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Customer Q&A: Testing the Trimble X9 in Sweden

Recently, Trimble Authorized Distributor in Sweden, TRIMTEC, talked with Lennart Gimring, Section Manager for Surveying and Mapping at AFRY in Stockholm, about his recent experience with the Trimble® X9 3D laser scanning system.

You were the first to use the new Trimble X9 in Sweden.

Yes, and it's part of our strategy—to try to be at the forefront of development.

We were beta testers for the Trimble SX10 [total station], and we were also the first to work with it in Sweden. We were also the first with the echo sounder boat we bought three years ago.

I like that you can influence and develop routines and working methods: ways of approaching things and influencing others in the same direction. We try to be quite open about how we work and find it fun when others follow suit, and we may have contributed to something new and good.

It's great fun to be involved in the development in this way. At the same time, it's enjoyable for everyone who gets the chance to work with new things, come up with new work methods, and then get approval for the methods they want to use.

What does it mean to get approval?

It could, for example, be that you want to work in a certain way with the Swedish Transport Administration. On the E4 highway, we wanted to use a scanner upside down, standing on a GC bridge. It might be perceived as a bit strange, but then you do it and show that it works. It resulted in an improvement in traffic safety and the like. I think that's positive.

What areas of use do you see for the X9?

We are currently testing it. We bought a five-meter tripod that we lift the X9 onto and test how it behaves. At intersections and junctions where it can be difficult to capture everything, you can hoist it very high and scan in that way.

We have also tested the same method in various industrial buildings, where some areas can be difficult to access, and it works very well. Primarily, we see the X9 as a complement to the Trimble SX10 and SX12 on long-distance projects.

You work primarily with the SX10 and SX12 at the beginning and end for georeferenced scans. Then we can fill in with the Trimble X9 to speed up the process.

These may be work methods that are not entirely obvious to everyone, but you have to try and demonstrate that you meet the accuracy requirements.

We did such a job in Ludvika, with the Trimble X7 for NCC on a paving job. We had to measure along the entire stretch. We worked with the Trimble SX10 to test the methodology, and it worked really well.

In that type of project, we see that the Trimble X9 comes in as a better scanner than the X7, with a bit more range and as a slightly better product.

Our strategy is to lease instead of buying. That way, we can get new things when the lease period expires. It is important to not to be stuck with old equipment.

Have you had any particularly beneficial projects with the Trimble SX12?

It's in all projects, really! We often work on the premise that we don't know everything we need to measure when we're out.

We make sure to scan every time we set up somewhere. That means you capture a lot of data. Trimble instruments are very field-friendly, we've always thought so. And they have a good user interface. Then the staff at TRIMTEC are also nice, and that makes things easier! It's easier to have good relationships with nice people. That's also an important part.

Do you have any particularly exciting projects in the works?

We're looking at some exciting projects, but they're not finalized yet, so I'll have to get back to you on that.

We have previous experience in creating digital twins, and those are projects we'd like to do more of. Projects that go a bit beyond the usual framework. One such example is Inlandsbanan, which was 800 miles (1,300 kilometers). There, we created orthophotos and a model under a tight schedule. It's fun to look back on and have been involved in. I appreciate working with good colleagues that you get on well with.

Always make sure to create a working environment where you feel good. I really think we've succeeded in that. You should enjoy your job; that's probably the most important thing, and then a lot will come naturally.