DODO, comprised of the companies Besix, Dura Vermeer and GTI Infrastructure, needed to complete this design and construction using the Systems Engineering (SE) methodology. This, combined with the size and duration of the phased project, called for 2,500 quality inspections of the concrete construction.
Traditionally, engineers used paper checklists to help with the inspection of such constructions. However, to enable the large number of quality inspections to be completed more efficiently and with greater insight, a system of digital mobile forms was implemented. These forms were created using Omnimove MobileForms from Sybase partner, Omnimove, powered by the Sybase M-Business Anywhere platform.
Efficient Implementation and Processing of Quality Inspections is Required
As a requirement of the SE methodology, DODO needed to analyse the results of the inspections to identify possible improvements in addition to recording quality inspections during the project to roof over the Utrecht Highway. The volume of 2,500 inspections was so large, that it was necessary for DODO to look for a more efficient method of executing them.
"In my view, it was high time for us to take technology out into the construction site for this major project,” says Marc Debandt, Project Manager at Besix in the Netherlands. "During inspections, our engineers collect all kinds of important data about the concrete cover, measuring of the lining and so on. We want to analyse this data to improve the final construction and our processes, wherever possible. That is naturally much easier to do when the data is in digital form rather than on paper forms. Furthermore, the mobile devices used to collect data connect with a new document management system implemented for the whole project. This makes it much easier to communicate between the construction partners and with our client."
Finding a Flexible Solution
DODO required a solution that was user-friendly because quality inspections were to be performed by engineers with limited IT experience. An additional criteria required that users be able to collect at least as much information with the digital form as they used to collect on the paper-based forms.
"Whilst considering the possibility of using a digital mobile application, I read an article in the construction publication, Cobouw, about Omnimove MobileForms," Debandt continued. "It described a similar application involving recording inspection data digitally, and was accompanied by an interesting offer of a two-month, no obligation trial.”
“We let two inexperienced users in a critical area use this technology, in order to test the user-friendliness of the mobile application. After 15 minutes introduction, they were proficient in using the system completely on their own. From the evaluation test, it became clear that we could configure new forms or adapt existing forms very easily. In short, we have found it to be a flexible application which we are using to simplify the many repetitive concrete inspections using preconfigured selection fields. Our engineers can also use the HP iPAQ 6915 PDA, on which the software runs, to take photographs of important inspection points to supplement the inspection data. These provide additional guidance for the formwork and steel reinforcement engineers."
Sybase and Omnimove Provide a Configurable Solution that Offers Rapid Deployment
The Omnimove MobileForms application runs on M-Business Anywhere data management software from Sybase. In addition to the rapid and simple configuration of different types of forms, Sybase software provides extensive capabilities for synchronising imported data, remote management and data security.
"Because we have launched the application as an 'all-in' service, we have to synchronise inspection results from the Omnimove database with our own document management system in the data centre,” Debandt explained. "That takes place after we have made internal checks to ensure the inspection results are complete using a workflow planner. Synchronisation with our own document management system occurs by sending a copy of the inspection results automatically by email to the document manager, which then processes the data further. Analyses of the inspection results collected in the Omnimove devices are carried out in the datacenter. With this 'service-oriented’ solution, we have had absolutely no need to change our IT infrastructure or data security.”
The mobile solution brings a new way of working
Although the construction consortium, DODO, deployed the Omnimove mobile solution to carry out the large number of quality inspections for the Utrecht Highway roofing project more efficiently, it has already yielded additional benefits.
"The most important benefit from our new way of working is that we can now evaluate and report inspection results much more easily and much faster,” said Edwin van Groeningen, Head of Planning at Dura Vermeer. "In addition, digital reports are naturally simpler to distribute to everyone concerned within the construction consortium. No longer can forms be lost or sit too long on somebody's desk. Our internal processes have been considerably simplified.”
"Through the document management system I mentioned earlier, our client, Rijkswaterstaat, is able to examine all the inspection reports it needs,” Debandt concluded. “That gives the client good visibility of our work. In short, Omnimove MobileForms is an application that yields many benefits in our inspection programme, and has given us a rapid return on investment. Based on the results we have achieved here, Besix is also planning to use the new digital mobile inspection forms in the Ekkersrijt project in Eindhoven."