Trimble Access and Infotech Mobile Inspector join forces to streamline inspection workflows from field to office.
Infrastructure construction in North America is booming as new funding addresses the backlog of necessary repairs and replacements. To keep up with demand, the pressure is on to make workflows as efficient and accurate as possible by supporting better, faster communication between the field and the office. By integrating existing software tools ─ Trimble® Access™ for General Survey and Infotech® Mobile Inspector® — inspectors can now streamline data collection, working faster to capture geospatial data measurements and produce accurate, reliable reports for back-office staff.
Integration of Familiar Tools
Many infrastructure inspectors use Infotech Mobile Inspector to capture data, notes, time/date stamps and geotags for location ─ anything that needs to be measured or quantified in the field. At the same time, Trimble Access field software is popular in survey departments at commercial, government, and local public agencies, delivering survey-grade measuring capabilities with easy-to-use digital workflows that drive productivity in the competitive construction industry. But until now, a simple way to sync the critical project data between the GNSS receiver and Trimble Access and the Trimble® TSC7 controller did not exist. By connecting Infotech’s Mobile Inspector app to Trimble Access, teams can now capture high-accuracy positioning data from Trimble rovers.
Integrating Trimble Access and Infotech Mobile Inspector was made possible through leveraging the Trimble Access software development kit (SDK), enabling the calculation and measurement capability already in place to pass between both mobile software packages on the same device: the Trimble TSC7 controller.
The exciting long-term potential in the collaboration between Trimble and Infotech is the advantage of adding high-accuracy positioning and measurement capabilities to Infotech’s reporting capabilities and seamlessly transmitting information to the office without additional manual data entry. In short, each application handles its own area of expertise to execute a full field-to-finish workflow.
How It Works
The Mobile Inspector application resides on a Trimble TSC7 controller and integrates with construction management systems like AASHTOWare Project™ and Infotech’s Appia® service. Pay item quantities are sent from AASHTOWare Project or Appia to the Mobile Inspector app, and the inspector selects a project and the item to be measured. As many different items are measured in an infrastructure project: stop signs, manholes, culverts, concrete, and more, the application provides a standardized way to record the data, reducing the risk of errors often experienced with manual data entry.
A measure request for an item goes through the Mobile Inspector Measure Service software to Trimble Access working with a GNSS rover, and the resulting data is sent to Mobile Inspector and synced simultaneously with the construction management database in the office.
Mobile Inspector then continues the workflow and applies the collected data to the standardized daily reporting processes required for the back office, thus automating generation of the Daily Work Report (DWR). The DWR covers a variety of topics that need to be tracked, monitored and accounted for. The inspector will record quantities of equipment, staff, and materials, as well as quantify actual construction progress, e.g., cubic feet of concrete poured, linear feet of beams installed. Precise calculations of what activities have been accomplished tie into the payment approval process for the contractors.
Benefits of Trimble Access & Mobile Inspector Integration
On a daily basis, infrastructure inspectors verify that construction is being completed according to agreed-upon specifications. Reporting the results of these inspections in a timely manner is important for identifying issues that need to be rectified and for getting payments released to contractors for completed work. By streamlining the transfer of data collected by Trimble GNSS rovers and simultaneously syncing Trimble Access, Infotech Mobile Inspector, and the construction management platform, inspectors can now complete their DWRs more efficiently and more accurately, with less risk of human error.
The integration creates a value-added data file transmitted from Trimble Access to Mobile Inspector, containing everything that was captured that day, including latitude/longitude, type of measure request, date/time, name/description of item, contract line item number, category, and type of units, among others. This complete record pairing high-accuracy locations with asset inspection data establishes a multi-use digital as-built for civil infrastructure projects.
Civil engineers, DOT, and public agencies can all benefit from the streamlined workflow enabled by the integration of Trimble Access and Infotech Mobile Inspector and accessed via the Trimble TSC7 handheld device. By using tools that inspectors and surveyors are already deploying, Mobile Inspector Measure Service provides a solution to use in the field to expedite the relay of information to the office. It allows users to easily capture the supporting geospatial data for measurements and eliminates data entry errors, which increases field productivity and expedites project delivery.
This integration is just one piece of a broader goal to streamline the asset management lifecycle of digital as-built models for infrastructure projects.
Inspectors are able to digitally represent assets in a construction management system to improve data transparency and collaboration, ultimately improving management of the asset throughout its lifecycle.