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Software for conduit inspection: a buyer’s guide

Auscodes

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

Others are evaluating new software to meet the needs of the Water Services Association of Australia’s (WSAA) newly released 2020 v4.1 reporting code. This guide is intended to help you make the most of your software investment.

The good news is that there are now more choices than ever before, including the just-launched PipeTech Auscodes conduit inspection software. The software is the result of a collaborative effort between Peter Slingsby, an Australian water-industry veteran, and PipeTech Software, a company that has been creating 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 available, what criteria should you consider when making a decision? 

We surveyed experts who use conduit inspection software daily. And what follows are their top three recommendations. 

Speed of data entry

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

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

“Inputting the header and asset details are easy and the shortcuts, duplication and repetition of codes as the survey progresses are what makes this program a treat to use and an asset to my business,” he says. 

Accurate coding and scoring

The WSA 2020 4.1 reporting codes have a revised scoring and grading system that is designed to better reflect the severity and impact of defects. Asset owners are adopting the new code system so that they can make better asset management decisions. 

It’s critical that whatever software you select adheres to the WSA standard and is capable of producing accurate scoring reports. PipeTech Auscodes is the first fully compliant software to meet this standard, and the partnership behind this software is committed to staying up-to-date with future WSAA updates.

Data quality and format

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

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

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

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

For example, does the software you are evaluating allow 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 criteria above are universal to everyone who uses conduit inspection software, each buyer will ultimately have additional features that are important to them. 

This is why it’s important to start a conversation with different software vendors early in your buying process and keep a list of which software products meet your specific needs.

For more information visit Auscodes.

This article featured in the June edition of Trenchless Australasia. 

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