BAM Nuttall has selected Manchester-based WorkMobile’s award-winning mobile data capture solution to assist with a new project in the Antarctic.
Construction and civil engineering specialists, BAM Nuttall, will be developing a new wharf in the Antarctic, as part of a £100m upgrade of the Rothera research station. The 50-strong team will spend two Antarctic summers dismantling the old 60m wharf and building the new 74m one to house a new vessel, on behalf of the British Antarctic Survey Expedition.
BAM Nuttall adopted the WorkMobile tool to replace paper-based methods of data collection with mobile form solutions, in order to improve efficiencies and productivity. Field engineers will be able to capture data in real time, such as completing digitalised forms, taking photographs and videos and capturing signatures, all while out on site.
Due to the remote nature of the work basic services, such as internet connectivity and mobile phone signals, will not be available, making capturing and transmitting data extremely difficult. However, using a localised WorkMobile server, workers will be able to collect and store the information in the cloud for the duration of the project.
When the team returns to the UK, they will be able to download the data and automatically generate the necessary reports and compliance documents needed for the work that was undertaken. BAM Nuttall chose WorkMobile’s application because of its flexibility in allowing users to create mobile forms relevant to the specific job in hand, including site inspections, health and safety forms, site surveys and site diaries for all workers on site.
Using a digital form to capture the information for these essential documents reduces the risk of data being lost or incorrectly collected, enabling businesses to meet compliance requirements. The app, which allows workers to capture data in real-time, can be accessed via the users’ smartphones, tablets, laptops or PCs.
Rob Youster, director of ICT at BAM Nuttall, said: “In my 30-year career at BAM Nuttall this has been my most challenging and exciting ICT project. A first for my team too – we had to configure and design a computer environment for our Antarctica project in the South Pole.
“With the lack of internet connection at this location and site personnel being on-site for six to ten months, the team had to produce something unique. My team worked on various designs but eventually created a robust, secure, mobile data centre that would work in this potentially hostile environment.
“Once the designs were approved, we then needed a preferred supplier that was willing to be flexible in its approach, including its engagement with the client and its data capture solution. WorksMobile was that supplier and ensured the project had what was needed, they worked well with our project teams and met our stringent security requirements. Both BAM Nuttall and WorksMobile have produced a unique and one-off solution that may as well have been on planet Mars.”
Colin Yates, chief support officer at WorkMobile, said: “Site inspections and reports are crucial to ensuring projects are completed, in line with contractual obligations. But when operating in parts of the world like Antarctica, it makes the job of collecting this information troublesome and can present problems when providing evidence of the work that has been delivered.
“It’s great to see that our solution has been adopted by BAM Nuttall as part of their special project. The field team now has a flexible tool kit that can help meet the needs of the contract quickly and effectively, so they can clearly demonstrate the service they have provided.”