Heavy industry has often struggled to adapt to the advantages of software development, as the ruggedised hardware needed for the tough environments has always been very expensive to buy. The software that operated the ruggedised hardware was always old technology requiring major work to get achieve what is fairly easy with today's technologies, meaning the development costs were much higher than they needed to be.
Mobile devices including iPhone, iPad and Android phone can be now be ruggedised to a standard befitting to the heavy industry environment including making the devices water proof.
Sapere built an inspection system app for Tees Valley Lifting (TVL) to help carry out lifting inspections on equipment.
Inspection data is often written down on pieces of paper before being sent back to the office for processing. The processing of safety certificates is then completed in the office but this could take many hours of labour but this number is magnified if many certificates are required.
The shipping vessels needing safety lifting inspections could not wait the amount of time the reports were taking to complete.
The management and reporting of the certificates was not searchable.
The app is driven from a web application where office staff can set up an inspection, which is then assigned to an inspector and then sent to their mobile device. The inspection is then carried out on the mobile device which includes the taking of photos and gathering of measurements and other information.
The mobile device displays previous inspections that a given ship has had completed by TVL. The completed inspection is then sent to the 'back office' web application where certificates are generated and made available for download by the shipping companies via a secure link.
The following business benefits have been realised by TVL since the app development went live.