Software for conduit inspection: a buyer’s guide

When studying the competitive pipeline condition assessment software market, it is important to identify the features that are important to each individual purchaser. This buyer’s guide from PipeTech Auscodes, a new Pacific partnership between experienced Australian and US companies, highlights three key criteria to consider when undertaking this process.

Is it time to upgrade your line? inspection software? Many asset owners and contractors are still using software released more than 10 years ago and are faced with end-of-life notifications from their vendors.

Others are evaluating new software to meet the requirements of the newly released Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) Reporting Code 2020 v4.1. This guide is designed to help you get the most from your software investment.

The good news is there’s now more choice than ever, including the just launched PipeTech Auscodes pipe inspection software. The software is the result of a collaboration between Peter Slingsby, an Australian water industry veteran, and PipeTech Software, a company that has been developing inspection software for over 20 years.

Evaluating software can be a daunting task. In Australia we have faced limited options and high prices for many years. Now that there are more choices, what criteria should you consider when making your decision?

We interviewed experts who use pipe inspection software on a daily basis. And what follows are their top three recommendations.

Data entry speed

Field workers have a demanding job, and time is money.

“Less time with a reporting program means less time in the pipe and more meters at the end of the day,” says Bruce Barrie of Deetect Pty Ltd in Canberra, who uses PipeTech Auscodes to generate reports in the WSA 2020 v4.1 format.

“Entering the header and asset details is easy, and the shortcuts, duplicating and repeating code throughout the survey make this program a pleasure and an asset to my business,” he says.

Precise coding and scoring

The WSA 2020 4.1 Reporting Codes feature a revised scoring and grading system intended to better reflect the severity and impact of errors. Asset owners are adopting the new code system so they can make better asset management decisions.

It is crucial that the software you choose meets the WSA standard and is able to produce accurate assessment reports. PipeTech Auscodes is the first fully compliant software to meet this standard and the partnership behind this software strives to stay current with future WSAA updates.

Data quality and format

A software program is only as good as the data it produces. When evaluating pipe inspection software, carefully consider what you and your customers need in terms of data output.

High quality videos and easy to interpret PDF reports are a must. Bruce Barrie says he uses this as a competitive advantage.

“My customers are very satisfied with the reports and videos produced by PipeTech Auscodes,” he says.

It is also necessary to consider the structure of the raw data itself.

For example, does the software you are evaluating allow for custom folder and file names? Is there a flexible data export format that can be used in conjunction with other software platforms such as Geographic Information System (GIS)?

While the above criteria are universal for anyone using line inspection software, ultimately each buyer will have additional features that are important to them.

For this reason, it is important to talk to different software providers early in the purchasing process and to keep a list of which software products meet your specific requirements.

See Outcodes for more information.

This article appeared in the June issue of Trenchless Australasia.

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