to give an idea of what you will receive using the live app.

One of the biggest advantages of displaying the data in this format is the ability to cache the current data and take it out in the field via your smartphone app. Or alternatively (phone reception dependant) sync the app while on site giving the ability to complete site data verifications and QA checks with ease, minutes after the survey was completed.

Using Google Apps Scripts to automate conformance reporting for clients

CGS have been adopting Google Sheets for most reporting in recent projects. Utilising this versatile tool along with some custom "Google Apps Script" we have been able to offer our clients close to "real-time" conformance results.

The basic procedure is:

  1. Conventional on site survey to QA the finished asset
  2. Once the data has been manually checked and verified as accurate, it is processed and exported in one mouse click in our CAD software 12d using a custom "chain" and "macro"
  3. The data is then automatically imported into its respective tab of our clients conformance sheet using a "Google Apps Script"
  4. Finally a pdf is exported of newly added data, as well as a snapshot pdf of all current data and sent to a distribution list of client personnel dependant on which section of the job the data is in.

The beauty of this procedure is that, other than the conventional survey to collect the data and the one mouse click in 12d the rest is entirely automated!

Also, as well as having the pdf exports emailed, we also give our clients access to their own copy of the entire Google sheet, meaning they can have current data minutes after it has been surveyed in the field.

The subgrade example above shows a typical sheet with the custom menu options for use by us and the client. Giving them the ability to filter by chainage range and date range in this example then export a pdf of the area/layer in question to a shared Google Drive folder with the correct standardised naming convention, date, signatures, logos, etc all done automatically.

Another advantage of doing these tasks via a script is inbuilt error checking. For example below is a warning that appears if gaps in the data are identified greater than 50 meters in chainage:

Prior to the use of Google Sheets this process was a painfully laborious task taking hours every day for a data processor. As well as the unavoidable manual QA checks on the data, the data processor would also have to do manual exports from 12d, then formatting in Microsoft Office and other applications using templates, and then manually emailing to relevant personnel.

Using this system our clients have current data at their fingertips shortly after construction is completed and are able to interrogate the entire data set or filter it as they wish without having to wait for an email from an ever frustrated surveyor to get back to them!

If you would like more information about having these systems introduced for your reporting get in touch for a demo.

Using DJI Phantom RTK with Trimble R12

Whilst using one of our smaller UAV's the Phantom 4 RTK. We struggled to figure out the simplest way to connect to our Trimble R12's to be used as a base for RTK corrections.

After a bit of trial and error we came up with this procedure to follow, which as it turns out is actually quite simple!

  1. Turn on the R12 and connect to its WIFI from the DJI controller
  2. Get the R12's IP address
  3. Exit to main screen and go back to settings
  4. Apply to All – Open Browser – Navigate to IP address
    • Username = admin
    • Password = should either be "password" or R12_serial# (e.g. R12_6012F00704)
  5. Hit "Show Classic Webgui" at top of screen
  6. Check Receiver Status – Position, Satellites
  7. Receiver Configuration – Antenna
    • Input antenna height – OK
  8. Reference Station – Here
    • Edit Coordinates with Observed values from point R12's set up over – OK
  9. I/O Configuration – Port Configuration
    • Change 1st dropdown menu to NTripCaster1
    • Enable
    • Identifier = RTCM32
    • Country = AUS
    • Mount Point = RTCM32MP
    • RTCM = Enabled – Version = 3.2
    • OK
  10. Ensure NTrip Caster1 output = RTCM.V3

Once all that's set you're ready for take off!

  1. Flight
  2. Click “ · · · ” at top right
  3. Check RTK is turned ON
  4. NTRIPHost = R12's IP address
  5. Port = 2101
  6. User = (same as before) admin
  7. Password = (same as before) "password" or R12_serial# (e.g. R12_6012F00704)
  8. Mountpoint = RTCM32MP

I hope you find this useful!

The Value of Engineering Services

Engineering services represent one of the largest sections of the industrial world, with an estimated $750 billion worth of value addition per year. These services comprise a vast swathe of design and support services essential for the functioning of practically every industry, spread across the entire spectrum of engineering.

A significant portion of these services also are being outsourced and there is potential for more outsourcing in this field.

Engineering services are service functions directly linked to or related to core engineering processes. Examples are: (1) CAD / CAM (computer aided manufacturing / design), (2) Auto design, (3) Failure analysis of structural steel. A definite difference lies between engineering functions and engineering service functions. Auto engine manufacturing is an engineering function, while a similar engineering service function lies in engine design. It is analogous to the difference between manufacturing and manufacturing support services.

Engineering services work is taken to be a value-added service. It is not possible to be automated due to various factors and emerging technologies. Engineering services keep in touch with the client at all steps. The user may be included in the process too. It is an iterative process, where consistent reevaluation of the process and the progress is required. Modifications are involved as a natural part of the overall process. Once completed, engineering services may cover the operation, the sales, or instruction on the use of the product.

Engineering services are divided into phases: (1) Idea Phase - Identification of a problem or an idea (new building, product) (2) Analysis of the idea or problem. Solution is designed under guiding factors listed below. (3) Test Phase - The engineer applies the design to a model to test. This would occur more frequently with products as opposed to construction. (4) Manufacturing or Construction Phase - Engineering services supervise the manufacturing processes (for electrical and mechanical engineering), construction (mainly for civil engineering), or improvements made to a plant operating system. Modifications are made during this process. (5) Product Completion or Production-Engineering service provider or manufacturer may simply hand product over to the client (e.g. electrical device).

(4) Manufacturing or Construction Phase - Engineering services look after the supervision of manufacturing processes (for electrical and mechanical engineering), construction (primarily for civil engineering), or improvements made to a plant operating system. In this process modifications are added. (5) Product Completion or Production-Engineering service provider or manufacturer may simply hand product over to the client (e.g. electrical device).

Also, they may sell the product (e.g. scientific instrument), may actually operate the product (power plant), or may teach the operation to the user (e.g. office building). Standards play a large role in engineering work as much of engineering results in the design of products. Standards serve to facilitate the reproduction and ensure compatibility between products. This could be in the form of standard software formats or guidelines for fitting screws or pipes.