UK GeoSLAM Dealers KOREC have recently worked with waste management specialists Enviroflow to produce an imaginative and effective data capture solution. Combining multiple technologies, including the ZEB-REVO, Enviroflow managed a motorway drainage survey quickly and safely.
The M6 motorway is a key corridor in the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and the North West section is one of its busiest stretches. To ease congestion and improve traffic flow, a Smart Motorway scheme will see a 16km stretch of hard shoulder converted into a permanent live lane. The contract is worth approximately £150m and is due for completion by Spring 2021.
A tender was therefore put out for the collection of all drainage information required for the advanced design work between J21A and J26. This would include STC25 industry standard manhole cards (GPS location for cover levels, photographic evidence of asset condition with specifically highlighted areas, dimensions of inlets/outlets and other connections etc), backed up by 3D profiles of all manhole chambers and a CCTV drainage survey. Work was to be completed in live traffic, at night, and within a tight six-week window.
Key to a successful drainage tender
The contract was won by Yorkshire based Enviroflow Management Ltd, a water management company that specialises in solving problems and removing risk from complex jobs by using a combination of new technology and a practical common-sense approach. The successful tender was led by Enviroflow Operations Director, Mark Jordan, who felt that the key to a successful submission would lie in the delivery of a system that could meet four important criteria:
- A pen and paper free solution that would ensure high quality, consistent, digital STC25 standard data with no need for transcription or checking back at the office.
- A system that reflected the needs of surveyors working at night on a tight schedule and was therefore, reliable, rugged, easy to use, required minimal
- Ability to create accurate internal 3D profiles of all the manholes without the risk of sending a surveyor into each chamber.
- A streamlined, automated system that would enable Enviroflow to deliver data in real-time, directly to a portal where all the information on the scheme could be accessed remotely by the client.
Mark had previously worked with KOREC on the successful delivery of an intelligence-based drainage maintenance programme. He therefore contacted the company confident that a solution for the Smart Motorway tender could be found.
The obvious starting point was KOREC’s existing K-Mobile Drainage Edition software which had been designed for the efficient capture of connected drainage surveys and manhole inspections for the generation of STC25 manhole cards.
Easy to use, with drop down picklists and ‘process led’ data entry, the software ran on a variety of handheld devices including tablets and smartphones. Based on previous site experience, Mark opted to run this drainage software on Trimble’s rugged Geo7 handheld GNSS which were capable of 10mm accuracy, well within the 40mm that the project required.
For the 3D profiles of the manhole chambers, KOREC felt that data from GeoSLAM’s handheld 3D laser scanner, the ZEB-REVO*, could be integrated into the K-Mobile software at the touch of a button. The ZEB-REVO could then be lowered into the manhole chamber and a 15 second scan completed that would deliver a high-accuracy 3D pointcloud. KOREC carried out the necessary development and within a week had turned the two disparate technologies into a single innovative solution that was approved by the client. The tender was subsequently awarded based on the Enviroflow’s innovative approach.
With a rugged solution in place that required minimal training for the team, the project began on schedule in November 2018. Each manhole had a pre-recorded GPS position and this was checked to ensure that the new survey would tie in with any existing information. Data was collected on each of the three hundred manholes by three of the Enviroflow team whilst two others worked on the CCTV. Attribute information and relevant photos were recorded using the K-Mobile Drainage Edition software on Trimble Geo7’s and at each location the ZEB-REVO was lowered on a pole for the chamber scan. Collected data was immediately synced with the client’s online portal which could be logged on to securely via the internet. In the portal, each scan was automatically linked to its relevant record via the manhole number.
Online portal is key to automation
A streamlined, automated process was high on Mark Jordan’s wish list to ensure that the client received the collected data in real-time so that information recorded overnight would be waiting for the design team first thing in the morning. The on-line portal developed by KOREC was key to this aspect of the project. As well as taking away the need to involve IT departments or firewalls, the portal provides the client with an effective and easy way to view and handle data and deal with any queries from the previous night immediately.
As data is synched from the field to the portal, everything is referenced via the manhole number so that scans and CCTV automatically assign themselves to the correct record. The portal also automatically draws in pipes along with direction and flow to build up an overall picture of the work done. By simply clicking on a manhole point on the portal map, the client’s design team can bring up an automatically generated STC25 manhole card (including photos with mark-up, location plans and internal plans etc) raw data, relevant CCTV footage and of course the ZEB-REVO generated pointcloud of the manhole chamber.
The portal also ensures that delivering a pointcloud to the client is no longer dependent on a high spec laptop or specialist software. Instead, the 3D model can be easily viewed in the portal, cut or rotated, or used to take measurements from with no specialist knowledge or equipment. This means that design tweaks such as moving a cover or changing the orientation of a lid can be done on the 3D model saving the design team time.
“The whole project was completed just four weeks into a six-week schedule thanks to a workflow that combined ease of use with a high degree of automation.” “By pushing the boundaries of the technology available to us, we were able to work with KOREC to create a system that will undoubtedly lead the way for future projects of this type and will certainly be our turn-to drainage survey solution.”