Where’s the Meat?

Please note that the following news item is an archived article. Therefore any links and information may now be out of date.


Ever since those heady days of software boom in the early 1990’s it has been an elusive dream of my company to be able to offer the site investigation drilling industry a simple and robust method of logging boreholes electronically in the field. For us the obvious motivation is to bring an innovative product to market and reap the benefits of doing so. But what’s in it for the end user, and what drivers could we bring to bear on a traditionally conservative and often techno-sceptic community?

The quick answer is of course to exploit the time and cost savings of effective data management. But to many in our industry this is just so much gobbledygook and often interpreted as a gimmicky sales slogan with little actual substance. So where’s the meat for the Driller?

For a comparison we could go back to the development of a similar package for site engineers we launched in 2002, PocketSI. Designed to run on a rugged PDA this software produces an AGS file which can be quickly transferred to the office and imported into the resident data management system. Because it is handheld the engineer can easily move between several boreholes in progress and log the results. The benefits of this kind of workflow are significant and easily understood: the client gets results quicker, with fewer errors, and the SI plan can be quickly modified to address unexpected ground conditions.

Making similar claims for KeyLogbook, an application for the drilling specialist, is trickier however. The driller (in UK at least) gets paid for his drilling meterage, tests carried out, and time spent waiting for something to happen. There is no obvious benefit to recording the information electronically, rather than on the traditional paper logging sheet. Furthermore, because the driller’s solution requires a rugged tablet rather than a PDA, the package is about twice as expensive. How can a valid business case be made?

Well to answer this we need to look beyond the mere mechanics of the drilling task. It is not after all the hole that the client pays for, but the information abstracted from the operation. The quality of the product lies in the completeness of the records, the accuracy of the recorded measures, and the amount of further data processing the client needs to carry out before the data becomes usable. So the driller benefits indirectly from a system that prompts him to record everything required by the client in accordance with the standards to which he is working: BS and/or Eurocode.

He will also dispense with the laborious and messy process of writing sample labels with a marker pen or completing paperwork at the end of the day. Labels and reports can be produced instantly at any stage. So here at last are three tangible benefits for the driller: 1. A better end product for the client 2. A time saving of up to two hours per day 3. Accurate and efficient measure sheets and invoicing for work carried out. And there is one more: better job satisfaction from fewer repetitive tasks and a more professional image.

Mike Rothery Keynetix Ltd

 

LATEST STORIES

  • Thursday 22 June 2017

    Effective Site Investigation and Data Management Conference – Our 5 Highlights

    The Brownfield Briefing "Effective Site investigation and Data Management" conference was held on the 24th and 25th May in Birmingham. Our Managing Director, Roger Chandler, was one of the invited speakers and he has put together his top 5 highlights from the conference.

    Read more
  • Friday 16 June 2017

    Autodesk Geotechnical Module 2018 Released

    This week sees the release of the latest version of the Autodesk Geotechnical Module, a free add on to AutoCAD Civil 3D licenced by Keynetix to Autodesk, which helps engineering companies around the world take their first step to streamlining their geotechnical drawing and modelling production. Join our webinar and find out what's new in the Geotechnical Module for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 Register now and receive free training on the new features and capabilities of the Geotechnical Module for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018

    Read more
  • Tuesday 11 April 2017

    Easter Opening Hours

    Please note our Redditch office will be closed between 17:30 on Thursday 13th April and 09:00 on Tuesday 18th April.

    Read more
  • Tuesday 4 April 2017

    Call for Presenters to Celebrate 25 Years of the AGS Data Format

    The AGS have announced their latest conference on Geotechnical Data Management. "The Geotechnical Data Conference 2017 - Best Practice, Challenges and Future Opportunities" conference will take place on the 20th September 2017 at the Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham, UK.

    Read more
  • Meeting Customers in Sunshine and Snow around Orlando and Boston

    Last week Gary Morin returned froma 2 week trip to the USA meeting customers in Boston and helping Dataforensics, our Premier Partner, exhibit our software solutions at the Geo-Institute's Geotechnical Frontiers conference in Orlando.

    Read more