Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Structural Integrity Chooses TerraGo Magic to Build Field Data Collection App
June 29th, 2017 by Susan Smith
Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Structural Integrity (SI) provides innovative engineering services and proven solutions for structural evaluation and repair. TerraGo announced recently that Structural Integrity has chosen TerraGo Magic to build a field data collection and collaboration app for field inspectors, engineers and others involved in their projects to improve efficiency of field reporting, inspection workflows and data management.
Structural Integrity’s Oil and Gas Business Unit provides engineering and assessment services to support hazardous liquid pipelines, gas pipelines, gas utilities, terminals, tank farms, and subsea applications.
Because SI’s client base is varied, they needed a solution that was customizable enough and flexible enough for the vast number of engineers, field inspectors and other personnel involved in the projects.
SI had their finger on the pulse of recent advances in mobile cloud-based technology and knew there was an opportunity to improve field data collection efficiencies on NDE projects.
With TerraGo Magic, SI can build its own customized app with a brnading interface and feature settings that are adapted to their needs. SI experts collect, analyze and share a host of data elements from each site, and with smart forms, they can create a form field flow with embedded data logic, that is much like a Turbo Tax questionnaire that streamlines the user experience and data capture.
Delivered with the TerraGo Magic app are the advanced GPS features and Trimble GNSS Direct SDK to deliver high accuracy positioning data from Trimble’s survey-grade receivers to iOS and Android mobile devices.
Structural Integrity and TerraGo replied to these questions for GISCafe Voice:
GISCafe Voice: What types of problems was Structural Integrity aiming to solve when they began using TerraGo Magic?
SI wanted to not only improve field data collection efficiencies on NDE projects, but also provide its customers with “better data faster”, seamlessly integrated with GIS systems and databases. With every customer and every dig bringing unique requirements, SI needed a solution that their experts could adapt for each project.
Three Key Challenges include:
“We needed a solution that was customizable enough for the variety of client projects and flexible enough for field inspectors, engineers, and other personnel. Because NDE work is tailored precisely to the project at hand, we needed an application that was easy to configure, not a hard-coded off-the-shelf product.” – Scott Riccardella, Director of Strategic Business Development, Structural Integrity
GISCafe Voice: How did they go about integrating Magic into their Workflow?
With Bluetooth wireless connectivity, SI can deploy GPS receivers whenever and wherever needed, while also enabling personnel to leverage on-board GPS for tasks where survey-grade performance isn’t required. With cloud-based data synchronization, SI can update databases, GIS platforms and provide customers with on-demand reports from the field.
GISCafe Voice: Did SI create the customized field data collection app or did TerraGo do that customization?
SI used the Magic web portal to build their own app. There was no coding required by SI or TerraGo.
GISCafe Voice: What type of ROI is SI getting on their workflows, in terms of time saved, money saved, etc.?
SI has not provided quantitative metrics but provided the following qualitative results.
The Structural Integrity app, built with TerraGo Magic, enables SI to consolidate a number of inspection tools and processes onto an iPad or tablet. The efficiencies span the workflow process cutting down preparation time and eliminating manual data entry and transcription errors. In the field, the work gets done faster and better with smart forms and data validation rules. The end result is a field data collection process that improves the quality and efficiency of pipeline integrity data updates.
For project setup, the ease of creating forms and basemaps means less prep work that helps accelerate project starts. As the data elements are gathered, databases and GIS systems are seamlessly updated which cuts the time to customer information delivery, helping ensure safe and reliable operations amidst a dynamic and complex regulatory environment.
An example of time saved: “When dig sites are identified, for example from an in-line inspection tool indicating a pipe requires further inspection, inspectors can immediately utilize the TerraGo Magic app to locate the asset and rapidly gather location-tagged information that confirms defects, or the absence of them, ultimately accelerating updates to the pipeline integrity program as well as any remediation actions,” said Scott Riccardella, Director of Strategic Business Development for Structural Integrity’s Oil and Gas Business Unit.
GISCafe Voice: What kinds of recommendations would SI make to other other firms seeking data collection alternatives?
SI evaluated mobile data collection platforms and selected TerraGo Magic because it not only offered the same operationally-proven, field-tested features of TerraGo Edge, including out of the box support for Trimble receivers, smart forms and GIS integration, but also allowed SI to build its own customized app with branding, interface and feature settings flexibly adapted to their needs, without writing any code.
SI confirmed that the smart forms were a major differentiator vs. simple GIS feature attribute-generated forms.
“With hundreds of data elements, paper forms and spreadsheets can become unwieldy to say the least. With TerraGo Magic’s smart forms, we have drag and drop form builders and conditionals that are easy to customize per customer and in the field dig site, making data collection processes smoother and faster while ensuring the highest data quality, especially compared to traditional GPS handhelds and data collection procedures.” – Scott Riccardella, Director of Strategic Business Development, Structural Integrity
GISCafe Voice: What is the cost of a setup such as the one SI has for field data collection?
We’re not able to share client-specific pricing. The average TerraGo Magic per user app subscription is less than $1 per day.