Infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty has appointed Leeds-based secure software developer Evifile to provide digital data collection services on its electrification of the Great Western mainline.
Balfour Beatty’s project spans 40 miles of track from Bristol to Cardiff, and is part of the £5.58bn Great Western route modernisation commissioned by Network Rail.
eviFile enables Balfour Beatty’s field operatives to use their standard tablet and smartphone cameras and GPS capabilities to accurately record construction inspection information, such as cables being installed.
Every use of eviFile’s software by the field operatives is securely captured along with information on time, date, geographical location, user and device orientation. The software is also believed to be the first in the world built to Home Office principles on digital evidence gathering.
In the 12-month period since its introduction on the project, eviFile has delivered a seven-figure cost saving for Balfour Beatty. This has been achieved by replacing a paper-based approach, speeding up field data capture and enhancing the transmission of quality information to field engineers, managers and Network Rail.
Balfour Beatty rail director of electrification delivery, Peter Webb, said: “We see mobile site-based technologies as a key way to gather richer data, faster and more cost efficiently. These marginal gains lead to significant efficiency savings, which our project with eviFile proves, as its use has enabled us to save seven figures in costs over a 12-month period.
“The eviFile system is an amazing development and we’re extremely impressed with what the software delivers. It has streamlined our processes, reduced risk and given us actionable insights to deliver a higher quality project. Our field managers have also commented on the huge increase in productivity from not having to chase and collate data manually.”
With the platform able to be integrated with other systems, completed inspection test plans are automatically uploaded to the Greater West programme’s database, saving further time and resource. eviFile also enables dashboard reports on request and highly detailed reports into individual areas, construction units and wire runs.
eviFile MD Luke Allen, added: “Rail is necessarily a highly risk averse sector, but eviFile meets and exceeds the levels of assurance and evidence major contractors are demanding. We were able to give Balfour Beatty a rigorous approach to site data capture and workflow improvements which saved time and money.
“We understand the complexities of rail. Delivering new assets involves multiple activities, each of which requires quality inspection before the next starts. Our version of digital progressive assurance does this automatically, driving much of Balfour Beatty’s efficiency savings.
“We can make a complete evidence pack within 10 seconds which could take months using traditional methods. Our tamper-proof digital evidence can also help contractors avoid costly legal disputes.”