Soil Engineering Implement Digital Borehole Logging for Ground Investigations

Following the successful completion of two years development and testing, Soil Engineering, the specialist geotechnical unit of Vinci Construction UK Ltd, has introduced the digital borehole logging system Keylogbook into its ground investigation business.

The Keylogbook system, supplied by Equipe Geosolutions jointly with software house Keynetix, is a rugged, tablet computer based system which revolutionises the way site data from ground investigations is captured, recorded and disseminated. Soil Engineering has been the primary Development Partner in taking the system from initial concept to a contract-proven working system. Exhaustive trials were carried out and system enhancements conceived and implemented before the equipment was put into use on its first contract commencing autumn 2011. This involved the formation of approximately 200 boreholes of various types, the majority including installation of groundwater monitoring instrumentation, across multiple sites for a major ‘blue- chip’ Client.

Field data was entered directly by the drillers onto Motion CL900 ruggedised touchscreen tablet computers. Using an intuitive system of on-screen prompts the system ensures that all data required by the relevant Eurocodes is completely and correctly collected directly at source, with the work flow being optimised dependant upon the drilling method i.e. cable percussion, rotary coring, open holing, or dynamic sampling.

Sample labelling is made virtually instantaneous and hassle-free by the use of rugged label printers, linked to each tablet via Bluetooth, to produce the required number of sample labels. Each label carries a unique bar-coded sample identification number to aid subsequent sample tracking from site to and throughout the subsequent sample storage and testing processes.

Soil Engineering has found multiple benefits from using the system. All data from each rig is transmitted at the push of a button on the tablet to an FTP site where it is automatically filed in its own folder. Data comprises PDF files of the ‘Drillers Daily Sheet’ and any associated installation drawing or in situ permeability test results, together with the associated AGS data and measure sheet and even an invoice if required. This immediate availability of data without the need for retyping from hand written sheets has allowed for a quicker more efficient turnaround of borehole logs and thus enabled better informed operational and technical decisions to be made.

For the drillers it eliminates the chore (and time spent) of hand writing daily sheets and numerous sample labels and allows more time for productive activities. Absolute consistency of Client, Job and Borehole naming across the project is ensured because the data is only entered once and can even be uploaded to each tablet via email from the office, along with the driller’s instruction sheet which can be viewed on screen.

Benefits to the Client or Supervising Engineer include quicker availability of fully compliant data, including AGS, enabling informed decisions to be made e.g. about borehole termination and instrumentation requirements or laboratory test scheduling, as well as allowing improved budgetary control.

Having proven beyond doubt the cost-effectiveness and technical benefits of the Keylogbook system Soil Engineering have now embarked upon a progressive programme of installation across their entire ground investigation fleet, which is one of the largest in the UK. This is the third strand of technical innovation that Soil Engineering have introduced to the UK ground investigation market over recent years following their success with the Corescan 2 digital core scanning system and Drilling Parameter Recording on their rotary drilling rigs.